Plaza De Francia, Panama, Central America

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Plaza de Francia

Panama City

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 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.

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1. Instituto Nacional de Cultura

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INAC is responsible for maintaining the country’s museums and other cultural institutions. There is a small gallery on the 1st floor that displays works…

2. Paseo las Bóvedas

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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 Américas arching over…

3. Iglesia y Convento de Santo Domingo

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Built in 1678, these gorgeous ruins in Casco Viejo are what remain after two major fires brought down the church's tower and interior areas. Left are the…

4. Museo de Arte Religioso Colonial

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Housed beside the ruins of the Iglesia y Convento de Santo Domingo, the Museo de Arte Religioso Colonial has a collection of colonial-era religious…

5. Teatro Nacional

0.21 MILES

Built in 1907, the interior of this ornate Casco Viejo theater has been completely restored. It boasts red and gold decorations, a once-magnificent…

6. Museo del Canal Interoceánico

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This impressive museum is housed in a beautifully restored building that once served as the headquarters for the original French canal company. The Panama…

7. Iglesia de San Francisco

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This restored 17th-century church exhibits Gothic, Romantic and Renaissance architectural influences.

8. Museo de Historia de Panamá

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The modest Museo de Historia de Panamá has a small selection of exhibits covering Panamanian history from the colonial period to the modern era.