Photo of the Week
March 7, 2021

This week we continue with the Robert Bodle photo collection taken during the construction of the U.S. Canal in Panama.  

This week we are going on an excursion to Panamá Viejo also known as Panamá la Vieja the remaining part of the original Panama City, the former capital of Panama, which was destroyed in 1671 by the Welsh privateer Henry Morgan.  Located today in the suburbs of the current capital. I jumped for joy when I scanned the negative for the above photo.  There nestled in the jungle growth is the old tower of Panama Viejo cathedral standing high above all that remains.  Bodle wrote in his notes, "The beach for a mile or so is littered with bits of broken dishes and pottery, and pieces of brick worn round and smooth by the years of washing to and fro with the water".  This is what this area looked like bake in the early 1900s, untouched by development of the current city.  Super photo!!  

Next down is photo of the tower close up also taken by Bodle.  I have always loved these old photos of the tower with jungle growth on and around it.

Bodle also made this note, "These ruins are only a few miles distant from the present city of the same name, and are also sought by numerous picnic parties when weather and roads are favorable".

The third photo from and is a good photo by Arq. Felix Durán of what the area looks like today. Thank you Felix for the great shot.

And to go a step further, I found this Diorama on-line that shows what the old city looked like in it's prime before Morgan leveled it.  You can see the cathedral and tower as it looked then.  Wikipedia




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