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San Jose Church (Iglesia San Jose) Tours

San Jose Church (Iglesia San Jose)
Everyone loves a good pirate story, and Panama, a country that has received more than its share of pirate attacks, has plenty of them. Perhaps the most endearing tale to survive to this day is about a church built in the original Panama City in the late 1600s. The intricate altar inside, made of mahogany and covered in gold, had both Colonial and indigenous art influences and was appropriately called the Golden Altar.

According to the legend, English pirate Henry Morgan arrived in Panama in 1671 and then sacked and burned Panama City. He soon turned his attention to the church, which was under construction. Knowing what was to come, a priest darkened the precious golden altar to make people think it was just wood—the pirates believed the ruse and the altar was saved.

The altar was later taken from the destroyed city to the San José Church (Iglesia San Jose) in the new city, which was protected by fortified walls, and has since been restored to its golden beauty, easy for all to visit.

Practical Info

The church is located on Avenida A and Calle 8, near most central Panama City sites. The entrance is free, but opening times vary.
Address: Avenida A and Calle 8, Panama City, Panama
Hours: Daily, hours vary
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2 Tours and Activities to Experience San Jose Church (Iglesia San Jose)

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Panama City: Two Sides of San Felipe

Panama City: Two Sides of San Felipe

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Get acquainted with the two sides Panamá City's historical quarter, San Felipe, on this 4-hour cultural tour. With your local guide, visit the wealthy Spanish Quarter as well as the ethnically diverse pockets where everyday Panamanian citizens lived and worked. In Casco Antiguo, visit Las Bovedas, El Arco Chato and El Altar de Oro of San Jose Church. Walk through formerly dangerous parts of the city, now thriving centers of community and business. Listen to your guide's commentary about the history and culture of the city along the way. Dinner and round-trip transportation from Panamá City hotels are included.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$97.44
From
US$97.44

Panama Tour of the Old Town by Electric Scooter

Panama Tour of the Old Town by Electric Scooter

It is an innovative and fun Tour, we link the latest technology with the knowledge of the History and Culture of the Old Town of Panama. Use our electric scooters to move from one point to another in a fun way and with our audio guide discover the incredible history of this beautiful site. Our Certified Guide will make your experience unforgettable.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$32.00
From
US$32.00

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are San Jose Church (Iglesia San Jose) hours of operation?
A:
San Jose Church (Iglesia San Jose) hours of operation: Daily, hours vary. Buy tickets in advance on Viator. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.
Q:
What's the best way to experience San Jose Church (Iglesia San Jose)?

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