Fodor's Expert Review Iglesia de San José

Casco Viejo Religious Building/Site/Shrine

This church is an exact replica of the temple of the same name in Panamá Viejo. It is the sanctuary of the country's famous golden altar, the most valuable object to survive pirate Henry Morgan's razing of the old city. According to legend, a wily priest painted the altar with mud to discourage its theft. Not only did Morgan refrain from pilfering it, but the priest even managed to extract a donation from the pirate. The ornate baroque altar is made of carved mahogany covered with gold leaf. It is the only real attraction of the small church, though it does have several other wooden altars and a couple of lovely stained-glass windows.

Religious Building/Site/Shrine Silversea Cruise

Quick Facts

Av. A at Calle 8

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Free, Mon.–Sat. 9–noon and 2–5, Sun. 8–11:30 am

What’s Nearby