N +9º 18' 41.83" / W -79º 52' 7.67"
Tel: (011) 507 4701100Fax: (011) 507 4701916
Check-in after 12:00h
Check-out until 18:00h
The Meliá Panamá Canal building was built by the Americans in the first half of the 20th century, when the Panama Canal was a reality and Lake Gatún dammed the powerful waters of the River Chagres as it has been doing ever since.
Panama had signed an agreement with the USA to carry out the monumental task of cutting the American continent in two, from Colón to Balboa, ceding to the US the use of five miles on both sides of the canal. So the northern power was able to build large armed forts and airfields to defend both its merchant trade as well as its lifeblood to its navy and armies in the battlefields of Europe and Asia during the Second World War that began in September 1939 and finished at the end of 1945 with the unconditional surrender of Japan after that of Germany and Italy.
In the year after the war ended, the buildings measuring 119,000m2 which were set to be a hospital and blood bank on the peninsula became the infamous ¨Escuela de las Américas¨ - heart of the south command of the USA. But after the end of the Cold War, the USA was forced to move the school to American soil and return the property to Panama.
Damián Barceló, a well-known Spaniard in the world of American and European tourism, fell in love with the buildings and decided that, in spite of their tale of woe and war, they could made useful in the service of peace and so built the Meliá Panamá Canal.