Panama City

Panama City is the oldest European settlement on the Pacific coast of the Americas.  It was first built in 1519.  In 1672 it was destroyed by fire in anticipation of an attack by the pirate Henry Morgan.  Two years later the city was relocated to a nearby peninsula, which was much easier to fortify.  This area is known as Casco Viejo (old city).  Today, Panama City is a booming, modern city.  Our guide took us through the Casco Viejo area as well as the modern parts of the city.

Casco Viejo

Originally, Casco Viejo was a walled city. Above is the only remaining section of the original wall.  
Gentrification is happening in the old section of the city,  Here are some folks protesting.  
The Santo Domingo monestary was destroyed in 1756.  However, its Arco Chato (flat arch) remained intact until 2003.  It collapsed during a nearby party which had a vibrating sound system.  The arch was quickly rebuilt.

The arches place in history is that was used as evidence that earthquakes do minimal damage to Panama.  Thus, Panama was selected over Nicaragua as the site of the canal.
Since 1997, Casco Viejo has been undergoing renovation.  This street scene shows a completed section on the left.  The buildings on the right are just ongoing the upgrade.  The structural support is in place.  They do have an organization that oversees renovation plans to ensure that the "feel" of the neighborhood remains as it has been for over 100 years.
This is as close as we could get to the official presidential home and office.  The current president has decided to maintain residence elsewhere.
Here are some additional images of the Casco Viejo area of Panama City.  The churches in the area were all going through restoration in anticipation of the Pope's 2019 visit.

The Modern Panama City

Today, Panama City is as modern as any city with skyscrapers.  This view is from our window on the 19th floor of our hotel.  
This building, was at the time, the Trump Ocean Club.  Since our visit, there has been a struggle for the management of this facility.  The Trump name has been taken off the building
Our hotel, the Miramar Intercontinental, is the right half of this photo.  Condos are in the taller section.  The president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, lives in the condo section.
Like any modern city there are times when traffic can be tough as seen here.
This sculpture was across from our hotel.  It is called the Key.
One of the new buildings is this interesting shaped structure.  The locals call it the "screw".  They feel the name is appropriate as it houses insurance companies.