Mom and I got to Panama City a day early for the conference so we could take in a tour of the city.
There is some great history there – like with pirates and conquistadors and old city walls and plazas and very old churches.
Panama City was founded in 1519 by a Spanish governor not long after Balboa first saw the Pacific. Although the Spanish settlement quickly became an important center of government and church authority, the city was ransacked and destroyed in 1671 by the English pirate Sir Henry Morgan, leaving only the stone ruins of Panamá Viejo – pictured below. The tower has been restored so visitors can climb to the top and get a good view of the ruins and the city.
After Panama Viejo was destroyed, the Old Town of Panama City was developed – now called Casco Viejo – in 1671. It was constructed as a walled city on a peninsula off of Panama City to protect its settlers against another siege. This is a very unique part of the city because many of the original building structures still stand today – many are in disrepair, but several are being renovated.
(Lindsay – you will like this part as I know you’re a fan of cool architecture). The 16th & 17th century Spanish & French Colonial architecture is breathtaking and only one of the many reasons that has attracted the growing number of new businesses to the area – along with tourists.
Check out all of my Panama pictures on my online photo album.