Plaza de Francia
Instituto Nacional de Cultura
INAC is responsible for maintaining the country’s museums and other cultural institutions. There is a small gallery on the 1st floor...
Paseo las Bóvedas
This esplanade runs along the top of the sea wall built by the Spanish to protect the city. From here, you can see the Puente de las...
Club de Clases y Tropas
This abandoned ruin was once the favorite hangout of General Noriega, though it was virtually destroyed during the 1989 US invasion....
Teatro Anita Villalaz
A historical spot in Casco Viejo to see live performances.
Owned by a warm Panamanian woman who fondly recalls her time in the States, this NYC-style cafe is the perfect spot to linger over a...
Plaza de Francia information
At the tip of the southern point of Casco Viejo, this beautiful plaza pays homage to the French role in the construction of the canal. Its large stone tablets and statues are dedicated to the memory of the 22,000 workers who died trying to create the canal.
Most of the workers died from yellow fever and malaria. Among the busts is a monument to the Cuban doctor Carlos J Finlay, whose discovery of how mosquitoes transmit yellow fever led to the eradication of the disease.
On one side of the plaza are nine restored dungeons that were used by the Spaniards and later by the Colombians. Although they’re now home to some rather upscale art galleries and shops, you can still see the original stonework. Also on the plaza are the Teatro Anita Villalaz and the Instituto Nacional de Cultura.