Just south of Plaza Bolívar on Avenida B is the Teatro Nacional, designed by Genaro Ruggieri, the Italian architect responsible for La Scala in Milan. Extensively restored in the early 1970s, the splendid Neoclassical interior is richly furnished and decorated in red and gold, with French crystal chandeliers, busts of famous dramatists and a vaulted ceiling painted with scenes depicting the birth of the nation by Panamanian artist Roberto Lewis. Official opening hours are rarely adhered to, but if the door is open, you can usually take a look around; alternatively, try to catch a performance here.

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