Cathedral, historical old town, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Panama City, Panama, Central America. Constructed in 1674, the Metropolitana Cathedral was until 2003 in a critical state of disrepair. Recently restored in 2003 at a cost of 4 million dollars, the Cathedral is now a major attraction in Casco Viejo, Panama which is undergoing a transformation into one of Panama's prime locations for art galleries, restraunts, and high end pieces of real estate. The magnificent Catedral de Panamá, one of the largest in Central America, was completed in 1796 and practically abandoned until a major renovation in 2003. Today it stands over Plaza Catedral (Plaza de la Independencia) and is one of the main points of interest in Casco Viejo. The two towers on either side of the main entrance are encrusted with mother of pearl from the Pearl Islands and offer an interesting architectural contrast to the immense stone entrance wall and wooden doors. The interior is vast but modestly adorned apart from the impressive marble alter.