Independence Square (Plaza de la Independencia)

Address: Calle 5a Este, Panamá, Panama

For many cities, the square in the city centre is uniquely significant. In many Latin American countries, there is the independence square in the city centre to commemorate the decolonisation and independence of the country. Although Independence Square in Panama is small, it is highly regarded. The square is surrounded by important buildings, such as the famous Iglesia de San José and a museum specifically built for the Panama Canal. 

The three-storey building in continental style was built in 1874. It was once the office of both the French and U.S. companies engaged in the construction of the canal, therefore, the structure itself is highly historical. 

The French began constructing the canal in 1881. However, due to technical issues and frequent industrial accidents, the construction was brought to an end. Later the construction was taken over by the Americans and was completed after a decade. In 1977, the United States and Panama signed the Torrijos–Carter Treaties. The two countries first managed the canal together until 1999 when the canal officially “returned” to Panama. The “return” marks the official independence of Panama because it can solely manage her canal, echoing with the significance of Independence Square.