There are larger and more ornate churches in Casco Viejo, but none can beat Iglesia San Francisco de Asis on location. Standing on the waterfront, next to the Panamanian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and across the street from the National Theater, its exterior has been carefully restored. And with most of the buildings of Casco Viejo being only a few stories high, the bell tower of Iglesia San Francisco de Asis towers high above, visible from all around.
The church was originally built in the 17th century. Like many of the other major buildings in the neighborhood, it has suffered at the hands of fire: once in 1737 and again in 1756.
It stands on the eastern side of Plaza Simón Bolívar, a small but scenic and historically interesting square on the northeast corner of Casco Viejo.