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The Monuments

Panama Viejo is a characteristic example of early colonial urban design, and it was designed according to the urban instructions or regulations issued by the Spanish crown cities to be founded in the Americas.  Its architecture was originally austere and relatively simple, so much that the well-conserved ruins that currently stand offer a faithful image of the historical and urban configuration.


From a simple settlement of huts, the city went on to be based on wooden structures, and, even when stone appeared as the main construction material at the end of the XVI century, it was only used for government buildings, churches, convents and large residences.  The layout of the city is characterized by a grid oriented in accordance with the cardinal points, with its main focus on the Central Square, where the urban blocks express a certain uniformity.  Religious architecture constituted the dominant monumental element in the city, and at one point Panama Viejo had two hermitages, seven convents and one cathedral.

( Clic to see a map of the monuments... )