Jan 4, 2009

Casco Viejo Panama City

Panama City has reinvented itself more than once. After the original city was destroyed by a Welsh pirate it was rebuilt a few miles away in the San Felipe district also known as Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo or the Old Part.

Casco Viejo is like a village or small town within the city. The architecture is a mix of Spanish and French colonial. Many of its narrow streets are paved with cobblestone.

It is undergoing a major revitalization with ramshackle buildings next door to those that have been carefully restored. The faded grandeur of buildings still inhabited but not yet refurbished is often compared to Havana and parts of New Orleans.

UNESCO declared Casco Viejo a World Heritage Site in 1997. Following gentrification trendy restaurants and bars have opened making it a fashionable destination for a night out. It’s a great place to wander and stumble across several squares, including Independence Plaza, the epicenter.
Plaza Bolivar is a good place to sit under the shade of an umbrella and order a cold drink. There are also several museums and a promenade along the ocean that offers beautiful views of the city’s skyscrapers.

For a memorable dining experience in Casco Viejo check out what Anne of Pret a Voyager wrote following her recent trip to Panama City.


jen laceda said...

It does remind me of Havana!

Lakshmi said...

It does have a charm about it..

Catherine said...

looks a lot like Havana and parts of Colonial mexico such as veracruz

Lynne said...

great shots - def like cuba!

Prêt à Voyager said...

we lunched at the cafe in plaza bolivar! ah, to be there now and not stuck at my office in cold and rainy baltimore . . .

great shots!!!


Wendy said...

Jen, Catherine and Lynne, I would love to go to Cuba.

Lakshmi, it was the most charming part of Panama City.

Anne, Tell me about it! Will we ever see the sun again :^)

Anonymous said...

claps for the post.