Exploring The Old City Of Panama Viejo
Panama Viejo – exploring the old city
We Explore the Old City Of Panama Viejo
We have left behind our perfect day at Boca Brava and today we have been to explore the old city of Panama Viejo. Viejo means old, and this is the oldest settlement on the Pacific Coast as it dates back to 1519. It was destroyed in 1671 by Henry Morgan and his fellow pirates.
If you are a student of history, then we believe this is the best place to be at some point during your family travels to Panama. As we passed through this old city on this phase of our single parent travels, we knew it was a place we wanted to explore for our worldschooling.
We start at the Cathedral
Now my son is really interested in pirates. He already knows all about Henry Morgan,
so this was great for him to be exploring the Old City Of Panama Viejo. Behind us, you can see the cathedral that has partly restored this.
That is where we started – at the cathedral.
The original ornate staircase was removed from the old city of Panama Viejo and taken to the place where they built the newer Panama city and there, it has been used in a church.
The wooden platform they have built allows visitors to climb inside the main ruins and areas of the old city of Panama Viejo. There is a great view of the skyline and the ocean. My son really enjoyed finding all the viewpoints in the tower.
Next, we visited the Casas Oeste. Here the wealthy used to live. My son tried his Samson act to push down the pillars but in vain.
Where Are We?
Continuing to walk around we became rather confused. The map they give you is numbered. But the description is not. So we count paragraphs, hoping that we have the right place.
What Are Those Squares?
Here you can see the small open squares in the wall. This is how they managed to build very high structures.
The wooden platforms would slot into the wall as they went up. When finished these were used as ventilation. Some walls are nearly 1 meter thick.
Much of the stonework has been repaired. Small orange insects were all over the walls, so we didn’t climb through.
Local Panamanian Kindness
Oh no! My son needs a bathroom and there is none in sight. So we walk to the rear area which is fenced with neat homes. I ask this Panamanian man, complete with his traditional Panama hat where the Banos are, and we are shocked at their kindness. He allows my son to come into his home. They were such lovely people and I love the decorations. What do you think?
Hanging Out With The Locals
Outside the hammock is wound up against the window. But leather and wooden chairs are there for them to sit on and its so traditional. Pottery and ornaments are on the walls and I just LOVE it! We try to communicate with our basic Spanish, and we love and appreciate their kindness. It has become way more than a toilet stop.
We then head across the road to the Jesuit church and convent. Unfortunately, as we go in we discover that pigeons rule the place. We leave as we are ‘bombed’ with sulfury-poop from the heights.
Is It Mary The Mother Of Jesus?
Behind the glass arch in the center-back wall is a statue of a woman. I don’t think it is Jesus’ mother – Mary, but (looks more or less like a queen?), but I am sure it is meant to be Mary. It seems to be a more recent addition to the ruins.
The old city of Panama Viejo is well worth a visit.
Questions and Comments
- Have you been to panama before?
- Did you know Viejo means old?
- Have you been to the old Panama Vijo town before?
- What excited you about the place/
- Do share your comment with us below.