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Greetings from Panama! My name is Marina Ehrman and I have been a professional tour guide and promoter for Panama Tourism and Travel Company since 2005. I love what I do and am proud to share what my country has to offer. It is filled with endless leisure and commercial attractions, friendly happy people who open their doors to all visitors. Panama is a country of incomparable natural beauty with a variety of tourist attractions, beautiful beaches in the Pacific and Caribbean. The tropical climate year round with its diversified flora, fauna and indigenous groups make it one of the most important of Ecotourism in Latin America. I invite you to know our country’s history, culture and also enjoy the cuisine, folklore and traditions that only a place in the world can provide………Panama! Contact me and I’ll organize your visit and will be happy to welcome you in Panama. For more information on Panama, follow my Facebook page and my blog. Visit

San Jose Church & Gold Altar

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Famous Gold Altar of the Church of San Jose in Old Quarter is considered one of the greatest treasures of Panama. The church located on Avenida A near the corner of Calle 8 in the Old Quarter of Panama City. The famous "Gold Altar " was designed in the seventeenth century in Baroque style. Originally was located in the temple of the same name San Jose in Panama La Vieja, which pertained to religious Augustionos. In 1671 the English Privateer Henry Morgan attacked and sacked the this settlement. The Order of Augustines decided to move their church to the new town and in 1675 inaugurated a new monastery and church. The altar was completely renovated in 1915 by Mr Donderis.

Unfortunately I have to disappoint your hopes, but the altar is not realy gold. This massive baroque altar is carved in mahogany and covered in gold leaf. If you take a trip to Old Quarter , do not forget to visit the San Jose Church and admire the majestic beauty of the famous altar. 

One of the things you might want to see when you visit Panama is the famous golden altar of the Church of San Jose in Casco Viejo. The Church of San Jose is a small almost nondescript building on a narrow street in the San Felipe district of Panama City. Inside is the famous Golden Altar, which is made of carved wood and is covered in gold flake. Commonly known in Spanish as the "Altar de Oro" (Golden Altar), it was originally in a church in "Old Panama." When English pirate Henry Morgan attacked the city the jesuits painted the altar black to hide the gold. The pirates left it alone, thinking it was worthless. After Morgan sacked and burned "Old Panama" the Jesuit monks of the Order of St. Agustine moved the altar to the new church and its present location.


When Morgan and his men's approach the settlement the priest tried a desperate strategy to preserve the altar. He painted it completely black. When Morgan entered the church the priest was able to convince him that the alter before him was made of simple wood not gold. Morgan of course demanded what had happened to the "other altar." The priest told him that the famous altar had been stolen by another pirate. He even convinced Henry Morgan to donate some money to a fund to replace the altar. Morgan is supposed to have said to the priest, "I don't know why, but I think you are more of a pirate than I am."

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