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Church of St. Joseph
The Panama Canal stretches 77km (48 miles) across the Isthmus of Panama and connects the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. It is one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken.
Originally conceived by the Spanish in 1524 as a way of reducing the time taken in shipping the treasures of the Americas to Spain, it was not until 1881 that the project was started by the French under the supervision of Ferdinand de Lesseps following his success in constructing the Suez Canal. Due to the technical and financial difficulties and the loss of over 25,000 lives due to Yellow Fever and Malaria it was abandoned by the French in 1888. READ MORE
Panama Viejo was the first European city built on the Pacific coast of the Americas. It was founded in 1519 by the Spanish conquistador Pedro Arias de Ávila. The city was to become an important site for the shipment of gold and silver back to Europe, which made it attractive to pirates and was consequently subject to a number of raids. On 28th January 1671, an attack was instigated by Captain Henry Morgan who, with 1,400 men marched through the jungle from the Caribbean coast and brought about its total destruction. Today the ruins of the site are a major tourist attraction. READ MORE
Church of Saint Joseph
The Church of Saint Joseph was constructed following the destruction of Panama Viejo in 1671 by Pirates under Captain Henry Morgan and the move by the Order of St. Augustine to the new location of Casco Viejo. The church contains the famous Golden Altar which is considered one of the greatest treasures of Panama. READ MORE
Copyright - All Photographs copyright Ron Gatepain