El Instituto Nacional was inaugurated on July 17, 1911; eight years after the Republic of Panama separated itself from neighboring Colombia. The original enrollment was 1,000 external students and 200 internal students, meaning they slept and ate their meals within the educational center.
The construction of the edifice was supervised by engineer Florencio Harmodio Arosemena and the blueprints were drawn by Italian architect, Genaro Ruggieri. Ruggieri himself designed the Municipal Palace, the Nacional Theater and the National Palace. Steel, concrete, mosaics, stone and marble were imported from several European countries. The construction process took almost two years. Several Panamanian Presidents graduated from this prestigious education center during its prime years.
Ruggieri followed the Greek classical Ionic and Corinthian orders to design the columns at the entrance of the building. The Corinthian order is the one with elegant acanthus leaves. The bronze sculptures also followed the classic beauty of the Ancient Greeks. In my mind this is one of the most beautiful buildings in the country. I’m glad I captured its essence during my sojourn to the site in downtown Panama City, Panama.
This will be the end of the Instituto Nacional gallery of photographs. I’m proud of this work. This is a structure that deserves to be present forever in this country. I hope it does.
Photographs taken with a Fuji X-30 mirrorless camera. Good Day.