« PředchozíPokračovat »
oldest church in the city, and was constructed La Merced. partly of stone from old Panama. Near it
ran the old wall and a few feet away was the drawbridge. Two Moorish towers rise up from either side of the facade, which, like that of the cathedral, is made of dimension stone. Above the door is a niche for the statue of Our Lady of Mercy. The church is 80 feet wide, and 120 feet long on the Central Avenue side. Within, two rows of four wooden pillars each covered with decorated sheet iron of the year 1890 support the roof and give the effect of a central and two side naves. At the rear an arch, spanning a space 40 feet across, springs from the sides at 30 feet above the floor, and is 50 feet high at the crown. This forms the chancel in which is situated the high altar. Outside this imitation apse are two side altars, while along the left side wall are four shrines, and along the right three. In the right side there is also a large door opening upon a terrace that parallels Central Avenue. This church is a disappointment in every way-architecturally because it is an imitation, spiritually because the interior decorations are so tawdry as to be almost mirth-provoking. All the statues are very bad, and one of them, representing the Blessed Virgin, is a doll. Not a part of the building, and yet of the church, are two chapels built in front of the towers, one a mortuary chapel, and the other an ex-voto offering. This latter is near Central Avenue, and every evening there can be seen in it some of the faithful at their prayers.
The Church of Santa Ana was originally a wooden structure built for the poorer classes in the suburb of Santa Ana
which was inhabited largely by negro servants. Santa Ana. About 1760 Mateo de Izaguirre e Ibarzabal
furnished money for the reconstruction of the church in masonry, and it was dedicated on January 20, 1764. The Spanish crown conferred knighthood on the man who gave the money, and he was afterwards known as the Count of Santa Ana.
This building is of rubble covered with cement mortar, but with a front of dimension stone. A moorish tower rises from one side of the facade, but the other side is merely the end of the gable roof, which has been covered with the false wall done in scroll, characteristic of most of the church buildings in Panama. The dimensions are 70 feet long by 160 feet wide. A front and two side doors give entrance, and the aisles running from them cut the interior into four equal quadrangles. Parallel rows of wooden pillars and the side walls support the roof. The sanctuary is formed by a large central masonry arch spanning a space 36 feet across, springing at 20 feet from the floor and 40 feet above the floor at its crown, and two smaller arches with crown 25 feet above the floor. The center arch spans the high altar, and the side arches the altars of the Virgin and the Sacred Heart. Outside the sanctuary, on the Sacred Heart side, is an effigy in a glass case of the Count of Santa Ana. Glass eyes are turned skyward, and a heavy black mustache carefully brushed adorns a face so fair that it is quite pink. On the screen at the entrance to the church is a portrait in oil of the Count. Along the wall on the epistle side of the church are three shrines, one framing an interesting picture of the crucifixion, and on the gospel side are two shrines. The interior of this church is cold and cheerless, and what color there is seems very tawdry to one not accustomed to such things.
The church of San Jose stands at the corner of Avenue A and 8th street, and is the church of the Augustinian
friars. It has a front of 40 feet on Avenue A, San José and is 80 feet deep along 8th street. It has a
gable roof, but inside is finished with a barrel arch nave 40 feet high, apparently supported on two rows of six wooden posts. The apse is framed by the three arches at the termination of the main and side naves, and a skylight above it allows the daylight to illuminate the chancel effectively. The altar is decorated in good taste, the five side shrines are modest, and the whole interior has an air of quiet.
The Dominican friars began to build their church and convent in new Panama immediately after the founding
of the city. In Old Panama they had a subRuins of stantial building of stone, and some of this San Domingo entered into the edifice in the new city. In Church. the fire of 1756 all the woodwork was burned,
and the church was not rebuilt. It is a typical piece of the architecture of the period, the facade still showing where the towers rose, and the little statue of Saint Dominic still standing above the broad front entrance. The church is situated on the corner of Avenue A and 3d Street. It is built of rubble masonry, with dimension stone in the facade, and was erected by the lay brothers of the order. It is 75 feet wide and 120 feet long. The nave is 70 feet deep. Instead of having side naves the church has three arches or vaults for shrines on each side, and one arch on each side for entrances, that on the street side for the people and on the side opposite as a means of entrance from the courtyard of the old monastery. The apse is 50 feet deep and is formed by three grand arches (one was shattered in the earthquake of 1882) and two side arches. Near the main entrance, forming one of the supports for the choir, is a brick arch, spanning a space of 50 feet, 35 feet high at the crown and 25 feet at the spring. So flat an arch is said to be an engineering "sport," and it is pointed out as one of the sights of the city. Arches almost as flat will be found under the choir of the church of San Francisco, and in the ruins of the old Jesuit church. Alongside the ruins is a chapel of modern construction and still in use. The old church is now private property and a modern apartment house is now projected for the site.
