Peru wedding and honeymoon, 1999. Seattle reception, 2000.
The Incan ruin of Coricancha forms the base of the colonial church of Santo Domingo. Coricancha means Golden Courtyard in Quechuan, the language of the Incas. Until the arrival of the conquistadors, this was the Inca's richest temple, as well as an observatory for celestial activities. The temple walls were lined with over 700 solid gold sheets, each weighing about 2 kg. When the Spaniard, Pizarro, landed in Peru in the early 1500's, he wasted no time in pillaging this site of all the gold and other treasures. In the attempt to convert the Incas to catholicism, they destroyed Incan ceremonial statues, mummies, altars and built churches on top of these sacred sites. The site was bequeathed to the Dominicans in 1536 A.D. and has remained in their possession ever since. It is now an unsual combination of Inca and colonial architecture.