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    Is This the Isthmus? Tour – Panama Part 2

    Monday, July 17, 2017
    Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama

    La Iglesia de la Merced in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.
    La Iglesia de la Merced in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.

    La Iglesia de la Merced in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.
    La Iglesia de la Merced in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.

    La Iglesia de la Merced in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.
    La Iglesia de la Merced in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.

    Street art in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.
    Street art in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.

    A distressed wall in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.
    A distressed wall in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.

    A couple of feral dogs attack a guru in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.
    A couple of feral dogs attack a guru in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.

    Woodsy the Owl all posted up in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.
    Woodsy the Owl all posted up in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.

    Casco Viejo (Spanish for Old Quarter) is one of the most historic districts of Panama City. Completed and settled in 1673, it was built following the near-total destruction of the original Panama City, Panama Viejo, in 1671, when the latter was attacked by pirates. Thus, Casco Viejo was built on a peninsula completely isolated by the sea with a defensive system of walls. After being designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, Casco Viejo began to attract investors and foreigners of all stripes, who moved in and started to renovate the neighborhood, while retaining its original architectural charm. Today, along with the canal, Casco Viejo is one of the top attractions in Panama, boasting a multitude of upscale restaurants, cafes, boutiques and shops.

    Bright fabrics for sale in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.
    Bright fabrics for sale in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.

    Street art in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.
    Street art in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.

    A refreshing looking pineapple in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.
    A refreshing looking pineapple in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.

    A little Spanish colonial architecture in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.
    A little Spanish colonial architecture in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.

    Street art in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.
    Street art in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.

    Happy stairs in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.
    Happy stairs in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.

    Street art in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.
    Street art in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.

    A distressed wall in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.
    A distressed wall in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama.

    Following tradition, since yesterday was a major travel day, I took it relatively easy today. I just took a nice, long stroll around the Casco Viejo neighborhood and tried to get a handle on this place. After tooling around for a while shooting photos of street art, which abounds on nearly every street, I chanced upon La Iglesia de la Merced, a recently restored baroque style catholic church built in 1673, boasting numerous carvings of Christ and other major religious figures set inside ornate display cases. There is also a huge pipe organ that is, unfortunately, situated on a balcony high upon the second floor, where it’s practically impossible to get a good photo. Fortunately, the air con was cranked, which made this peaceful place even more comfortable and relaxing.

    Words and photos ©2017 Arcane Candy.

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