El Carmen Church in Panama

Snapshot of la Iglesia del Carmen in Panama City, Panama following the Gothic architectural style. It is one of the most beautiful churches in Panama. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

Panama is predominantly a Roman Catholic country.  It is estimated that 75 to 85 percent of the population identifies itself as Roman Catholic and 15 to 25 percent as evangelical Christian.  The Roman Catholic religion came from Spain, which was the superpower of the XVIth century which colonized the country and the rest of Central and South America with the exception of Brazil.  Brazil was colonized by Portugal.

La Iglesia del Carmen is one of the most beautiful and most visited church in Panama by international tourists.  It is often confused with the Metropolitan cathedral which is another impressive building.

The name of this church is Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Carmen (Church of our Lady of Mount Caramel).  It is in the heart of Panama City, and considered by many as one of the most treasured religious icons in Panama inspired by medieval Gothic architecture.  As its name indicates, the church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Mount Caramel (or Carmen).  This  church  is the only Gothic architectural style building in the country.

This structure was built by the congregation of the Carmelites which have been in Panama since 1940.  The first stone was placed on July 7, 1947 and the church was inaugurated on July 16, 1953, even though the termination of the building was two years later when the two imposing towers were finished.

La Iglesia del Carmen is an imitation of the Gothic architectural style which flourished during the Middle Ages, and is perhaps the most beautiful architecture style conceived for sacred art.

The structure includes two slender and elaborated towers which stretches upwards towards the sky with the purpose of elevating to heavens the prayers of the people.  It symbolizes the extended hands of a man to embrace God.  According to architect Alberto Arosemena, the Iglesia del Carmen was inspired on the Gothic style of the late XIV century representative of Toledo, Spain.

If you love architecture and have the opportunity of living in Panama or in transit through the country, I fully recommend you to plan a visit to this wonderful example of Gothic architecture.  It really gives you a feeling of humbleness badly needed in present times of excess of arrogance.  Good Day.

Note:  I apologize for the strange inclination of the structure.  I tried to correct this defect, but no joy.  I guess it was the way I positioned my camera in a slanted manner.  I’m sorry.


3 thoughts on “El Carmen Church in Panama”

  1. No problem with the slant – the beauty of the church shines through. There’s something about white churches against a blue sky that makes me happy. This is a lovely example – no wonder you’re so proud of it!

  2. Morning Linda:

    In my opinion, this Gothic church is the most beautiful structure in the country. It’s stunning to see how solid materials like cement and plaster seem to float delicately in open space.

    Sorry again, for the lopsided picture. Promise to do better next time.



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