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 by by Denise
4.11 of 9 votes

Panama City was founded in 1519 by a Spanish explorer named Pedro Arias Davila.  The city founded in 1519 is now known as Panama Viejo on the east side of the city near Tocumen airport.

In 1670 Captain Henry Morgan overtook Portobelo Bay and marched his army and a cannon across the jungles of Panama and attacked the city.  Fortunately, many of the Panamanians had fishing boats and almost everyone escaped to the sea.  The city burned to the ground and the people of the city started another city on a rock outcrop which is currently known as Casco Viejo.  

The San Jose Church (church of the golden alter) was built in 1675 and rumour has it that there are tunnels underneath.  Urban legend tells us that some enterprising priests painted the golden alter black in the 1700's to prevent pirates from stealing it.  

In the late 1800's the French built a beautiful building in Casco Viejo which is now the French embasssy.  They also erected an obelisk with a rooster on it (symbol of France) and several busts of French dignitaries.  This area of Casco Viejo is currently known as French point.

It wasn't until the early 1900's that Theodore Roosevelt came to Panama to look at the possibility of the French taking over the canal.  The Panama Canal opened in 1914.

100 years later the Canal is being expanded and work is going on at both Miraflores Locks and at Gatun Locks to accomdate the superfreighters of this century.

Panama has become a very popular tourist attraction for those looking to escape the cold harsh winters as well as a retirement destination for North Americans and Europeans.  Our temperate climates are welcoming and this land of beaches and palm trees beckons to everyone.

Panama Roadrunner is proud to be part of the tourism industry and our goal is to provide excellence in service and a level of reliability that everyone can count on.  On your way to Panama?  Drop us an email and we would be happy to answer any questions for you.  panamaroadrunner@gmail.com


1 Comment
  • 01-05-20156:36 AMReply
    I found this article to be very interesting and I will be emailing you for information. We are heading to Panama in February for 2 weeks.


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