History in Panama City

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Explore Panama City History

Panama City History is truly fascinating, presenting a blend of tribal rulers, colonial occupation and a freedom for struggle that spanned across many decades. Some of the most noteworthy aspects of Panama City history have been listed below:

Early History of Panama City

Panama has always had an intermingling of various cultures due to its unique location, being situated along an important, connecting passage between the Central and South American nations. The native inhabitants of Panama City were tribals—the Cocole and Cuevas tribes. However, these tribes didn’t rule the land for a long time and started disappearing towards the end of the 15th century. Panama City was discovered by Columbus in 1502. This is how its forest and mineral riches became known to the Europeans.

Colonial History of Panama City

The colonial powers of Spain started exploring the Caribbean islands and neighboring locations. The Spanish started setting-up missionaries and residences towards the early part of the 16th century in Panama City. Along with Peru, Panama became an important part of Spain’s colonial kingdom in Central America. It rose to fame as an extremely important trade route location, forming an important passage for ships coming from the European continent. However, the onslaught of the Spanish forces revealed the riches of Panama City to the pirates. Soon, it was plundered and overrun by pirate ships that were very notorious during the 18th century. In fact, at one point, Panama City was largely known as a pirate stronghold and many trading ships preferred to stay away from it. Panama City gained independence from the Spanish regime in 1821.

History of Independence

From the middle of 19th century, Panama was controlled by Colombia. It was with the political and military backing of the US that Panama gained independence in 1903 and Panama City emerged as the national capital. However, the capital region at this point wasn’t the present-day Panama City. This capital city was Panama Viejo, which is now referred to as Old Panama or Old Panama City, and presently forms the outskirts of the national capital region.

History of Important Places within Panama City

Panama La Viejo is also regarded as the national treasure in terms of historic monuments. Its famous sites like Historic Complex provide an insight into how the Spanish laid the basis for the modern-day Panama City—the first signs of urban development in Panama. This city also witnessed many battles and revolutions that ultimately defined the pattern of various regimes in Panama. Another important destination within Panama City is Casco Viejo. Now, a World Heritage Site, it was the center of many pirate attacks and a prominent, Spanish-era trading center.

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