As you may know I recently spent some time in the Netherlands which was fantastic; but it is time to head to another place I call home… Panama! There is so much that I would like to share about Panama but we must start at the beginning if we really want to get to its essence.
Panama Viejo or “Old Panama” is where you can find the remains of the former capital that was founded in 1519 by Pedro Arias Davilla. Due to its excellent trade location it became an attractive destination for treasure seeking pirates who ultimately led to its destruction in 1671. The attack that burnt down the city was led by the pirate Henry Morgan although there are several allegations as to who was actually responsible for the fire. The fire destroyed the city and all that remained is what we see today. The new city was moved southwest and is now called “Casco Viejo” or “the Old Quarter”.Ruins at Panama Viejo
The area is now used for touristic purposes with a museum, a shop selling traditional arts and crafts, a viewing tower in what was left of the Cathedral, and the scattered ruins.
I bought a (in my opinion) beautiful Mola Bag (more on this in my next post) because I love the print and look forward totaking it home as a souvenir.
I started the tour at the Museum where the dynamic history of Panama Viejo was explained and I learned more about the pirates and Henry Morgan’s attack on Panama. The museum was small but is worth the time.
We then continued towards the Ruins.
The walk through the ruins can be very pleasant if you go in the afternoon just before its closing time at 4:30pm (before that the sun is too strong). With the help of pathways and signs you can start to picture what used to be the old city center.
Amongst the ruins you find what used to be a church and which is still used to this day to perform wedding ceremonies.
The Cathedral is the most prominent building amongst the ruins with its tower protruding in the skyline of surrounding trees. It is the building that remains the most complete after all these years.
You’re several stories high by the time you reach the top where you are met by beautiful views of the new city and a wonderful cool breeze!
Tip: Wear comfortable clothing and protect yourself from the sun. It is also very important to take water as it is not available in the ruins and it is very warm!
Curious to know more about Panama? Don’t miss what is coming next!
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