In the first years of the decline in Panama, before it was fully realized just what the abandonment of the trade
route across the isthmus meant, the Society Ruins of Jesuit of Jesus began to build a college and convent Church and in Panama. The first work was done in 1749 Convent. and the building was completed in 1751. It
consisted of a church on the corner of the pres
ent Avenue A and 7th Street (extending back along 7th street to the edge of Cathedral Plaza), and a long rectangular building joined to the church, which was to serve as dormitories and school for the students of the University of the Holy Savior. The political activity of the order in Latin Europe about this time led to the movement for its suppression in Spain, France, and Portugal, and the decree of 1767 driving the Jesuits out of Spain was made effective in Spanish America. On August 28, 1767, the priests of the University of San Javier in Panama were put upon ship at Porto Bello and sent to Europe, and thus within 20 years after the opening of their university, the magnificient building was vacant. In 1781 the fire that burned out all that section of the city consumed every bit of wood in the Jesuit church and college. The property was confiscated by the State during one of the Liberal governments of the Colombian period, and was purchased by a Panaman family. In 1909 the walls were still standing gaunt and empty, when a cheap wooden frame was built up inside of them and the old college was turned into a tenement house. But the church is still much as it was after the fire, except that some sheds have been built within it, and horses and cows are stabled in the sanctuary of the apse. Notwithstanding the vandalism, the ruin is one of the most interesting to be found on the isthmus. Apropos of the ban on the Jesuits, it is of interest that the late Javier Jungito, Bishop of Panama, was of the Society of Jesus.
Newspapers. The first newspaper published in Panama was a revolutionary sheet issued in March, 1820. A newspaper in
English-The Panama Star and Herald—was first Newspapers. published in February, 1849. It was printed
then, as now, half in English and half in Spanish, and during the French period there was a section in French. In 1911, The Panama Journal, a daily in English, began to issue. There are several periodicals in Spanish, each representing the fortunes of some editor-for-politics only. The Canal Record, published in Ancon, is the official bulletin of the Isthmian Canal Commission. It was first issued on September 4, 1907.
National Institute. On the borderline between the Canal Zone and Panama city, with its broad bare back facing towards Ancon, is the new home of the Panama National Institute, Nationa! opened in 1911. It consists of seven buildInstitute. ings of rubble masonry, Spanish mission
type, surrounding a large courtyard, in the center of which is a gymnasium. This is the largest building in the Republic. It is planned to make it the head of Panama's educational system, but at present the pupils are mostly children in primary and secondary work. No tuition is charged, and nonresidents of Panama are supplied with room and board while in attendance at the school. (See page 140.)
Amusements. The amusements of a formal kind offered by Panama are few. Twice a year there are traveling troupes at the
National Theater; twice a year a circus pitches Amusements. its tents for a week's stay in Herrera Plaza;
every Sunday there is a cock fight in the main back of the old drawbridge bastion; and every night there are moving-picture shows along Central Avenue. A favorite drive is that out the Sabanas Road toward Old Panama, or starting in that direction making a detour toward Corozal. Every year before Ash Wednesday there is a carnival in which the people elect a queen, and around her and the God Momus, make a play at the old game of sovereign and people. Then there are parades, masked balls, and a coronation ceremony in the National Theater. Native dances are done in the plazas, and four days are given over to masking, serenading, and dancing. About a mile beyond the city, well removed from the outfall of the sewers, there is a crescent-shapedbeach where one may go sea bathing. The dressing rooms are poor, however, and the place is difficult of access. The best day's trip for a tourist to take is the ride across the bay to the island of Taboga. A steamer makes this trip daily.
Coach Tariff. Coach Rates The fare for a single ride for one person Panama and in Panama city is ten cents, United States Vicinity. currency, represented by a Panaman coin
commonly known as “twenty cents silver." The coach tarriff follows:
Coach per hour..
Coach per hour.