Tuesday, 15 June 2010


I might have mentioned that I don't get too many officials from smaller countries... Well, yesterday was a lovely exception - I found a postcard from Panama amongst my mail!


The funny thing is, I recently arranged a private swap from Panama and at first I thought this was the swap card (it would've arrived really quickly!). ...until I noticed there was a postcard ID on the card. Mmmhh, this is my first written and stamped postcard from Panama - I think I have one that was sent from the USA, and one unwritten card.

On the card you can see Panama City Cathedral and square. Freddy, who sent me the card, tells me that the Cathedral was built between 1688 and 1796. I did some research online and also found the following:

The Cathedral is located in the old quarter of the city (also commonly referred to as "Casco Viejo", "Casco Antiguo" or "San Felipe"). Panamá was the first European settlement on the Pacific coast of the Americas, in 1519, and the Historic District preserves intact a street pattern, together with a substantial number of early domestic buildings, which are exceptional testimony to the nature of this early settlement. Therefore, Casco Antiguo was designated a World Heritage Site. After the first settlement was destroyed by diseases and the pirate attacks, the last and most remembered one by Henry Morgan, the city moved into a rocky peninsula that was both healthier and easier to defend. In 1673 they founded what today is called officially Casco Antiguo, but is also known as San Felipe, Catedral and more commonly, Casco Viejo.

Currently under a revitalization process, Casco Antiguo is a mix of different architectural styles, which reflects the cultural diversity of the country. Caribbean, Republican, Art Deco, French and Colonial mix in a site of less than 800 buildings. Most of Panama´s City´s main monuments are located in Casco Antiguo, including the Salón Bolivar, the main Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana), the National Theatre (founded in 1908), and Las Bovedas Monument.

Panama City (Spanish: Panamá) itself is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Panama. It has a population of 813,097, with a total metro population of 1,206,792, and it is located at the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal.

The stamps are lovely, too. The bottom one is from a set of 4 stamps issued in 2007, representing the Red-backed squirrel monkey. The one in the middle is from a set of 4 stamps issued in 2002, representing Corals of Panama, this one showing Montastraea annularis Ellis and Solander. The stamp on top is also from a set of 4 stamps issued in 2002, representing Artistic Treasures of the Palace "Las Garzas".

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