"Casco Antiguo" Panamá City Things to Do Tip by mikey_e
Panamá City Things to Do: 163 reviews and 381 photos
The Casco Antiguo is part of what makes downtown Panamá a World Heritage Site. The city was originally founded in Panamá Vieja, which is farther north along the Pacific from the Casco Antiguo. This city was founded in 1519 as a trading post for the Spanish, who were particularly eager to export as much American gold and silver as possible. The original settlement suffered numerous devastating incidents, including fires, earthquakes and pirate attacks, and in 1673 the new city of Panamá was established in the Casco Antiguo, spurring renewed population growth among the Colonists. This continued until the gold rush in California of the mid-1800s, although by this time the city was well established and Panamá was part of an independent Colombia. The Casco Antiguo continued to grow, although it maintained its original colonial nucleus of buildings, with some addition of American structures, including Art Deco buildings after Panamá achieved its independence from Colombia in 1903 and came under American influence. The construction of the Canal forced a change in the centre of activity in the capital, and the Casco Antiguo fell into a bad rut, exacerbated by a lack of growth in the tourist industry and various radical governments. The city suffered badly during the American invasion that ousted Dictator Manuel Noriega in 1989, but since then there has been considerable activity to restore the colonial city as a tourist attraction. The work to do this is only partially complete.
Directions: In the area called Casco Antiguo, south end of Avenida Central
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