Tag Archives: Casco Viejo History

Each book a story: Arco´s Books

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo At Arco, we love books. The minute you get into our office, you´ll see them all around. Some people use books as conversation pieces, or as part of the decor. For us, it is far more, as each one has a story behind and a reason on why they are there. Many of them were written and produced by friends who live or lived in Casco, or are truly important references for Panama´s or Casco´s history and culture. To feature them all would be too long, but here are some of our favorites: The Casco … Continue reading

Old Maps of Panama at Casa Soldado

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo 275 maps including a map by Juan de la Cosa back in 1501 (he was the pilot for Christopher Columbus) are being shown at Casa Soldado, Las Bóvedas. Each one with an interesting story behind, weaving the history of the “New World” and Panama.  La Estrella article mentioned, for example, that in 1574, Panama became the first “country” in America to have a map of its current territory. And then there are others like the route for “el polvo de oro” (golden dust) and so on. If you love history, you´ll enjoy this exhibit! See … Continue reading

Restoration of Casco´s Cathedral Announced

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo   Long overdue, finally the Cathedral will get restored. This was announced by Panama´s President last week, in what has been a coordinated effort between a private ngo that is restoring all of Casco´s churches and the government agencies that regulate patrimony in the historic district. The cost will be $12 million dollars. A while ago I stumbled into some old photos showing how it used to have gardens at the side of the cathedral with big palms. Today, this space is parking.  Wonder if they´ll change it back? More Here. See palm sticking out, … Continue reading

Plaza Santa Ana as a Bull Ring

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo This weekend our friend Leo sent us an incredible photo: Plaza Santa Ana being used as a Bull Ring. While I had seen photos of Plaza Catedral and even Plaza Herrera being used as such, I had never seen Plaza Santa Ana. Check out the details of the surrounding buildings, completely changed today.  Cerro Ancon at the back. What a jewel!

New schedule for Casco´s museums

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo Casco Viejo has three public museums: the Canal´s Museum, Religious Art Museum and History Museum. The last two have announced an expansion on their schedule: El Museo de Arte Religioso Colonial – MARC Tuesdays to Fridays: de 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturdays: de 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sundays: de 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Museo de Historia de Panamá Mondays to Fridays: de 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturdays: de 11:00 a.m. a 4:00 p.m.

Baluarte de Jesus or Mano de Tigre

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo Everyday I learn something new. Today La Prensa published an article about one of the few pieces of the colonial wall we all know as Mano de Tigre. Initially it was known as Baluarte de Jesús and was part of a system of walls to repel the enemy that was supposed to come by land (crossing from the Caribbean).  It could hold up to 25 cannons. Once the walls where not useful anymore and the city needed to grow, the city authorized its destruction (11 of October 1856). This piece was “saved” because the land … Continue reading

Casco`s Old Street Names

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo Anyone asking for an address in Panama will get multiple answers to the same thing. They include, and are not limited to, mango trees (that used to be there), supermarkets, landmarks … and different names of the same street, given at different times.  As a history fan, I blame it all on the Spanish. They started the name fever, we just went on with the party. At some point, it must have been enough, because someone decided to finally go with numbers for streets and letters for avenues.  However, when giving an address to a … Continue reading

Archaeology in Casco Viejo

Panama Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo Before you restore a building in Casco Viejo, you are required to do archaeological studies.  It is fascinating to see them dig and find stuff, but even more when you ask them what does it mean. Yesterday, talking to archaeologist Tomas Mendizabal, we went through some of the bags of material he was pulling out of a recent excavation.  He found out that the water well in the property was “fake” (ornamental) and that if you dig deep enough you find 19th century garbage (bones, pieces of plates and jars).  Although simple, it completes a … Continue reading

342 Years Ago! The day we packed our bags

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo 342 years ago, the people of this isthmus said “enough”. Enough pirates, enough health issues, enough is enough. The city laid in ruins, and anyways it wasn´t like people had this amazing standard of living. The city needed to move, and the time was “now”. January 21st is the day we celebrate the “moving” of the city, from Panama (now known as “La Vieja” or The Old) to the “new” site, alias Casco Viejo. This year, the Oficina del Casco Antiguo and the Alcaldía will be doing some events: from Lottery at the Plaza Catedral … Continue reading

Panama of Yesteryear Video- Casco Viejo

Panama Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo Eldredge Muybridge was a photographer that visited Panama around 1886 (aprox). He took amazing photos of what “Panama” was like back then (now only Casco Viejo), an incredible testimony of the country`s humble beginnings. This video shows before and afters, a great moment to reflect on the advantages of modernity and the place that history could or should have in our lives or in our cities. Buildings are physical witnesses of ourselves, and not because we were, we are, or we`ll be. And yet, it is so fantastic to have those roots standing alive, vibrant … Continue reading