Southern Caribbean Cruising — Panama City; Iglesia de San José

Walking the streets in Panama City

After our visit to the Agua Clara locks our tour continued to Panama City. Here we alighted from the bus in the Old Town near Plaza Herrera, which was our first photo stop on today’s foot tour. The city itself is replete with contradictions between wealth and poverty, with poverty winning out in sheer numbers. The area around Plaza Herrera trended far into the poverty category even if the plaza itself belied that observation.

Plaza Herrera

The plaza takes its name from General Tomás Herrera, who became the president of the short-lived President of the Free State of the Isthmus (18 November 1840 – 31 December 1841) before merged with several other areas to become the Republic of New Granada. General Herrera would later become the president of New Granada, briefly serving from 21 April 21 1854 – 5 August 1854.

General Tomás Herrera in Plaza Herrera

After our brief stay in the plaza, we headed east along Avenida A where just a couple minutes later we approached Iglesia de San José (Church of San José).

Iglesia de San José

The Church of San José is most famous for its altar, hand carved mahogany adorned with gold leaf. It’s a very impressive sight as you first walk through the doors of the church.

San José Church altar

Let’s take a closer look at some of the exquisite details of this incredible piece of art, as well as another piece and some stained glass:

We’re not done yet. As Ron Popeil used to say, “But wait! There’s more!” Off to the right side of the altar is an arched doorway leading to a hidden room containing a vast nativity diorama and some exquisite wood carvings of various religious figures. I’ll just leave you with these stunning images until we continue our Panama City tour on Wednesday:

Слава Україні! (Slava Ukraini!)


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