One of the
most modern and largest palaces surrounding the great
Qosqo's Main Square was that belonging to Wayna Qhapaq.
That palace, named Amarukancha was awarded to Hernando
Pizarro after the Spanish invasion.
Later the property was bought from the conqueror's heirs by
Diego de Silva and his wife Teresa Orgoñez who donated
it to the Jesuits after their arrival to this city in 1571;
so that they could build the church for their Order. The founder
of the "Society of Jesus" or the Order of Jesuits
was Saint Ignatius of Loyola who was born in Spain in 1491.
Together with some other regular clerics he supported strongly
the counter reform tending to strengthen the church and fight
against the different heretical and schismatic thesis. Jesuits
arrived to Peru in 1568 and subsequently to this city; just
after arriving they began building their first chapel for
"Indians" named "Our Lady of Loreto".
The main church was built later but was destroyed by the earthquake
in 1650. It is not known who designed the present-day church
that was constructed in 17 years, and inaugurated in 1668.
Jesuits became very bad materialists and made very large fortunes
with somewhat malevolent and dark methods. That is why in
1767 the Spanish King Charles III ordered their expulsion
from his domains in America as well as confiscation of all
their properties, art works and jewels; all the most valuable
items were taken to Spain.
The church is mainly made with andesites and has the most
beautiful and well made facade among the churches in the city.
Over its entrance gate is an Immaculate Conception Virgin
carved in berenguela (marble looking material). It has two
external side-chapels leaning to the main church; toward the
north is the Virgin of Loreto chapel (since 1894 it is known
as the Virgin of Lourdes chapel) which today still serves
for cult and where almost always the Lord of Burgos (he was
brought from the demolished Saint Augustine Church) is worshipped.
Toward the south is the chapel of Saint Ignatius of Loyola
that was awarded to the Qosqo's Society of Artisans. Inside,
the church has just one broad nave; at its end is the High
Altar that was carved in cedar wood with a hybrid style by
Diego Martinez de Oviedo, and was completely gilded with gold
flakes by Cristobal Clemente by 1670. That Altar is 21 meters
(69 ft.) high and 12 mts. (39 ft.) wide; in its central part
is the effigy of the Immaculate Conception Virgin, and higher
a canvas representing the Lord's Transfiguration; over it
there is a statue of some unidentified personage of the same
The main nave has also a transept communicating with the two
lateral chapels, six altarpieces with divers styles and a
completely gilded pulpit. On both sides of the High Altar
there are 4 other cedar wood altars, three of them gilded
and very rich. After the restoration works subsequent to the
1986 earthquake, a very interesting underground closed chapel
was discovered under the High Altar. On the upper side, around
the windows of alabaster (Huamanga Stone) there are canvases
representing the life of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, painted
by Marcos Zapata and his helper Cipriano Gutierrez. Inside
the building, on both sides of the main gate there are two
canvases representing Saint Ignatius of Loyola curing sick
people in one of them and victorious over the heretics and
schismatic people that caused the religious reform in the
other. Around here are also two canvases that have a lot of
historic value; that of the northern wall represents the wedding
of Spanish Captain Martin Garcia Oñas de Loyola, who
was nephew of Saint Ignatius of Loyola and captor of the last
Inka Tupaq Amaru I; and Clara Beatriz Qoya, daughter of Sayri
Tupaq and therefore Tupaq Amaru's niece. Clara Beatriz was
the absolute heiress of the Oropesa Marquisate; from this
marriage was born Lorenza Ñusta de Loyola who was married
to Juan Borgia, son of Saint Francis Borgia; whose wedding
is also represented on the other side of the same canvas.
In one side of the painting are Tupaq Amaru and Sayri Tupaq
Inkas, and the princess Clara Beatriz with native clothing;
behind them is a native man holding the "achiwa"
a parasol made of multicolored bird feathers and used just
by the Inka. The canvas on the southern wall represents the
weddings of Beltran Garcia de Loyola with Teresa Idiaquez
and that of Juan Idiaquez with Magdalena de Loyola.
Toward the south of the Saint Ignatius of Loyola chapel is
the building of the Qosqo's San Antonio Abad National University.
That building served originally for the Saint Ignatius of
Loyola University that was part of the Transfiguration College,
created by bull given by Pope Gregory XV in 1621. After that
Jesuits were expelled in 1767 the building served as military
barracks where Jose Gabriel Thupa Amaru was imprisoned; subsequently
it was awarded to the San Antonio Abad (Saint Anthony the
Abbot) University. The Seminar College of San Antonio Abad
was founded in 1598 in its building of Nazarenas square (present
day Hotel Monasterio); a century later, in 1692 a papal document
given by Pope Innocent XII created the San Antonio Abad University
depending from the Seminar College.