Iglesia de San José

sights / Religious

Iglesia de San José information

Panama City , Panama
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This church protects the famous Altar de Oro (Golden Altar), the sole relic salvaged after Henry Morgan sacked Panamá Viejo.

According to local legend, when word came of the pirate’s impending attack, a priest attempted to disguise the altar by painting it black. The priest told Morgan that the famous altar had been stolen by another pirate, and even convinced Morgan to donate handsomely for its replacement. Morgan is said to have told the priest, ‘I don’t know why, but I think you are more of a pirate than I am.’ Whatever the truth, the baroque altar was later moved from the old city to the present site.