5 Five Plazas on the Old Town (Casco Antiguo)

When it comes to Casco Antiguo, one of its main attractions will always be its plazas, strategic points that are epicenters for activities and monuments in the area. Those who visit will certainly experience some magical moments.

1 • PLAZA MAYOR OR PLAZA DE LA INDEPENDENCIA


It is the only square in San Felipe that appeared in the original city plans and has witnessed over 360 years of history,
intrigue and celebration. It is still the center of San Felipe, and the home to the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Municipal Palace,
the Interoceanic Canal Museum, and the historic Gran Hotel Central.

2 • PLAZA BOLIVAR


This small square has a valuable history. In 1826, Simone Bolívar called a congress in Panama City, which he could not attend.
In 1926, in a centennial celebration of that meeting, the Plaza was renamed Plaza Bolívar. In the center of the square is a statue in
Bolivar’s honor that recognizes his achievements and efforts in favor of the Latin American people.

3 • PLAZA HERRERA


Originally called Plaza del Triunfo, it was used for sporting events such a bullfights and horse races. Mounted on a horse in the
center of the square is General Tomas Herrera, Governor of Panama, hero of the war, statesman, and veteran of the battles of
Junín and Ayacucho in Peru in 1824, during the war for Latin American independence.

4 • PLAZA DE FRANCIA


Located on the site of the original pier with a view to the south and the entrance of the Panama Canal. In 1922 President Belisario Porras
dedicated a park recognizing Ferdinand De Lesseps and France for their efforts in the French Canal project. It includes a walkway that stretches
along the wall above the square; you can also find large marble tablets that record the history of the Canal, and a obelisk topped with the French “coque” (rooster).

5 • PLAZA SANTA ANA


The “Hermitage of Santa Ana” was built outside the walls of San Felipe in 1678. In keeping with the social structure of the time,
it became an economically humble neighborhood; and for many years, the area next to the church was a market, which in the 1890s,
was converted into a park, Plaza Santa Ana; by the end of the 19th century it had become the most exclusive neighborhood in the city.

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