In Panama you can visit the 7 squares of Casco Antiguo, some of them were buildings that were victims of fires that left vacant lots and places that over time became a square.
Some are also known by various names and others have changed their names.
Now, after walking in Casco Antiguo, I don’t know if it happens to you like me, every time I go I walk it about 3 time, so having these squares with it would be in the shade.
1. Cathedral Square
Also, known as Playa Mayor (Older Square) or Plaza de la Independencia (independent Square).
And as its name says, it is in front of the Basilica Cathedral of Panama, also in this place independence (from Spain) and separation (from Colombia) were declared.
It was the first square in the new city.
Currently there are events and craft and flea markets some weekends and for special seasons such as Christmas.
2. Bolívar Square
Previously it was called San Francisco Square (Saint Francisco Square) (by the way, the Saint Francisco of Asís Church is nearby).
Its existence is due to a fire that destroyed the houses that were there.
In the middle of the square there is a monument in honor of Simón Bolívar.
Currently it has restaurants around it that have extended to the square, so you can enjoy a meal or a few drinks in it and it may even have live music.
3. Herrera Square
This place had buildings that were destroyed in the fire of 1781, then bullfights were held, which is why it was known as the Toros Square (Bulls Square) or Triumfo Square (Square of the Triumph) .
Its current name is due in honor of General Tomás Herrera and his statue is in the center of the square.
Previously this area was not very safe, however, that has changed a lot, even bazaars and fairs are made.
4. France Square
Previously it was a Armas Square (Arms Square), but from 1922 it became the current Square.
It is part of a Monumental Complex in honor of the French Canal that, although it was not made with them, they started the construction of what it is today.
This square along with the rest of the Monumental Complex seems to me to be one of the most beautiful places in the Casco Viejo, not for nothing one can see fifteen-year-old taking some photos.
Photographically speaking I like it after the rain, because there are Some parts where the water gives some beautiful reflections.
But if you are looking for a Panamanian raspado, there is always a seller there.
5. Carlos V Small Square
Charles V was the most powerful European monarch of the 16th century.
This man, in 1534, ordered to evaluate how to unite the two oceans, the Atlantic and the Pacific, through Panama, that was many years before the French and today we have the Panama Canal.
This is a small square that has many benches, I find it curious and whenever I see it, it catches my attention.
In addition, to one side it has a view of the small beach of the Casco Viejo.
6. Baluarte Small Square
This is a small part of what the Baluarte Las Monjas (The Nuns Bastion) was, this means that this space was part of a corner to defend the City, in this case, from anyone who entered by sea.
It is a small square, where people go to take photos of the city, I recommend the sunrise.
Also, people take professional photos and lately they are leaving locks, I think of love, hahaha.
7. Santa Ana Square
Actually, it is not in the Casco Antiguo, but due to its proximity it is included in the list.
It was outside the walled city and it was where poor and middle class people lived, it is also known as Santa Ana Park.
When crossing from the Casco Antiguo to Santa Ana, you can feel the change, this is not a tourist area.
You will see that white-haired Panamanian with thousands of stories, that lady who together with her family does the shopping, that Panamanian who invents a walking business and sells anything, especially if it is fashionable, and many people walking.
Already that is where the Central starts, a favorite place for shopping for many years and that still works.
How to get to Casco Antiguo?
If you go by car, the difficult thing will be to find parking, I suggest going in the morning and entering Casco Antiguo through the Seafood Market.
In the deviation that is before taking the Cinta Costera 3.
You can park in one of the squares or in the parking lot next to the National Theater.
By bus, you can take a bus that goes to 12th street or that leaves you on May 5 (the vast majority), walk through the entire central and continue along the same street, you will arrive at the Casco Antiguo.
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- La Merced Museum, a Spectacular Museum in Casco Viejo
- 5 Panamanian Breakfasts that You Must Taste
- A Visit to the Panama History Museum
- Colonial Religious Art Museum in Casco Antiguo
- 7 Panamanian Craft Beers Yon Can Get at the Supermarket