In 1519, the first Spanish colony and the oldest European settlement, the city of Panama Viejo (Old Panama, Old Panama City), was founded on the Pacific coast of America. August 15 marks the anniversary of the founding of Panama Viejo. This day is a public holiday in the city.
Today, the 15th century reminds of itself with the ancient ruins of a city destroyed by sea pirates. This historical part of the capital is protected by the state. The archaeological sites of Panama Viejo (Old Panama) and the historical part of Panama City were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997 and 2003.
The old city of Panama Viejo had a rectangular grid layout, indicating the development of the idea of urban planning, and an unusual mixture of different styles - Spanish, French and emerging American. Only numerous ruins of buildings of the 14th-15th centuries have survived to this day.
However, the square tower of the Catedral Viejo (“old cathedral”), the university, powerful walls and fortifications built to protect against pirate raids, the monasteries of Santo Domingo and San Francisco, the churches of San José, La Compaña de Jesus and La Concepción, the ruins of the monastery of La Merced, the Royal Bridge, as well as several churches from the 17th and 18th centuries, are surprisingly well preserved.
In the middle of the 17th century, the old city was abandoned and replaced by New Panama City. New Panama was founded on January 21, 1673 and retained the original layout.