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whereas, in every other case the church records and other documents have been mutilated by worms, destroyed, or lost.

The ruins of the old Jesuit College and Monastery extend along Avenida B, for a distance of about one hundred yards, and occupy almost the entire block behind. In places, detached portions of the ruined walls, twenty feet or more in height, stand on the very edge of the sidewalk, a palpable menace to life and limb. Shops and small dwellings have been erected in convenient corners of the ruins where economy of construction could be effected by using the original walls. The remains of this once splendid building occupy a large tract of ground in the heart of the city. Nevertheless, , it is not without regret that one learns that the determination of the Government to tax church property has decided the owners to clear this site and devote it to modern improvements. In these days we are moving away from former ages so rapidly that few tangible connections remain.

This building was completed early in the eighteenth century, and was the largest and most imposing edifice in the city at the time. It was made of stone and brick and rose to the

unusual height of five stories. It did not lack architectural beauty, if we may judge from the main entrance, which still stands, facing the Avenue. The enormous doors remain intact, framed in a graceful archway and surmounted by the symbol of the Order of Jesus, a bleeding heart, carved in sandstone. The monastery had not long been built when it was destroyed by the fire which, in 1737, devoured a large portion of the city and included the church of San Domingo in its sweep.

The little church of San José is built against an angle of the ruins of San Domingo, and has stood there for probably considerably more than a century. Not long since, there died at his post an extremely aged priest who had acted as cura of San José for nearly eighty

The church is the smallest and, perhaps, the poorest in Panama. The little wooden bell tower, in the left hand corner of the masonry facade, was doubtless originally designed for a temporary convenience and the money for a substantial substitute has never been available. The interior displays similar indications of poverty in its wooden columns and choir loft and cheap finishings. There is no attempt


at decoration. Kalsomine covers the walls and woodwork, but the gaudily dressed figures of saints on altar and shrine afford an overabundance of color.



The narrow strip of land, running east and west, and connecting the continents of North and South America, used to be considered a part of the latter, but is now generally looked upon as a portion of Central America. This classification is consistent with the physical and climatic features of the territory of Panama, which more closely resemble those of Costa Rica, than they do those of Colombia.

The Republic of Panama occupies an area of nearly 32,000 square miles, of which the extreme length is 430 miles and the average breadth 70 miles. Its inland borders, dividing it on the one hand from Costa Rica, and on the other Colombia, aggregate less than 350 miles, while its coast line totals 1,245 miles, considerably more than half of which faces the Pacific. This peculiar formation of the territory insures two great advantages; either coast is easily accessible from any point in the interior and the entire area might be brought within the scope of a railroad more readily than the domain of any other nation in the world. Surveys for such a road to extend from Panama to David, in the Province of Chiriqui, have been made and the Government has contracted with the Panama Railroad to build it.

1 The greater part of this chapter is extracted from articles contributed by the author to the “ Bulletin of the American Republics," August, 1909, and “ The Independent," Oct. 21, 1909.

The climate, while tropical, is much less trying than is generally supposed, the proximity of the oceans to all parts of the interior tending to temper the heat. In the dry season, the temperature averages about 76 degrees Fahrenheit, in the wet season a few degrees more, with very little variation at any time.

The rainfall on the Atlantic coast averages 140 inches in the year; on the Pacific coast, about 60 inches, and in the interior 93 inches. The dry season extends from the beginning of the year to about the first of May, but the rains do not cease and commence with the regularity they display in India and other parts of the tropics.

The greater part of the country is broken by

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