29.1.12

Natá de los Caballeros

It is hard to believe that the sleepy town of Natá de los Caballeros, in the province of Coclé, was once more important than Panama City. As a matter of fact, when the old city of Panama was sacked and plundered by English pirate Sir Henry Morgan in 1671, this small community briefly shared duties as the country's colonial capital with Penonomé, 20 miles to the northeast, until the relocation of Panama City two years later.

Natá was founded early in the colonial period, in 1522. Its name ("de los Caballeros" is Spanish for "of the gentlemen") comes from the fact that the community's first European inhabitants were Spanish noblemen, sent to conquer a rich plain settled by a progressive, Native American nation. It is said that when the first Spanish came they found enough food in town to feed an army. The Spanish devoured a year's worth of supplies in only three months, married local princesses and blended their culture with that of their hosts to form the Mestizo population of Panama's interior provinces.

The main legacy of those times is the town's church, the Santiago Apostol Minor Basilica, the oldest in the entire Western Hemisphere and declared a National Monument in 1941.source


How it look long ago....how it looks today...


This is such a beautiful old historic church...one of the treasures of Panama..so glad that Jim and I were able to see it on the way back from Boquete this week.


They had to replace the four bells as they were made out of solid gold and sacked by the Spanish...can you imagine how much those bells would be worth today and how they would of helped pay for the restoration of this church! Amazing!



1 comment:

Christa said...

Wow ... what a beautiful church ... I love visiting old churches myself ... great the you were able to check it out your way back ... see you soon ... !!! xoxo