South America Peru

and church of St. Dominic

A brief description.

The Spanish invasion
in Peru. The Inca-city Cuzco.


The Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro (1471/75-26.06.1541) invaded Peru in 1532 and occupied the Inca-city Cuzco in September 1533.

Maria Rostworoski means it was the first Inka, Manco Qhapaq who built the original temple with the name 'Inticancha', Sun Palace. But, it was the ninth, Pachacuti Inca Yuganqui who since 1438 reconstructed, enlarged, improved and modernized the most important religious complex of the vast Incan Society, with the name 'Corricancha', Golden Palace.

After the Spaniards ransacked the temples and emptied them of gold (which they melted down, of course), Francisco Pizarro's half-brother Juan was given the command of Cuzco and the eviscerated Temple of the Sun in 1534. 


The Dominican priory and church.


Juan Pizarro donated the Temple of the Sun to the Dominican Order, represented by Vicente Valverde, O.P., (+11 November 1541), first bishop of Cuzco-City, since 8 January 1537. But after the fall of Cuzco the allied Inca's attempted an attack on their holy city from February till August 1536, and the city burned down.

Only the stone walls of the temples were saved. Juan died soon after, though, at the battle at Sacsayhuamán,


The vicar-provincial of the Dominicans in Peru, Juan Olías, O.P. immediately executed the construction of their priory and the Saint Dominic Church over the most important Temple of the Sun, demolishing it almost completely in order to adapt it to its new use.


With approbation of Pope Innocent XII (Bul: Aeternae Sapientiae, 20 June 1690) and of the Spanish King (6 October 1690) the University Real y Pontificia Universidad de San Antonio Abad de Cuzco. was founded in this priory on 1st March 1692

That original church was destroyed by an earthquake on March 31, 1650. Subsequently, the present-day structure was raised as well as the tower in 1780
, with an elaborate baroque under the direction of Fray Francisco Muñoz.


On May 21st. 1950 another violent earthquake destroyed a large part of the priory and church as well as its tower, leaving uncovered many Incan structures and the interior area of the "Solar Round Building". By that time a strong "Indigenist Movement" suggested the relocation of the church and recovery of the Sun Temple.


Since 1975, the priory and church were reconstructed; at the same time some archaeological digs were performed too.

Around the archways of the cloister there is a collection of canvases, representing the life of Saint Dominic Guzman painted by anonymous local Cusquenian School artists.


In the library of the priory the historic drama ‘Ollantay’(Allanta or Ollanta) in Quechnas language of the Incas is conserved, noted by Diego of Hojeda, O.P.







On the stamp the back of the church on the walls of the temple 'Inticancha’, Temple of the Sun.


Peru 1974, Mi 966, Sc C399.







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