Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Continuing our Wander in Panama City


Iglesia de San José (San José Church) is one of the earlies surviving examples of 16th century Spanish Gothic architecture in the Western hemisphere.  The church was constructed from 1532 to 1735 by the Dominican Order and taken over the the Jesuits in 1865.

The church is beautiful and we enter.

Inside the church

Passing through to the rear of the church, we find statues of the wise men and an incredible manger scene.

Wise men

Nativity scene

Continuing our walk in old town, we start to wander back to our ride to the airport, catching views of modern Panama City in the distance as we get to the edge of old town.

Leaving old town, modern city across the way

Our bus takes us through the modern city and we get a few glimpses and picture of the great buildings and architecture of modern Panama as we transit the city.

Modern Panama City

It's been a great week working our way from Aruba to Columbia, Panama and the Panama Canal.  It's a shame to go home, but we've found great new places to which we should return.

Friday, May 26, 2023

Panama City, Panama

Panama City was founded in 1519 by the Spanish and was the launching point for expeditions that conquered th Inca Empire in Peru.  It was also a stopover point one of the most important trade routes in the America, through which passed most of the gold and silver brought back by the Spanish.

Panama City now has about two million people with over one and a half million in the urban area.

We are leaving our cruise at Panama City and take the opportunity to explore a bit before our flight leaves back to the U.S.  We start in the old town.

Leaving the ship

Passing by modern Panama City to the old town

We enter the streets of old Panama City and wander.

Entering old town

Wandering in old town

Cathedral Plaza

Streets off Cathedral Plaza

We pass many shops selling Panama hats, which actually have their origin in Ecuador where the inhabitants wore such hats when the Spanish arrived in 1526 and developed a hat wearing cottage industry in the 1600s.

Panama hats for sale

As we wander, we periodically catch glimpses of the sea, then reenter the narrow streets of the old town.

Sea peaking through

After our glimpse of water, we visit Saint Dominic's church with its large, recessed brick arch that aws declared a ntional monument in 19431.

Saint Dominic's and the arch

We admire the arch and continue to wander the streets.

Continuing to wander through old town