Panamá Viejo, founded in 1519, is the oldest European settlement on the Pacific Coast of the Americas. In the mid- seventeenth century it was abandoned, and eventually replaced by a ‘new town’, The Historic District. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The town still has the same, rudimentary grid-like layout as it used to. The town was continuously plagued with disaster such as slave rebellion, fire, and earthquake throughout its existence, however, managed to survive it all.
The crumbling stone looked out of place with Panama City in the distance, and yet, it added this remarkable beauty. It was modern mixed with ancient, and a reminder of how far Panama City has come since its birth.
These walls have seen centuries of growth of the human race. They have seen the slow adaptation to new discoveries made every single day, and has seen what has led us to how we now live.
This town was frozen in time, and has stood through the wear and tear that mother nature brought through centuries of destructing wind, rain, and heat.
Towers seemed to tip over as they slowly shifted with the earth. The park was silent, as if the buildings were holding their breath in hopes they didn’t tip over.
Large archways brought in sunlight to the dark, stone rooms inside some of the buildings. Tinier archways led into smaller rooms that had a questionable purpose.
The air was fresh with a hint of dirt, which covered a lot of the stone. I stood staring at the archway in awe, amazed at how something such as this was built so many years ago and has stood for so long, even with man’s help.
This beautiful site is a remarkable walk through the past. There is another UNESCO World Heritage Site nearby, Casco Viejo, which is also an incredible depiction of what Panama used to be like.
Admission to Panamá Viejo is $3 for students and $8 for regular adult admission. The admission ticket also gives you entrance into the museum, which is a short drive away from Panamá Viejo. The museum explains the history of this site in depth, and also has artifacts and large displays for a more visual experience.