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San Jose Church, Panama City

Categories: Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.3/5 based on 460+ reviews on the web
The whitewashed walls, quaint bell tower, and large wooden door immediately give away the age of San Jose Church, built not long after the first Spanish settlement here in the 16th century. Enter to see the main attraction: its impressive main altar, carved from wood and covered in striking gold leaf. The story goes that when an English pirate attacked the city, the Jesuits painted the altar black to hide its value and convince the insurgents to leave it behind. While the pirates sacked the old town, the altar remained, and takes pride of place to this day. San Jose Church is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our custom trip planner, Panama City Edition.
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  • The Altar of the Church is plated with Gold Leaf. BiG. History has it that the Pirate Morgan had sacked the City. The Church's Priest painted the Altar Black to hide its wealth. When Morgan met the pr...  read more »
  • Our guide took us to this church and all I can say is we were fascinated by its history; especially the story of the "Golden Altar" that legends tell. The guide explained how in 1619 this church was p...  read more »
  • Typical Spanish 17TH-century Church, which by the type of construction is fascinating, the altar all coated in golden saying in his time was Golden is fabulous.
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  • A very unassuming church outside. Inside is the incredible gold altar saved during pirate Henry Morgan's sacking of the first Panama city. More masterfully carved statuary you will find in other churches. This church is all about the alter - a must-see attraction, if you visit Casca Antiguo.
  • "Church of the Golden Altar" is a must to see in Panama, saved from the pirate Capt Morgan by being painted black is the history I heard growing up in Panama. Don't miss it, one of the high lights along with see the canal locks at Miraflores or Panama Viejo, the old town destroyed by Capt Morgan.
  • A small church packed with alters and statues. Main alter covered in gold. Gaudy and beautiful at the same time. Easy access. Quickly in and out. Rough neighborhood but plenty police in area.
  • Beautiful church with a beautiful Altar recommended to tourists
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  • Very nice.
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