The Plaza de Francia lies at the southeastern tip of the peninsula, a couple of hundred metres from the theatre, and beyond the ruined shell of the Club de Clases y Tropas – the former recreation centre for Noriega’s national guard, which was bombed during the US invasion. Enclosed on three sides by seaward defensive walls, it’s the site of a monument dedicated to the thousands of workers who died during the disastrous French attempt to build the canal. The Neoclassical French Embassy building, fronted by a statue of former president Pablo Arosemena, stands on the north side of the square. The elegant building to the east is home to the National Cultural Institute. During the colonial period the square was a military centre, with the now restored vaults under the seaward walls – known as Las Bóvedas – serving as the city’s jail; built below sea level, it is claimed that they would sometimes flood at high tide, drowning the unfortunate prisoners within.

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16 pictures that show the colours of Panama

16 pictures that show the colours of Panama

After a recent trip to Central America, travel photographer Nori Jemil shares some of her best pictures of Panama.  The geographically strategic isthmus of …

30 Dec 2015 • Nori Jemil insert_drive_file Article
10 things you didn't know you could do in Panama

10 things you didn't know you could do in Panama

There’s a whole lot more to Panama than its famous canal. Hiking, rafting, surfing and diving are just a few of the excellent adventure activities on offer, a…

08 Sep 2015 • Megan Eileen McDonough insert_drive_file Article
A little piece of paradise: visiting Panama’s San Blas Islands

A little piece of paradise: visiting Panama’s San Blas Islands

Let’s clear one thing up straight away: getting to the San Blas islands is not easy, whichever way you’re coming from. And that’s quite deliberate. The…

23 Oct 2014 • James Rice insert_drive_file Article
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