Coricancha Inca Ruins
Coricancha Inca Ruins, Peru © HÃ¥kan Svensson
The sacred complex of Coricancha was considered the centre of the Inca world. Its name means something like 'Golden Enclosure', though Inca stonework is all that remains of the ancient Temple of the Sun. The walls and floors were once covered in sheets of solid gold, and the courtyard was filled with golden statues. Spanish reports tell of opulence that was 'fabulous beyond belief'. Spanish colonists constructed the Church of Santa Domingo on the site, destroying the temple and using its foundations for the cathedral. Major earthquakes have severely damaged the church, though the Inca stone walls still stand, and are a testament to their superb architectural skills and sophisticated stone masonry. Visitors will find an underground archaeological site museum nearby. It contains a number of interesting pieces, including mummies, textiles and sacred idols. Tourists will have the best experience if they explore the site with a guide, as good tours provide context and bring the place to life.
Address: Pampa del Castillo at Plazoleta Santo Domingo.