Panama Viejo is the remaining part of the old Panama City and former capital of Panama. It is located in the suburbs of the modern city. Together with the historical district of Panama, it forms a World Heritage Site.

The city was founded 15 August 1519 by Peter Arias and other 100 inhabitants; at the time it was the first permanent settlement in the Pacific Ocean, substituting the two cities of Santa María la Antiga del Darién and Acla. Two years later, in 1521, the settlement was promoted to the status of "city" by a royal decree and was given a coat of arms by Charles V of Spain, forming a new Cabildo. Shortly after its creation  the city became a starting point for various expeditions in Peru and an important base where gold and silver was sent to Spain.
In 1539 and 1563 the city suffered some fires which destroyed parts of it but they didn't harm the city's development. In 1610 the city reached a population count of 5000 units, with 500 houses and some convents and chapels, a hospital and a cathedral.

At the beginning of the 17th century the city was attacked several times by pirates and indigenous people from Darién. On 2 May 1620 an earthquake damaged many buildings in the city. On 21 February 1644 the Great Fire destroyed 83 religious buildings, including the cathedral. At this time there were 8000 inhabitants living in the city.
In 1670 the city counted 10,000 inhabitants. On 28 January 1671 Henry Morgan attacked the city with 1400 men and tried to plunder it. The captain general Don Juan Pérez de Guzmán ordered the powder deposits exploded, causing a devastating fire which completely destroyed the city. Unable to get anything of value from the city, the pirates pursued the citizens who were running away with their goods.

*UNESCO description list

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