The massive Golden Altar of Iglesia San Jose is remarkable. The towering structure isn’t actually solid gold–it’s carved mahogany that has been covered in gold leaf (and paint). but looks opulent
Perhaps the most remarkable is the story about why it’s still around to see. It survived the pirate Henry Morgan’s looting of Panama Viejo in 1671. Legend has it that a priest disguised it by painting it black and then convinced Morgan that it had already been stolen. After Panama Viejo was abandoned in the wake of Morgan’s raid, the altar was later moved to its present location in Iglesia San Jose, one of Casco Viejo’s many churches.