Casco Viejo, Panama
Panamá La Vieja or Old Panama was the first European settlement at the Pacific Ocean. Founded August 15th, 1519 it will be blowing its 492 th candle on Monday!
“Panama City” back then was called “Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Panamá”…. ok, not precisely a 140-character-Twitter-like-easy-to-remember-name, so not surprisingly it got shortened to just “Panama”.
Shortly after founded, it became the main link for the conquest of Peru. It grew rich but also had zillion problems such as big fires, health issues (tons of mosquitoes, as they settled in a swampy area…. well, nothing was known yet about what caused all those “tropical fevers”). The place was also a nightmare to defend, as the bay was easily approachable, a lesson they learned painfully through having to defend the city of several pirate attacks. And when in 1671 got sacked by Pirate Henry Morgan (it is said that the booty was carried in 195 mules!) the inhabitants of the city decided they had enough… and moved to Casco Viejo.