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San Jose Church

Panama City, Panama
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As featured in 3 days in Panama City
Ranked #15 of 58 attractions in Panama City
Type: Historic Sites, Religious Sites
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: 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... more » Owner description: 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. « less
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174 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Boquete, Panama
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
11 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2014 NEW

Very pretty church with a gold altar. Lots to look at and spend time in quiet contemplation. Nice and cool to sit inside. Free.

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Fairfield, California
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

the parishioners were very friendly & proud of their very historical place of worship.since it's in Casco Viejo every significant tourist venue is well within walking distance

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Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
5 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2014

The distinctive golden altar at St. Joseph Church was one of the few items saved from Panama Viejo during the 1671 pirate siege. It was buried in mud during the siege and then secretly transported to its present location. If you are visiting Casco Antiguo...please stop by and enjoy the energy at this place.

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Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
20 attraction reviews
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2014

We were lucky that San Jose Church was open. We were told that San Jose Church has been closing at 11:30am and we arrived at 11:15am. We were given a brief explanation about San Jose Church and the Gold Alter before entering the church. After the short visit in the church we only had about 20 minutes to stroll around... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
17 attraction reviews
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2014

There are interesting 18th century wooden statues, paintings, and other religious articles that are of interest. Definitely worth extra effort to visit. Free! Also nice and cool with the ceiling fans on a hot day -- a nice repite!

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Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
127 reviews 127 reviews
58 attraction reviews
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2014

Beautiful church with a lot of history. We were lucky to have several days to stay in old town. The church was not open for viewing when we tried the first few times. We finally were informed of the schedule. The story of saving the alter from Morgan, the pirate, adds to the interesting nature of this church.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
New York
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
18 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2014

This church was amazing. The statues, the arches, the intricate work all around the inside of the church was breathtaking. It showed you how proud the people of Panama are in the way they keep their house of worship.

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West Springfield, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
16 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2014

Every time we are in Casco Viejo we have to visit San Jose Church. It opens around 2 in the afternoon. Sorry, we don't get there early enough in the morning to know when it opens. It is such an exciting story to hear about how the altar was saved. The golden altar is awesome and the pirate story just... More

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MN
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
27 attraction reviews
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014

We were doing a walking tour of Casco Viejo, which was in itself very interesting, as part of Caravan Tours. When we got to the church we were so excited because it was open. It is not always open, so we were very lucky to be able to see this magnificent piece of art. It was saved from the pirate,... More

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Yonkers, New York
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
17 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014

This large,old church is on a narrow street in an area undergiong a lot of construction. Beautiful old church with the famous huge gold alter that was hidden from pirates.

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