Iglesia de San José, Panama City

4.6
#4 of 31 in Historic Sites in Panama
Historic Site · Religious Site
Create an itinerary including Iglesia de San José
The whitewashed walls, quaint bell tower, and large wooden door immediately give away the age of Iglesia de San José, 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. Put Iglesia de San José and other Panama City attractions into our Panama City travel route planning site, and watch your holiday take shape.
Create a full itinerary - for free!

Iglesia de San José reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
669 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • On a hot day, walking into this magnificent building is a treat - the ornate tall ceilings are great, and it’s free to get in too! 
    On a hot day, walking into this magnificent building is a treat - the ornate tall ceilings are great, and it’s free to get in too!  more »
  • Lovely church with an ornate alter. Do visit all of the nooks and go to the room to the right of the alter. One thing that does need mentioning.......the bathrooms. The one I used (there were only 2....  more
    Lovely church with an ornate alter. Do visit all of the nooks and go to the room to the right of the alter. One thing that does need mentioning.......the bathrooms. The one I used (there were only 2....  more »
Google
  • The church was absolutely wonderful, had a lovely smell and a huge Christians crib/nativity scene.
  • Great place to visit , know some history and walk around

Plan your trip to Panama City

  • Get a personalized trip
    A full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place. Everyone on the same page.