• Most important church in the city, on the main plaza
  • Originally constructed of wood in 1535, it was destroyed by fire in 1540, and rebuilt
  • The stone structure was started in 1619 and took 16 years to complete
  • In traditional fashion, it was designed so that its two side chapels gave the cathedral a cross-like shape when viewed from the heavens
  • The bell tower was at the back of the church and may have served double duty as a watchtower for the Casas Reales
  • The main facade, which faced the Plaza Mayor (Grand Plaza), is gone – only the walls remain
  • 115 steps to the top, and three levels with information plaques
  • Great panoramic views of Panama Viejo and modern Panama City
  • The tower is too fragile to bear the weight of a replica of the old bell that rang out across the city during colonial times, so a speaker which chimes at 6:30am, 12:30pm, and 6:30pm, has been installed


Back to Panama Viejo or on to 12. Cabildo