Page 26 - I&MI Media The Magazine 3/2012

26 The Magazine
SEP/OCT 2012
The Historic
Casco Viejo is the historic district
and cultural gem of Panama
City. Declared a UNESCO
World Heritage Site in 2003,
Casco Viejo was first settled
over 300 years ago by Spanish
colonialists. Historically one of
the richest and most densely
populated neighborhoods in
the Americas, Casco Viejo went
on to experience decades of
neglect through the 1950s. In the
past decade it has undergone a
renaissance of gentrification, and
now beautifully restored buildings
line the historic streets alongside
the occasional unrestored
building, creating a unique
blend of museums, gourmet
restaurants, quaint shops and all
manner of residences.
Cultural, Ecological, Geological
In early 2013, Panama
City will proudly
inaugurate the new
Biomuseo Panama,
designed by world
renowned architect
Frank Gehry and
celebrating the unique
cultural, ecological and
geological origins of
the Isthmus of Panama.
The 4,000-sqm/43,000-
sqft museum will
feature eight galleries,
all of which combine to paint a comprehensive and compelling
picture of how the Isthmus of Panama was formed and how
it came to be one of the most biologically diverse areas in the
world. Amidst Gehry’s colorful and unique architecture, visitors
will be able to enjoy stunning exhibits, such as the three-level,
fourteen-screen “Panamarama” gallery and an “Oceans Divided”
feature complete with two aquariums, making it a sensational
combination of visual splendor and scientific understanding.
Edificio 136, Calzada de Amador,
Apartado 0843-02931, Panama
Events of Every Size and Shape
The Atlapa Convention Center is a 32,375-sqm/348,482-sqft complex
that borders the Pacific Ocean and offers a maximum capacity of
people. Among its many facilities, a majestic 3,000-seat
theater-auditorium is equipped with a state-of-the-art light and
sound system and is designed with the highest acoustic qualities in
order to accommodate anything from multi-media presentations to
philharmonic orchestras. A second 600-seat theater is ideal for artistic
events, congresses,
conferences and
banquets. Atlapa also has
sqm/34,444 sqft
of exhibition space, an
adjacent lobby area that
offers an additional 1,600
sqm/17,222 sqft of space
for exhibitions, banquets
or registration, and 19
meeting rooms.
011 507 226 7000
Neo-Baroque Masterpiece
The Teatro Nacional was inaugurated in 1908 and is built on the site of an 18th century monastery.
When it was first opened, it enjoyed fame as a glamorous destination for Panama City’s elite, but it
gradually fell into disrepair and was at one point a movie house. After two separate restorations in the
s and early 2000s to repair years of damage and neglect, it was reopened in 2004 and visitors
can now enjoy a visit or a performance in its neo-baroque Old World style. Be sure to check out the
ceiling frescos by Roberto Lewis, a well-known Panamanian artist. Available for special events when no
performances are scheduled.
Calle 3 Catedral y Avenida B, Casco Viejo, Panama
011 507 262 3525
A Captivating Dinner
Sharing its name with the esplanade that runs along the top of the
sea wall surrounding Casco Viejo, Las Bóvedas is a unique French
restaurant set in the vaults of a 300-year-old fort that housed political
prisoners for most of the 19th century. Specializing in local seafood with
a French twist, the menu
varies daily – subject to
the catch of the day – but
always includes plenty of
seafood and a cut of steak
just to round things out a
bit. A guitarist performs
in the last vault nightly,
except Friday and Saturday
when there’s jazz. Perfect
for a small group or an
unforgettable incentive trip.
Plaza Francia,
Casco Viejo
011 507 228 8058