Panama City was founded in 1,519. It was the starting point of most of the conquest and discovery routs of the Spaniards to South America. It became Spain's most important gateway for all of the wealth, in silver and Gold, coming from the southern continent. More than 60% of the wealth from South America going to Europe passed through Panama.
In 1671 the city was attacked by Henry Morgan and destroyed by fire when the governor ordered the City burned: Most citizens had already left, and the military action was taken so that the pirates would not have a stronghold from which to send raids to South America.
These colonial ruins, preserved and managed by the Panamanians, hark back to a time when the Spaniards shipped gold from South America via a Pacific route, transported it overland across Panama to the Caribbean and reloaded it on ships bound for Spain.
Old Panama is found just to the east of the modern city center and consists of a large, wooded park with the stately, stone ruins of once-elegant buildings.
Especially impressive are the massive bell tower of the cathedral and the Bishop’s House.
Two years later the city was moved a short distance away to present day Panama city, in an area called now Casco Viejo.
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