The Church and Santo Domingo Convent in Cusco is located in the district, province and region of Cusco. The temple of Santo Domingo, is an important construction, because it is built on an Inca structure: the Coricancha, also known as the Temple of the Sun, which shows it as one of the religious structures that were built with the intention to contribute to the extirpation of idolatries.
The Santo Domingo Convent in Cusco was built at the beginning of the second half of the sixteenth century, and as proof of its construction, in order to end the idolatries of the area, in addition to being built on an Inca construction, the main altar of the It is also located and imposed by being placed on the main shrine of the pre-Hispanic complex.
Despite the fact that the construction of the temple began in the 16th century, its complexity means that it was only completed in the 17th century. Although the Catholic temple was built on the Qorikancha, the previous structure was not destroyed as was done with other similar temples, but the structure was underexposed, which is why, to date, visits to the Qorikancha, form part of the attractions of the resort.
Although the construction of the temple concluded in the seventeenth century, it underwent modifications over the years, in such a way that the tower that accompanies it is a structure a century later. A detail that stands out in this part of the church is the bell tower that it possesses and that contrasts with the initial body of the tower, since while the latter is of notoriously austere design, the bell tower wastes in design, like any typical structure of baroque trend.
As is known, or is intuited, the main effigy of the temple is that of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, which is why, one of the pieces of art that most stands out of the internal set of the church, is the bust inspired by this Catholic saint. The work is a 17th century piece that was made by an Indian craftsman. As part of the internal decoration of the temple, other effigies such as that of San Martín de Porres, among others, also stand out.
In relation to the Santo Domingo Convent in Cusco, this structure that accompanies the temple is historically important, since it is the first Dominican convent that was formed in the country. A few years ago the library of this important convent was opened to the public, allowing the visitor to access a valuable collection of texts mainly oriented to history, archeology, and humanities.
In the same way, the historical character of the complex has made it open as a museum, which can be visited, from Monday to Saturday, from early hours, until 5:30 in the afternoon, and on Sundays until 2 in the afternoon. The temple, on the other hand, can be visited until 7:30 at night, outside of mass hours.
The Santo Domingo Convent in Cusco is located next to the entrance door to the Coricancha Temple. You can get there walking from the Plaza de Armas of Cusco.
The exact address is: calle Ahuacpinta 659-A, Cusco.
It is open every day of the year from 6 in the morning to 8 at night.
After the sacking of the Coricancha temple by the Spanish in the 16th century, as happened with all Inca temples, a religious order was in charge of the construction of a Catholic religious temple to replace the Inca gods with those of the West.
It was Juan Pizarro (brother of Francisco Pizarro) who ceded the Coricancha to the congregation of the Dominicans in 1534. They built the church on the ruins of the Inca site. The construction of the religious temple took approximately one hundred years.
The church of Santo Domingo del Cusco suffered severe damage after the earthquake of 1650. The same happened with the earthquake of 1950. The reconstructions took several years to take its current form in 3 naves with a dome and various ornaments of wood, gold and silver .
Despite all the earthquakes, the Inca site of Coricancha did not suffer any damage.
The Santo Domingo Convent in Cusco was founded on the foundations of the famous «Inti court» in 1534. The current Santo Domingo Temple and Convent are built on the Temple of the Sun and the Qoricancha respectively. The Catholic Temple has therefore been erected on the same Inca Temple, as if to demonstrate the destruction and annulment of the ancient cult, today it is the apse of the Dominican temple.
The current church has three naves and a construction platform in the shape of a Greek Cross, the facade is of Plateresque characteristics and the tower of the church is of Baroque characteristic with a Churrigueresque tendency.
Both the church and the Dominican convent were built on the structure of the Qoricancha (golden enclosure), the main Inca temple (dedicated to the cult of the sun) and whose interior walls, according to the chroniclers, were covered by sheets of gold.
What to see
The baroque architecture of the exterior of the temple.
Canvases of the walls made by the ‘Cusco school’. They highlight ‘The life of San Vicente Ferrer’ and ‘The life of Santo Domingo de Guzmán’.
The Baroque Pulpit.
The tower of the stone church, a masterpiece of colonial stonework.
How to go?
Entrance to the church of Santo Domingo is free during mass hours, which are: in the morning (7 a.m.) and at night (7 p.m.).
Outside of mass hours, an entrance ticket must be paid at the same door. The approximate cost is 15 Peruvian soles (5 US dollars).
At the entrance door there are tourist guides who offer a tour of the temple explaining every detail of the architecture, canvases and more.
Price to enter the Church of Santo Domingo and Coricancha
There are a couple of options for visiting the Coricancha museum. It consists of the following:
One day ticket: 15 soles ($ 5 USD) for adults
Comprehensive Tourist Ticket: 130 soles ($ 40 USD) for adults, which allows access to 16 attractions in Cusco and the Sacred Valley for 10 days, including Coricancha.
Discounts are also offered for children and students. Also, if you want to see some, but not all of the attractions included in the Comprehensive Tourist Ticket, there are Partial Tourist Tickets available at a lower cost.
In the Church of Santo Domingo and Coricancha museum, you can see mummies, sacred idols, textiles, sculptures and more from ancient Inca times. Can visit:
Monday to Saturday: From 8:30 a.m. at 5:30 p.m.
Sunday: From 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Keep in mind that entry to the Coricancha museum may be limited on holidays.
What is Coricancha and where is it located?
Coricancha, also known as Koricancha, Qoricancha or Qorikancha, is an ancient temple that was the most important in the Inca empire. The name translates to Golden Enclosure in Quechua.
Built over the Coricancha temple is the Santo Domingo Convent, which was built by the Spanish in 1633.
Both Coricancha and the Santo Domingo convent are located two blocks from the Plaza de Armas at the intersection of Avenida El Sol and Calle Santo Domingo.
Visiting Cusco is a real adventure whose protagonist will be yourself, instead of a memorable experience, that is why Cusco is definitely one of the most incredible cities with a great variety of archaeological centers and tours such as Sacred Valley, Camino Inca or Machu Picchu. To enjoy an unforgettable experience, contact Inka Trail Backpacker, a company that will better assist you during your visit, of course it is always with the necessary advice for you and yours as well as the guarantee, responsibility and security that characterizes us. If you visit the city of Cusco another impressive destinations that you can visit are the tour to rainbow mountain peru or the humantay lake tour from cusco, which only takes one day. But if you are gonna to stay more days in Cusco, other archaeological places you can know will be the choquequirao trek peru, the salkantay trek to machu picchu, and the classic inca trail 4 days 3 nights.