Photo of the Week
May 12, 2013

Well, I was a bit off on the location of the Columbus statue last week.  I thought it was over by the Washington Hotel and Christ Church when in fact it was in front of the old French Canal Headquarters building on Cristobal Point.  The photo above is a crop of a panoramic photo sent to me by CZImages contributor Andrew Fraser.  You can see the old French HQ building with the Columbus statue out in front with that same circular drive that the horse and buggy was seen going around in last weeks photo.  As Andrew states below, the dredge you saw in last week's photo was doing prep work for the docks that are shown here in the photo.  I love it when we get the facts straight.  Below are Andrew's comments via email and below his comments is another photo of the statue and building along with a excerpt from John O. Collins book Panama Guide.

Post comment submission:

Another great photo of the week.  The photo you have this week was actually shot from the upper porch of the French Canal Headquarters which was located in what we knew as Old Cristobal.  The photo I've attached is a poor scan of a panoramic photo showing Old Cristobal with Colon in the background.  The panoramic was probably taken after the photo you have as you can see the Cristobal piers are under construction.  The dredge you show in your picture is probably dredging the area at the end of Pier #9 and 10 which is right at the entrance to the French Canal.  Check in your archives as I thing I sent you a copy of this panoramic a couple of years ago.  Hope this helps.
Andrew Fraser  

Across the Canal Zone line in the village of Cristobal are the cold-storage and manufacturing plants of the Commissary system, a modern fire-station house, and the old French Canal Headquarters, on Cristobal point.  One of these buildings was built for Charles de Lesseps, son of the Canal Promoter and was occupied by him and other canal officials during the French regime.  It is now used a office fro the Commissary system and other branches of the Canal administration. Occupying the little knoll on the point is situated the statue of Christopher Columbus, in heroic bronze, in the attitude of protecting an Indian girl crouching by his side.  It is said the he is supposed to be explaining away the terror of the girl, but Ferdinand de Lesseps said upon the occasion of his visit in 1880 that he was learning from the Indian "the secret of the straits," and in turn was explaining to her its profound importance.  This statue was presented to Columbia in 1868 by the Empress Eugenie, and was set up in the railroad yard in Colon in 1870, but upon request of Lesseps it was removed to Cristobal Point.  The construction of the docks at this point will again place it in the railroad yard, and it is proposed to remove it once more, this time to set it up in the garden in front of the new Washington Hotel on Colon Beach.

Panama Guide - John O. Collins, 1912

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