Panama City is well known for its diverse landscape that practically replicates a cement jungle, with its colonial buildings and landmarks that stand alongside its high rise skyscrapers, contrasting perfectly but balancing each other out as well.
Panama’s architecture very clearly shows its vast and rich history. Although there are no remains of pre-Columbian landmarks left today, Spanish influence can be seen vividly throughout the capital city. Back in the early 1500s, when the Spanish arrived in Central America, they made Panama one of their bases. This recognition that was given to Panama led to rapid construction work and a growth in architecture in the capital city.
Spanish architectural styles at the time consisted mainly of squares that centered around churches and government buildings. As a result, due to following Spanish and European styles, many of the churches that were built during colonial times in Panama followed a Baroque style of architecture. Aside from that, colonial houses were built with red tiled roofs, reflecting the Spanish Mediterranean style.
With the arrival of the Americans, however, Panama saw its greatest architectural achievement in the early 1900s, in the form of the Panama Canal, which was built between 1880 and 1914. This canal, which became a key to global trade and is now one of the world’s most important trade assets, completely transformed Panama, generating great wealth for the country. It’s extensive impact on the national economy brought forth even greater architectural development, providing the nation with more money and resources.
Today, we can find a combination of both modern and postmodern architecture in Panama, with beautiful colonial churches and buildings along with the creations of world-renowned designers. The Panama City skyline, in fact, is a view that immediately captivates tourists who visit this city from all around the world, not to mention the green mountains and the ocean that surround it, which only add to the effect.