Discover international travel for the over 50's and take a trip to visit the sites of San Felipe, the current location of
Panama government headquarters. Its main attraction is the golden altar of Saint Joseph's Church
Tags:Discover San Felipe Panama,Panama government headquarters,Panama restored buildings,Saint Josephs Church in San Felipe,San Felipe church,TheSeasonedTraveler,george bauer,seasoned traveler panama,seasoned traveler san felipe,travel for senior citizens
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Male: The destruction of the old town, Lade in 1673 to construction of a newer town, San Felipe which is not called Casco Antiguo. It juts out into the Bay of Panama, west of downtown. This enclave was never sacked because it was protected by walls. Today, the government of Panama is headquartered here as is the national theater and some marvelously restored homes in gentrified neighborhoods. The Church of St. Philip Neri which hardly looks like a house of worship is one of the oldest structures in Casco Antiguo. At Independence Plaza, construction of the neoclassic baroque cathedral began some time after 1673. It is Panama’s second cathedral and there are no pirates in sight. This area is vibrant, narrow streets mean people tend to walk. Children on class trips come to visit the important sites and tourists flock in to see the most beautiful parts of Casco Antiguo. One of those who lives and works here now is Ruben Blades, a salsa musician and composer. In the 1980s, he turned to acting and has appeared in several films, among them the Milagro Beanfield War, Cradle will Rock, All the Pretty Horses and others. Then he decided to come home. Blades ran unsuccessfully for president of Panama in 1994. Now, he is the minister of tourism and he has a message for outsiders about Panama. Mr. Blades: What I would like for north Americans to understand is that Panama is here. We are more than happy to have you come and you’re coming back home in a way. We’ve been here all these decades. Male: And here’s a real treasure in Casco Antiguo, the Golden Altar of St. Joseph Church. IT is made of gold and has a story to tell. The Saxon pirate Morgan was said to be pillaging Panama so some of those connected to the church removed the golden altar the gold columns and submerged them in the sea. Morgan came to the church but reportedly took nothing and departed. The altar was restored to its position and it remains there to this day.