We have never actually been in Panama City’s new town, but we’ve seen it three times from three perspectives, from the deck of a ship, from the causeway connecting it with the cruise port, and from the perspective of the Old City. One of my favorite views is looking at its skyline over the top of Frank Gehry’s bioMuseo, which we couldn’t visit this time because it was closed for the Martyr’s Day holiday.
The Old City was an important center for commerce and treasure. Ships from the West Coast of South America, from further north in Mexico and even from the Philippines unloaded here, their treasure put on donkeys for the trek across the Isthmus to the Atlantic for shipment to enrich Spain. European goods came the other way.
Today modern Panama is a financial center, an offshore banking center, and of course, the focal point for canal business. While we have not gotten into the new city (perhaps next time) we have seen it gleaming in the sun and brooding under thunder clouds. Some pictures make it look shining and some a bit imposing. Sometimes, shooting through the humid haze, the city looks like an impressionistic painting of brutalist architecture.
Here are some pictures of Panama City – from a distance.