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it was erected and as the supports were about to be removed, the architect, who was a monk, stood beneath the arch and prayed that if it should not stand for all time, it might then fall upon his head.

La Merced stood near the landward gate of the old city wall, portions of which are still to be found among the buildings of Central Avenue, opposite the church.

While following the Moorish style, that prevails in all the churches of Panama, La Merced is distinctly original in design. The material employed in its construction is, in the main, a species of sandstone, but in parts stone brought from the ruins of the church of the same name in Panama Viejo was used, as the inscriptions upon it testify. These are, in some instances, upside down, owing to the careless manner in which the old tablets were inserted in the new walls.

Flanking the entrance are two stone chapels of pure Oriental type, surmounted by domed cupolas. One of these buildings is devoted to mortuary functions; the other contains a shrine, over which hangs a lamp that is said to have burned continuously for more than fifty years. The entrance is closed by an ironbarred gate, in front of which one or two kneeling figures may be seen at almost any hour of the day or night.

The great side-doors, facing the Avenue, are studded with beautifully carved heads in brass and two enormous knockers, or handles, are formed in the shape of brazen angels. La Merced has the distinction of being the oldest church in Panama, after San Felipe Neri.

The church of Santa Ana bears every appearance of decay and neglect, inside and out. It was erected about one hundred and fifty years ago by El Conde de Santa Ana, whose bones repose in the vault. Judging from the inscription and coats of arms on the floor of the interior, the church was a sort of family appurtenance for several generations, and probably sank into poverty with the decline of its patrons' fortunes. The rich silver sacramental service, the lecterns of the same metal, and other property of the church sadly reflect a by-gone prosperity.

In one thing, at least, — and that no small matter, - Santa Ana is richer than the other churches of Panama. Its archives, going back to the earliest days of the city, are intact;

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whereas, in every other case the church records and other documents have been mutilated by worms, destroyed, or lost.

The ruins of the old Jesuit College and Monastery extend along Avenida B, for a distance of about one hundred yards, and oocupy almost the entire block behind. In places, detached portions of the ruined walls, twenty feet or more in height, stand on the very edge of the sidewalk, a palpable menace to life and limb. Shops and small dwellings have been erected in convenient corners of the ruins where economy of construction could be effected by using the original walls. The remains of this once splendid building occupy a large tract of ground in the heart of the city. Nevertheless, it is not without regret that one learns that the determination of the Government to tax church property has decided the owners to clear this site and devote it to modern improvements. In these days we are moving away from former ages so rapidly that few tangible connections remain.

This building was completed early in the eighteenth century, and was the largest and most imposing edifice in the city at the time. It was made of stone and brick and rose to the

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