Dating back to 1680, La Iglesia de la Merced sits in the heart of Casco Viejo, just a couple of blocks from Independence Square. It's weathered stone facade is made of stones recovered from the abandoned original old city of Panama, Panama Viejo, and is flanked by two gleaming white stucco bell towers, with bells chiming every 15 minutes.
The decorations inside are relatively restrained, with exposed wooden ceiling and a tastefully tiled floor. In alcoves around the edge are a number of statues dedicated to saints and religious figures, some more tastefully crafted than others but all of them well maintained.
Particularly striking is a statue of María de Cervelló (also known as María del Socorro) holding a ship in her hand. She was a 13th-century
Photos of La Iglesia de la Merced
Spanish saint widely credited with posthumously protecting ships on the high seas against wild weather.
Travel Advice for Panama
You can find the latest U.S. Department of State travel advisories and information for Panama (such as entry visa requirements and vaccination requirements) here.
Health & Vaccinations
The CDC makes country-specific recommendations for vaccinations and health for travelers. You can find their latest information for Panama here.