Casco Antiguo (Old Quarter) - Panama
The best way to move around Casco Antiguo is by foot. Make sure to go to Las Bovedas in Plaza of France where you get a really nice view of the current city and can take remarkable pictures.
Casco Antiguo (Old Quarter) is Best For
Directions to Casco Antiguo (Old Quarter)
Casco Antiguo, traditionally known by Panamanians as Casco Viejo, is the site where Panama city was founded in 1673 after the pirate attack that destroyed Old Panama city in 1671.
It is located in a small peninsula, surrounded by rocky reefs in San Felipe, Panama. This location was strategically decided by the Spanish because the rocky reefs were exposed during low tides making very difficult for enemies' ships to come close to the city.
Casco Antiguo is the best place to witness the Spanish heritage in Panama due to the beautiful colonial architecture of its buildings. The "city" is basically divided into four mayor plazas: Plaza of the independence ,originally the only one for the first couple of centuries after the cities foundation, Plaza Herrera, Plaza Bolivar and Plaza of France, built on memory of the French pioneer attempt on the Panama Canal construction.
Casco Antiguo is home to several national monuments, landmarks and important Panamanian buildings thus it is worthwhile to spend a couple of hours in this area.
The most popular things to see here are:
1-)The Metropolitan Cathedral of Panama, in Plaza of the Independence ( commonly known as Plaza Mayor).
2-) The Inter-oceanic Canal Museum (not to be confused with the Panama Canal museum in Miraflores locks), in Plaza of Independence
3-) Las Bovedas, common name given to the group of monuments and work surrounding Plaza of France.
4-) San Jose Church, located in Ave A with 8th street, famous for its golden altar.
5-) The National Theater, diagonal to Plaza Bolivar in 3rd street with B Avenue.
6-) Palacio de las Garzas, the presidential house.
7-) Palacio Bolivar, where the Amphictyonic Congress was celebrated in 1824.
8-) El Arco Chato (The Flat arch), in Santo Domingo Church. This building collapsed in 2003 and was re-built. Its historical value is given because it was a decision factor for Panama to be selected as the best place for the Inter-oceanic Canal construction.
In addition to the rich history in this site, there is also a great variety of restaurants for your enjoyment.