Panama City

Panama City
1. Panama (def. 2).
2. a city in NW Florida. 33,346.

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City (pop., 2000: 415,964), capital of Panama.

Near the Pacific Ocean entrance of the Panama Canal, on the Bay of Panama, the site was originally an Indian fishing village. The old city was founded in 1519 but was completely destroyed by British buccaneer Henry Morgan in 1671. It was rebuilt in 1674 just west of the old site. In 1751 the area became part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada and later part of Colombia. It was the centre of the Panamanian revolt against Colombia in 1903, when it became the capital of Panama. After the canal opened in 1914, the city developed rapidly, becoming the commercial and transportation centre of the country. The economy depends largely on revenue from canal traffic and associated services.

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      city, seat (1913) of Bay county, northwestern Florida, U.S. It is the port of entry on St. Andrew Bay (an arm of the Gulf of Mexico (Mexico, Gulf of)), about 95 miles (150 km) east of Pensacola. The first English settlement (c. 1765), known as Old Town, was a fishing village later called St. Andrew. In 1909 Panama City (named by developer George W. West for Panama City, Panama) merged with St. Andrew and Millville to form the present city. During the American Revolution the area was settled by loyalists (loyalist), who grew indigo and developed lumbering and naval stores industries. Saltworks and fisheries on St. Andrew Bay, established to serve the Confederacy during the American Civil War, were destroyed by Union raids in 1863. During World War II the city became a shipbuilding and war industrial centre, and the population grew rapidly.

      Panama City's landlocked, deepwater harbour is on the Intracoastal Waterway and is linked to the gulf by a channel. The U.S. Navy's Coastal Systems Station conducts research on warfare, and Tyndall Air Force Base is just southeast of the city. Tourism and the military are the chief economic factors; manufacturing (including paper products and chemicals), fishing, and shipbuilding are also important. The Panama City area is a popular destination for college students on spring vacation. The city is the seat of Gulf Coast Community College (1957) and has a campus of Florida State University. St. Andrews State Recreation Area, known for its beautiful beaches, is just south of the city. Gulf World Marine Park in nearby Panama City Beach includes dolphin and sea lion shows. Inc. 1909. Pop. (1990) city, 34,378; Panama City MSA, 126,994; (2000) city, 36,417; Panama City MSA, 148,217.

Spanish  Panamá , or  Ciudad de Panamá 
 capital of the Republic of Panama (Panama), located near the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal, on the Gulf of Panama (Panama, Gulf of). The site was originally an Indian fishing village; the name Panamá means “many fish.” The old city (Panamá Viejo) was founded in 1519 by Governor Pedro Arias Dávila (Arias Dávila, Pedro) and was made the seat of both secular and ecclesiastical authority. From the Andean countries bullion was shipped northward by sea to Panama City and from there was carried across the isthmus by pack animals to Nombre de Dios or Portobelo on the Caribbean coast for shipment to Spain. The city prospered until the depredations of pirates and privateers curtailed trade. In 1595 Sir Francis Drake (Drake, Sir Francis) tried unsuccessfully to send a force across the isthmus to sack old Panama; in 1671, however, Henry (afterward Sir Henry) Morgan (Morgan, Sir Henry) completely destroyed it. The new city (Panamá Nuevo) was rebuilt 5 miles (8 km) west of the old site in 1674 by Alonso Mercado de Villacorta, a Spanish conquistador. Political and economic decline followed, and in 1751 the city and area became part of New Granada and eventually part of Colombia. During the 19th century, Panama was the scene of much disorder. In 1903 independence from Colombia was declared there, and the city was made the national Panamanian capital. During the period 1903–36 the United States was responsible for policing the city.

      Panama City developed rapidly with the construction of the canal (1904–14). It became a polyglot modern centre with cabarets, nightclubs, and squalid slums (later partially cleared). The title to the water and sewer systems, built by the United States, was turned over to the government of the republic in 1942, and in 1953 their management was also transferred. The city was the site of Latin American congresses in 1826, 1939, and 1959. It was also the site of the headquarters of Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega (Noriega, Manuel) and as such was the focal point of the invasion of Panama by the United States in 1989; extensive looting occurred throughout Panama City in the wake of the invasion.

      The port facilities serving Panama City lie in adjacent Balboa. The city's economy is largely dependent on financial services and on canal traffic. Industries include breweries, oil refineries, steel-rolling mills, and clothing and wood factories. Panama City is linked with Colón by the canal, the Ferrocarril de Panamá (Panama Railroad), and the Transisthmian Highway and with David and Chepo by the Pan-American Highway. It is served by an international airport at Tocumen, 17 miles (27 km) from the city centre.

      The city retains many reminders of colonial times, including several plazas, the cathedral (begun 1673), which contains Bartolomé Murillo's painting of the Virgin of the Rosary, and the San Francisco Church (now renovated). The city's restored Historic District, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997, has become an increasingly popular tourist attraction. Modern buildings include the Palace of Justice, La Presidencia, the National Palace, and the hotel El Panamá. Panama City is the seat of the national university (founded 1935), the University of Santa María la Antigua (1965), and schools of dance, music, art, and theatre associated with the National Institute of Culture. There are a number of academies, libraries, museums, and research institutes. The Gorgas Memorial Laboratory of Tropical and Preventive Medicine was established there in 1928. The city has become a major international finance centre. About two-fifths of the national population resides in the Panama City urban agglomeration, which includes San Miguelito, Tocumen, Arraiján, and Balboa. Pop. (2000) city, 415,964; (2005 est.) urban agglomeration, 1,216,000.

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Universalium. 2010.

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