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  • Excellent48%
  • Very good38%
  • Average12%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
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“golden altar”(51 reviews)
“gold alter”(12 reviews)
“henry morgan”(14 reviews)
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.
Suggested duration: < 1 hour
As featured in 3 Days in Panama City
Avenida A & Calle 8, Panama City, Panama
+507 228-8943
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All reviews golden altar gold alter henry morgan casco viejo beautiful altar gold leaf de oro gold plated nativity scene old town lots of history walking tour pirates priest legend baroque statues
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1 - 10 of 263 reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago

Fascinating detail on a large (miniaturized) scale. There are signs directing to the inner room, but you might miss them if you get bored with the initial rooms off the main sanctuary.

Thank twbriscoe
Reviewed 1 week ago

was impressed by the altars here. the day I came there were many children rehersing a performance. worth a quick visit

Thank Yuanxi Z
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Part of our city tour we stopped off at San Jose church. Restored church that’s mostly for tourists is free to go in. The alter was once made of all gold now just plated.

Thank nhvacabadfood
Reviewed August 22, 2018

A beautiful and sacred site. The golden alter was amazing. We have visited in the evening for concerts, but the daytime was really nice, also.

Thank Mary P
Reviewed August 21, 2018

This church's gold was save by the Priests, who covered it with tar, so The Pirate Henry Morgan would not loot it as he did almost everything else in Panama. Nothing like it!

Thank Marcia H
Reviewed June 28, 2018

This is probably the most beautiful church in the old town in terms of its highly-decorated high altar (altar de oro). In addition to the altar, the church also has a very large nativity scene that features many different Bible stories. It is almost like...More

Thank The_Traveling_Expat
Reviewed May 27, 2018

I went to San Jose because I had been told that the gilded altar had been hidden from Morgan the pirate. However, the plaque at the front of the church explained that the altar had been gilded much later than the sack of Panama. That...More

Thank ecmenendez
Reviewed March 20, 2018

Incredible church. Absolutely gorgeous inside. But be careful not to overdress like we did when attending a wedding 4 years ago...there is no AC. But worth the sweat.

Thank pajaritosteeves
Reviewed March 14, 2018

Not only is the golden alter beautful but this is one of 3 churches in Casco Viejo that have the most elaborate Nativity Scenes within the church. You need to ask about it because it is in a back room but well worth your time.

Thank Tony L
Reviewed March 10, 2018

very nice, we enjoyed the peaceful visit, make the time for a service if possible, get the real appreciation for the place

Thank Ken J
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Questions & Answers
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Elaine H
April 6, 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Jodi F | Reviewed this property |
It is free and open to public
Allen B
December 11, 2016|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from rhamba k | Reviewed this property |
Sorry dont know
Sara G
January 9, 2015|
Response from Grace H |
Hi Sara the cost is free and is open all day im not really sure for the hours maybe from 12:00 pm until 8:00 pm.