Panamá Viejo – Old Panama

Saturday, 30 April 2016

IMG_6603 - Il Pirata, Morgan, taxi - 270◄ We followed this taxi flying a pirate flag from an aerial. ‘Ah, il pirata,’ my driver commented. And then, somewhat ruefully: ‘Morgan.’

You can’t get away from Sir Henry Morgan, the English pirate who comprehensively sacked Panama back in 1671. Nearly 350 years later he’s clearly not forgotten.

He did such a thorough job the Spanish didn’t attempt to rebuild the old city, Panamá Viejo. A new city was constructed further west, towards the entrance (200 years later) of the Panama Canal. I was staying in this new(er) city although today it’s known as Casco Viejo, ‘Old Compound’ which makes a clear contrast to the skyscrapered skyline of today’s Panama City.





IMG_6553 - Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, Panamá Viejo - 270Panama City sprawls along the Pacific Coast of Panama. Travelling east from the Panama Canal you come to Casco Viejo, then the modern city and finally the ruins of the original Panama City, the one that English pirate worked over – Panamá Viejo.

There’s an interesting assortment of ruins in Panamá Viejo of which the Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción is the best survivor. You can climb the tower and look out over the ruins or back towards the skyline of the modern city. ►

Just beyond the ruins area and rather hidden away behind a busy, modern highway is a final ruin, the Puente del Rey. It dates from 1617 which may make it the oldest bridge anywhere in the Americas. ▼IMG_6565 - Puente del Rey, Panamá Viejo - 540