When you set out to construct a temple to your most important god, piety dictates that you pull out all the stops. That's exactly what the Incas did when constructing the Koricancha (or Qorikancha) Temple in Cuzco: a house of worship to none other than the sun itself. Once covered in sheets of gold to reflect our star's luminous brilliance, Koricancha served not only as home to some 4,000+ priests and aides, but also as an Inca observatory from which to study the stars above.
Historically, however, such works of beauty can never be left unaltered, and such was the case with this incredible structure. Looted, demolished and rebuilt into the Santo Domingo Church by the Spanish, only Koricancha's ingeniously designed curved wall is visible today which, in a small bit of poetic justice, has remained unscathed by the earthquakes that have so damaged the newer, Baroque-style edifice. When you pay a visit to the site, see if you can imagine the lost temple whose golden brilliance was once described as "fabulous beyond belief".