Qorikancha
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A Glittering Past
A Glittering Past
There's no shortage of Inca ruins in the region—after all, that's probably why you're here—but if your schedule in Cusco only permits a visit to one, head to Qorikancha. Once the richest temple in the Inca Empire—in its heyday it was covered in 700 solid gold sheets, and adorned with gold and silver statues—the site is now barren, save for some of the best-preserved stonework in Peru. Wander through the chambers, niches, and courtyards, which now feature a mix of the original 15th-century structure and the subsequent colonial flourishes (after the Spanish conquest of Peru, the site passed into private hands, and then to the Dominicans—whose frescoes adorn the outside courtyard). Photo by Ben Miller/Flickr.
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