Coricancha from Quechua Quri gold and kancha enclosure or temple, ''Golden enclosure'' was the most important temple during the Inca Empire.
Pachacutec, the Inca who started the expansionist period of the Inca, ordered its construction. Built with the finest stonework-green diorite, red and gray andesite-and Inca metallurgy, immense gold-plated walls and decorated with fine gold and silver objects, it was the political-religious focal point. The modality to design this center of power and project its domain was through the highly original system of ceques.
The ceques were forty-one imaginary lines that from the nucleus of the Golden Enclosure opened radially in all directions to organize the ordering of the main cult and that of all the regions, the urban planning of the city, the territorial expansionist design -geographic and social ordering.
From the Coricancha, the ceques regulated the sacred places throughout the region, more than three hundred shrines (huacas) located more than ten kilometers away. These huacas were water sources, hills or huancas-sacred places of origin of the ancestors.
A good part of these huacas fulfilled the functions of astronomical observatories, whose information was recorded and converged in the oracular nucleus of the Coricancha. Centralized information was collected by a priesthood of men and women guardians/messengers of the ancestors and the gods whose altars resided in the Coricancha. They translated the information received into predictions and omens, which in turn was the input to formulate the when, where and how of the ritual ceremonies, the quantity and quality of the offerings and to whom it was appropriate to donate them. That is to say, a whole state government plan dictated by the stars and stars.
Coricancha is perhaps the most important structure that existed in the time of the Incas. This enclosure contains many small temples dedicated to various deities that were destroyed by the Spanish to build, on the original foundations, the convent of Santo Domingo in the year 1540. However, some parts of the original architecture remain. Coricancha was built on top of a small hill since they knew that Cusco was a swamp millions of years ago and also because they wanted to be closer to their god, the Sun.
In this temple you will find enclosures dedicated to various deities such as the rainbow, thunder, moon and stars. It is also important to note that Coricancha is aligned to capture the sunrise on June 21 and the solstice on December 22.
In Coricancha there is a symmetrical trapezoidal door between the temple of the Moon and the temple of the Stars that is also aligned in relation to the sunrise. It is like a sacred path for the sun.
It is said that in the part that is considered the room of the Sun, there was a statue of the supreme god made of pure gold and that the sun on the most important day would emit light to the entire city.
Coricancha was one of the most beautiful temples of the Inca era. No mortar was used in the construction of the walls. They rely solely on the perfect placement and alignment of each stone. This is analogous to the love and unity of a common intention that existed during the time of the Incas.