Ciudad de Panama

Ciudad de Panama

A Cidade do Panama merece seu titulo de “Crossroads of the World” pelo fato de que um grande numero de pessoas passam por aqui seguindo para outros destinos e tambem outras tantas “se quedam aca” por motivo de turismo ou negocios.

A cidade tem uma populacao de 700,000 – e apos a devolucao da area do Canal pelos Americanos tem vivido um “boom” tanto na area do turismo quanto de investimentos e construcao civil, apesar de manter ainda muitas areas populares pobres e de favelas.

Ciudad de Panama tem se “movido” tanto geograficamente quanto figurativamente nos ultimos 300 anos. A localizacao original do istmo de Balboa e dos Espanhois era Acla na costa do Atlantico, proximo da ilha de Mulaputo em San Blas. O primeiro governador enviado da Espanha, Predo Arias Davila, mudou a pequena colonia para o lado da costa do Pacifico, onde ele fundou, em 1519, a que e atualmente chamada de “ Panama La Vieja” onde se encontram ainda as ruinas da velha cidade. Ali ela cresceu e prosperou  ate ser atacada pelo pirata Ingles Sir Henry Morgan, em 1671. Apos o saque de Morgan e seus homens  e ao incendio que se seguiu, os Espanhois optaram por mudar a cidade novamente para uma peninsula com mais protecao, isto em 1673. E e ai que se encontra atualmente o que chamam de “Casco Viejo”.

No “Casco Viejo”, que ainda esta sendo restaurado com  auxilio governamental, podem ser visitados predios historicos como : Catedral Metropolitana (sede da arquidiocese do Panama), Iglesia Nossa Senora de La Merced (museu eclesiastico da cidade) onde figura uma estatua da Virgen de La Merced presenteada por Carlos V e trazida da Espanha em 1722, Iglesia San Jose o Altar de Oro, Museo del Canal Interoceanico(revive as origens da construcao do Canal do Panama),  Convento de Santo Domingo o Arco Chato (o arco chato original foi erguido pelos frades dominicanos em 1678), Las Bovedas (arcos apoiados sobre colunas) en Plaza de Francia, Teatro Nacional (projetado pelo arquiteto italiano Genaro Ruggieri), Palacio Bolivar ( no meio da praca se ergue um monumento em honra ao libertador Simon Bolivar),Palacio de las Garzas Presidencia de la Republica(escritorios governamentais e residencia presidencial), Mercado del Marisco.

O crescimento da Cidade estava restrito a uma pequena faixa entre a costa e a area do Canal administrada pelos Americanos, que tinham Bases e alojamentos  que atualmente estao abandonados, alguns predios estao sendo restaurados, mas a maioria esta como na epoca da saida dos Americanos. Apos 1999, quando da devolucao da area do Canal pelos EUA para o Panama a Cidade iniciou uma era de crescimento e desenvolvimento surpreendentes com construcao de bairros e condominios de luxo, predios de hoteis e escritorios, lojas, shopping centers…inclusive fizeram um aterro na parte costeira com o material retirado do Canal que mudou I visual daquela zona. Alem de outras construcoes modernas e imponentes ha um predio em formato de espiral chamado de “Tornillo”.

E tambem impressionantes sao os Portos e a Zona do Canal  onde se podem visitar as eclusas de Miraflores, cujo Centro de Visitantes tem 4 andares e conta com restaurante, sala de exibicao, loja de lembrancas e um guia bilingue que conta a Historia do Canal e faz referencia as embarcacoes que estao passando por ele no momento da visita. 

Ciudad de Panama – English

Ciudad de Panama deserves its title “Crossroads of the World” due to the fact that a great number of people cross by here towards some other place and the same number or even more stay in the City for leisure or business purposes.

The City has a population of about 700.000 inhabitants and after the Americans handed the Canal Zone back to the Panamanians the City has experienced a “boom” in tourism as well as in investment of all sorts and in the construction field. There is construction everywhere around the City but there still are poor areas and slums. We even met a policeman who helped us out with directions who was in Rio to learn about the relationship between what we call in Brazil the “Pacifier Police” and the slum dwellers and drug trafficking cartels in Rio.

Panama City has been on the move, geographically as well as figuratively for the past 300 years. The original Isthmian headquarters  of Balboa and the Spanish was Acla on the Atlantic Coast near the San Blas island of Mulaputo. The first Governor sent from Spain, Pedro Arias D’Avila paused only to behead Balboa before relocating the miniature colony to the Pacific Coast, where he founded in 1519 the town which nowadays is called “Panama la Vieja”, where one can still find the ruins of the old town.  There  the town grew and prospered until it was attacked  by the English pirate Sir Henry Morgan, in 1671. Right after Morgan’s men attack and the fire which followed, the Spanish decided to move the town once more to a more defensible peninsula, all  of this in 1673. And this is where is located what they call “Casco Viejo”, or the old town.

At Casco Viejo, which is still being remodeled with government aid, one can visit historic buildings as: Catedral Metropolitana (headquarters of the Archdiocese of Panama); Iglesia Nossa Senhora de La Merced(ecclesiastic museum of the City where there is an image of the Virgen de la Merced gifted  by Carlos 5th and brought from Spain in 1722; Iglesia San Jose o Altar de Oro; Museo del Canal Intraoceanico (relives the origins of the construction of the Canal of Panama); Convent of Santo Domingo or Arco Chato( the original arch was built by the Dominican friars  in 1678); Las Bovedas (arches supported by columns) in the Plaza de Francia; Teatro Nacional (designed by Italian architect Genaro Ruggery); Palacio Bolivar (in the middle of the square there is a monument in honor of the libertador Simon Bolivar; Palacio de las Garcas (is the governmental office and house of the President); Mercado del Marisco.

The growth of the City was restricted to a narrow strip between the coast and the border of the US administered Canal Zone – which had bases and headquarters for the American people which now are abandoned – some buildings are being restored but most of them still are the way the Americans left them when the left. Since the Canal Zone was handed back to Panama, in 1999, the City has been experiencing an amazing growth and development; suburbs and shopping malls have spread rapidly; the construction of luxury condos and a number of huge skyscrapers have changed the City’s skylight…they even have changed a coastal part of the City from water into plazas and nice gardens using the soil from the digging of the Canal improvement area which changed the landscape of the area. Besides the tall and modern buildings there is one in the shape of a corkscrew called “Tornillo”.

Also very impressive are the Ports and the Canal zone where one can visit the Miraflores locks, where the Visitor Center has 4 floors and has a restaurant, exhibition room, museum, gift shop, and bilingual guides who tell the History of the building and operations of the Panama Canal.      

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Latest comments

01.07 | 17:55

Ola ,aqui e o Lula de Recife☺. Nos encontramos ontem/Sabado no Look out Point ,on the Mulholland Highway. Foi um prazer Conhece los. Curtam a Viagem.

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28.12 | 08:13

Thank you soooo much for the wishes...we are all fine, have returned from the US on the 20th to spend Christmas with family...wishing you all Happy Holidays,too

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22.12 | 23:11

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year., Daniel and Ingrid. I pray you are both well. All is well here ... think of you fondly so often. God Bless!

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29.10 | 12:03

Linda viagem. Ótimo depoimento!!!

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