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Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica of Santa Maria the Ancient

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

7-53, Av. B, Panamá, Provincia de Panamá, Panama

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Cansu
Local tour guide
"Visit the Metropolitan Cathedral in the morning when the light filters through its beautiful stained glass windows – it's a serene experience that's best enjoyed before the crowds arrive. And, if you want to capture the perfect photo, stand in Plaza Mayor just as the sun is setting; the golden hour light illuminates the cathedral's facade magnificently."

What is the Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana)?

The Metropolitan Cathedral, or Catedral Metropolitana, is a beacon of religious and historical significance nestled in the heart of Panama City's Casco Viejo (Old Quarter). This grand edifice is not just a place of worship but also a testament to the city's rich colonial history and cultural heritage. It's a key fixture on the skyline, its twin towers rising majestically, calling to the faithful and historically curious alike.

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History of the Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana)

The story of the Metropolitan Cathedral is as old as the city itself, with its first stone laid in 1688. However, it took over a century for the cathedral to be completed, with its dedication occurring in 1796. This protracted construction period saw the cathedral rise from the vestiges of its predecessor, destroyed by famed pirate Henry Morgan's sacking of the city in 1671. Throughout the years, the cathedral has borne witness to the ebb and flow of Panama's history, undergoing restorations and renovations to preserve its splendor for future generations.

It's not just the building; the plaza where it stands, Plaza de la Independencia, also holds significant historical importance as the site where Panama declared its independence from Colombia in 1903. This act opened a new chapter in the nation's storied past and marked the cathedral as both a spiritual and a patriotic landmark.

Why is the Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana) Important?

The Metropolitan Cathedral stands as a symbol of faith, resilience, and identity for the people of Panama. Since its inception, it has been the epicenter of Catholic life in the country, but its importance transcends religious boundaries. As an architectural marvel, it showcases a blend of neoclassical and colonial styles, embodying the confluence of cultures that characterizes Panama. The cathedral is also the seat of the Archbishop, making it the most important church in the nation.

But the layers of its importance are many. For instance, did you know that the cathedral also houses artifacts and religious art, some of which date back to the Spanish colonization? These pieces provide a tangible connection to the country's formative years and are treasures of both religious and historical significance.

Things to Do & See at the Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana)

Venture inside, and you'll be met with awe-inspiring artistry — from the majestic altar to the intricate stained-glass windows. Take a moment to absorb the peaceful ambiance of the nave, where sunlight filters through with a reverent glow. As you explore, take in the beautifully restored frescoes and imagine the skilled craftsmen who shaped each feature with immense devotion.

Outside, you can stroll around Plaza de la Independencia, where the cathedral stands watch. Not just a place to pass through, the plaza invites you to linger, perhaps to catch one of the many cultural festivals or public ceremonies that take place here throughout the year. Nearby, the cobblestone streets of Casco Viejo beckon, offering a further dive into Panama's past with an array of museums, historic buildings, and cozy cafes to discover.

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Frequently asked questions

What is the history of the Metropolitan Cathedral in Panama City?

The Metropolitan Cathedral, or Catedral Metropolitana, is an iconic historical religious site in Panama City. It's part of the World Heritage Site of Casco Viejo and stands as a symbol of the religious and architectural heritage of the country.

How can I visit the Metropolitan Cathedral in Panama City?

Visitors can reach the Metropolitan Cathedral by way of Panama City's public transportation or by car. It is located in the Casco Viejo sector, which is a very popular area for tourists.

What architectural style is the Metropolitan Cathedral in Panama City built in?

The Metropolitan Cathedral in Panama City exhibits a colonial architectural style with baroque elements and is considered one of the largest and most beautiful cathedrals in Central America.

Are there any guided tours available for the Metropolitan Cathedral in Panama City?

Guided tours may be available through various tourist agencies in Panama City, especially as part of a larger tour of the historic Casco Viejo area where the cathedral is located.

What are the visiting hours for the Metropolitan Cathedral in Panama City?

The visiting hours for the Metropolitan Cathedral can vary, so it's recommended to check with the local tourist information center or the cathedral's official website for the most up-to-date information on opening times.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

7-53, Av. B, Panamá, Provincia de Panamá, Panama

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps