(America Records Institute - AMRI) Top Ancient and Modern Wonders of the Americas - P38 - Coricancha Temple: Sacred mark of Inca civilization in Peru

19-03-2024

(worldkings) Coricancha ("The Golden Temple") was the most important temple in the Inca Empire and was described by early Spanish colonialists. It is located in Cusco, Peru, which was the capital of the empire.

Coricancha was the most important religious temple of Cusco, in the capital of Tawantinsuyo, the territory of the Incas empire. It was built in 1438 by Manco Capac and devoted to the Sun. Over its structure, the Spanish built the current Santo Domingo convent in 1534. Also, Coricancha was the place where the highest positions of the Inca hierarchy (like the same Inca, its relatives, the high priest, and high officials) could enter to pay tribute to their chief god, the sun (Inti in English). In other words, it was the most important Inca temple in that period, even considered a holy land where few people could enter it. The temple was the religious and political center of the Imperial City.

 

 

The Temple was dedicated to the most important gods of the Inca Empire, such as Viracocha (creator god), and the goddess of the Moon “Quilla”, among others. However, the Sun God “Inti” was the god regent temple and the main deity to pay cult there.

Who built the Coricancha? It is one of the first questions that comes to mind. Well, since the time of Manco Capac (The first Inca, chronologically), there was already a temple in the same location called Inticancha, “Inti” means Sun, and “Cancha” means square. Its origin is researched at this moment. Despite some scholars affirming that this temple already existed before the Incas age, others say that Inticancha was a Manco Capac’s construction. Either way, it was not until the arrival of Pachacútec that the construction reached its colossal size and received the name Coricancha. Pachacutec (world transformer in English) re-built the temple, as other important Inca constructions.

 

 

In the same way, as passed time, it was the Inca leader Huayna Capac who gave importance to the site. The Inca ordered the nobility and elite of the Empire to travel to the temple to pay tribute to the Inti God or Punchao (a gold sculpture of a child seated, who represented the noon sun).  Even, some historians affirm that the foreign pilgrims had to take off their flip-flops, and sandals and enter the enclosure barefoot because Coricancha was considered the Holy Land. This led to a concentration of powerful people in the capital. That eventually strengthened the Empire and allowed it to favor the state in its different projects.

 

 

The Incas built the Coricancha using the techniques and architectural styles common to them, and that can be seen repeated in other archaeological sites. Some of its most prominent styles include the trapezoidal shape of its structures, the vertical inclination of the walls, irregular shapes, and rounded edges, among others. All the stones used are of autochthonous origin and include diorite, andesite, and calcareous rocks. The entire Coricancha is a clear example of the excellent stonework that the Incas previously dominated. The ingenuity and masonry skill with which the temple was built is wonderful. It is designed with typical Inca symmetry in mind. One of the most impressive characteristics of the Coricancha and the Inca buildings themselves is their ability to withstand natural disasters such as earthquakes.

According to machutravelperu.com; en.wikipedia.org. 


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