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Religious Art in Panama. The Colonial Religious Art Museum (Museo de Arte Religioso Colonial) is an architectural jewel from the XVII century. Although damaged by two fires, it remains custodian of some of the treasures of the colonial churches of the American Continent, keeping within its exhibition rooms objects crafted by the best goldsmiths of Quito, Lima and Spain.
This museum located in Casco Antiguo, is part of the Santo Domingo Convent, which belongs to the list of 18 museums that are managed by the National Historical Heritage Office of the National Culture Institute (INAC) and is the only colonial religious museum in Panama.
INAC, through the Casco Antiguo Office, has carried out the complete restoration of this building which was constructed in 1760, after the second fire affected the Convent.
As part of the restoration process, bioclimatic urns which protect the artifacts were installed, giving them the perfect environment.
One of the museum’s main attractions is its beautiful altarpiece covered with gold leaves with a lovely image of Our Lady of the Rosary.
Also on display are three bells from the XVII and XIX, which belonged to the La Merced, Santa Ana and Nata churches. There are also carefully carved images of the Virgin Mary, the Resurrected Christ and the small Saint John the Evangelist.
Currently visitors have the opportunity to observe around 70 colonial religious art pieces from different churches in the interior, as well as paintings with highly sacred subjects such as the oils of San Luis Gonzaga, Santa Barbara and San José, which were the property of the richest families in Panama City and the interior.
The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 8am to 5pm. Entrance $0.75 for adults and children $0.25.