Explore Casco Viejo in Panama

By | July 25, 2014

Casco Viejo is considered the oldest city in all of the Americas, positioned at the Panama Canal’s mouth.
The architectural mastery of Casco Viejo makes it very unique and appealing to visitors. The town was renewed with French balconies and architecture and hints of additional French design from occupants who made the first attempt in 1881 to build the Panama Canal. This new style gradually replaced the former old Spanish colonial style. Gradually, a Caribbean persuasion similarly took effect and, in modern times, Casco Viejo is a great blend of brilliance and style, with some buildings being built over three hundred years ago by innovative residents.casco-antiguo

Museums, shopping, and fortune telling

As far back as the early 1900s, Casco Viejo continued to be a bustling and vibrant cultural center. However, once Panama City became more urban, the advances of the industrial revolution and cars, the progress simply extended to other parts of Panama, rendering Casco Viejo not as the place to be as before. Residents moved because streets were not very accommodating for cars to pass through due to their lack of wideness and the associated buildings became obsolete when matched against present-day high-rises getting constructed. Casco Viejo had become no longer the great city center of Panama City, the upper class people viewed it an oppressed town and in quick fashion it turned into an undesirable place with multifamily buildings.

What you will find currently going on in the area is a total redevelopment. Restaurants and local bars are opening their doors with enjoyment, tourists are arriving in droves, and people from throughout the country now desire to live in Casco Viejo.

The art scene is small but there are some superb museums in the Casco Viejo neighborhood, among them the Museo de Canal. At this place, you will have a better understanding about the history of Panama from pre-Hispanic to present day. Located conveniently beside it is the Museum of National History and the National Cathedral is right across the street. Still in the same vicinity is the old Santo Domingo monastery which is a small museum focusing on religious art. A short distant walk from that is the old San Jose Cathedral. The National Theatre of Panama and St. Francis of Assisi are also considered must-see places when traveling to Casco Viejo.