Panama City

Panama City (Spanish: Panamá) is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Panama. It has a population of 880,691, with a total metro population of 1,272,672, and it is located at the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal, in the province of Panama. The city is the political and administrative center of the country as well as a hub for international banking and commerce. It is considered a Beta World City and the most important city of Central America.

With an average GDP per capita of $11,700, Panama has been among the top five places for retirement in the world, according to International Living magazine. Panama City has a dense skyline of mostly highrise buildings, and it is surrounded by a large belt of tropical rainforest. Panama's Tocumen International Airport, the largest and busiest airport in Central America, offers daily flights to major international destinations.

Panama City was chosen to be the 2003 American Capital of Culture jointly with Curitiba, Brazil.

Panama City was founded on August 15, 1519, by Spanish conquistador Pedro Arias Dávila. The city was the starting point for expeditions that conquered the Inca Empire in Peru. It was a stopover point on one of the most important trade routes in the history of the American continent leading to the fairs of Nombre de Dios and Portobelo, where most of the gold and silver that Spain took from the Americas passed through.

On January 21, 1673, the city was destroyed by a fire when pirate Henry Morgan sacked and set fire to it. The city was formally reestablished two years later on January 21, 1675, in a peninsula located 8 km from the original settlement. The site of the previously devastated city is still in ruins and is now a popular tourist attraction known as Panama Viejo.

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