Panamá Viejo: UNESCO World Heritage Site

April 27, 2015

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. 

Panamá Viejo

Panamá Viejo

Panamá Viejo

Panamá Viejo

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. 

Panamá Viejo

Panamá Viejo

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. 

Panamá Viejo

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. 

Panamá Viejo

Panamá Viejo

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. 


  1. Comment by Janet Sunderland

    Janet Sunderland April 27, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    You have some wonderful shots here. I especially like #2, 5, 7. There’s great power in those stones. And you shot from interesting angles. Thanks so much.

    The construction of these places is amazing. And it’s interesting to see how 16th Century architecture was reproduced abet on a somewhat smaller scale. Very different from the way the native peoples built with stone.

    • Comment by Globe Trottica

      Globe Trottica April 28, 2015 at 11:50 am

      Thank you, Janet! It was so beautiful. I completely agree, I was amazed just standing under the archways and looking up at the towers. I love how places like this are still preserved.

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