Historical Facts


Date: November 10, 1821

The first call for independence was made in the province of Los Santos, and not in Panama City, because those living in what the Spanish Crown had called the "Loyal and Very Noble Panama City" still supported the Spaniards' presence in hopes of being awarded certain trading privileges. Upon realizing that their promises of sinecures would not come to fruitition, however, the city joined the independence movement.

The best preserved church in the Old Town of Panama City is La Merced. Stone by stone, its façade was moved to its present site around the year 1680, but the work was suspended for a while to instead provide construction materials for the wall being built around the new town that would protect against another pirate attack. This temple contains the only religious museum in the city.

St. Joseph Church holds one of this country's greatest treasures, the Golden Altar. The church, consecrated to Saint Joseph, is located in the Old Town sector of the capital city at the intersection of Avenue A and Eighth Street. 

Panama's geological history is relatively recent. Approximately three million years ago tectonic movements and volcanic activity caused a narrow strip of land to emerge from the sea. This new isthmus separted the Caribbean Sea from the Pacific Ocean, joined the continental masses of North and South America, gave rise to the Gulf Stream, and transformed the global climate, warming the once frozen European coasts and creating the conditions for the African savannah to grow. It also initiated a massive interchange of flora and fauna between the north and south, acting as a bridge of life that allowed humans to populate the entire continent.

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