Our hotel is a new hostel in the Casco Viejo region of the city. "Casco Viejo" means old quarter, and this was where the city was rebuilt after Henry Morgan sacked the old city in 1671. The area has seen some better years, with buildings becoming run down and such. However, it was granted a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognition a few years back, and now renovations have been going on to put the area back into its traditional glory. The area is surrounded on two sides by water, and comes to a point into the Pacific Ocean. After the original city was sacked, the townspeople decided to start using the natural protective barriers around them. The quarter is home to the gold altar,a church altar made completely of gold, which, story goes, a priest covered it in coal dust to turn it black, and told Henry Morgan that the original altar had already been pillaged.
Below is the Catedral of Panama. It is a beautiful old church, complete with a the Plaza de la Independencia outside of it.
The quarter also is home to the Plaza de la Francia, or the French Plaza, which tells the story of the France's role in buiding the canal. It shows some of the original wall that was around the city and the Puente de las Americas, or the Bridge of the Americas, which links the two continents. Casco Viejo is also the home to the Presidents Palace, which I think it really cool. The president lives in the historical part of the city instead of the flashy, modernized downtown.