Thursday, October 22, 2009

inca temple converted

Qorikancha was the main temple of Q'osqo (Cusco), the capitol of the Inca Empire (1438-1532). It was a spectacular temple with golden gardens - literally golden - stalks of corn were made from gold, and rooms to honor the celestial bodies. When the Spanish arrived in 1533 this temple and its golden interior became one of their greatest prizes. Today the Convento de Santo Domingo del Cusco is in places - interlocked- in an architectural syncretism with Qorikancha's original stonework.

An earthquake in 1950 revealed Inca walls that had been hidden by later Spanish construction. The structure looks exactly like two religions and cultures joined, but remaining distinct. The seams are obvious, the stone cuts differ in style and precision, but it all holds together, serving as a museum, art gallery, home to Dominican friars, and physical reminder that cultures are layered.

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