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San Jose Church

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Address: Avenida A & Calle 8, Panama City, Panama
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Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Fee: No
Description:

Built soon after the first Spanish settlement in the 16th century, this...

Built soon after the first Spanish settlement in the 16th century, this small church features the famous Golden Altar (Altar de Oro), which is made entirely of pure gold.

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$105*
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Panama City and Canal Sightseeing Tour
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 385 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 177
    Excellent
  • 154
    Very good
  • 48
    Average
  • 3
    Poor
  • 3
    Terrible
Unassuming from the outside, Impressive inside

This church looks nothing from the outside, yet once you enter, it's a completely different story. Lots of history behind the golden altar. A must see when visiting the Casco... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed yesterday
WEISSBIER
,
JAPAN

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385 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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  • Spanish first
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English first
JAPAN
Level Contributor
347 reviews
91 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 201 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

This church looks nothing from the outside, yet once you enter, it's a completely different story. Lots of history behind the golden altar. A must see when visiting the Casco Viejo.

Helpful?
Thank WEISSBIER
Hillsborough, North Carolina
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

For our 50th wedding anniversary, my wife and I traveled to Panama in late January 2016 to join a Caravan tour (Chicago-based) of the city and country. We found out that some of the sights of Panama City were not on Caravan's itinerary so we flew to Panama City a day early and booked expat and Kentuckian Joey Bonura of... More 

Helpful?
Thank Marshall W
Melbourne, Florida
Level Contributor
40 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

historically valuable site where locals placed the gold altar facade to prevent it from being taken by Capt Morgan, et al. designed as to be non-removable in one piece.

Helpful?
Thank Paul V
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

I'm a seeker of history, so things like this is always a plus. the beauty of the architecture and colorful arts...nice!

Helpful?
Thank RoniBuni
newton, nj
Level Contributor
105 reviews
71 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

This Casco Viejo church has a beautiful golden Baroque altar that according to legend was saved from Captain Morgan's greed by being covered in mud. When the pirate left the priest was able to extract money from the pirate. The altar is now clean and resplendent in all its glory.

Helpful?
Thank torres2200
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

The church looks very nice on the inside, very neat and ornate, the wall at the alter shimmers of gold in the dimly lit church yes this is a must see while in the old town

Helpful?
Thank Keith W
Sedona, Arizona
Level Contributor
390 reviews
131 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Nothing really special. Except for it's location in the old city. The area is what makes this visit worthwhile.

Helpful?
Thank dps_Sedona
London
Level Contributor
22 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Simple but beautiful inside, a very prayerful place, rea presence and worth a visit. Try a few of the Churches in the old city area, they are very beautiful, as opposed to the sadly derelict old Cathedral. The Bishops seat is in one of these churches, so look out for his coat of arms. Inside is the best Feel and... More 

Helpful?
Thank MarcusGB9
Manistique, Michigan
Level Contributor
158 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2015

When In Panama, this is a must see, not only the Golden Alter at San Jose Church Beautiful, but has a lot of history as well, and it's in the historic Casco Viejo. Very impressive. Well worth the visit.

Helpful?
Thank jthayer219
The Valley, Anguilla
Level Contributor
158 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 169 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2015

It was a rainy day, the streets was flooded but we had to visit the Golden Altar at San Jose Church built in the 18th Century, then remodeled in the 19th Century. Fortunately for us, there was no Mass being held at the time since it is still an active Church up until today. We were able to get up... More 

Helpful?
Thank MissBonafide

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