Fort San Lorenzo, Panama

One of the oldest colonial fortresses in the Americas



A view of Fort San Lorenzo overlooking the mouth of the Chagres River by Summit Enginnering and DesignCyArk

Expedition Overview

The data of Fort San Lorenzo was collected in March 2013 by Mr. Daryl Johnson, Founder of Summit Engineering and Design in Ferndale, Washington. The data was donated to CyArk who archived the data and provided a copy to the site.

A view of Fort San Lorenzo by Summit Enginnering and DesignCyArk

Introducing Fort San Lorenzo

Located on the west bank of the modern Panama Canal, Fort San Lorenzo is an outstanding example of Spanish Colonial military architecture. Construction of the structure was started in 1595 upon the orders of King Philip the Second of Spain to protect the mouth of the Chagres River, a strategic waterway connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Control of the waterway provided access to the riches of the South American colonies along the Pacific Ocean and the site was considered to be one of the “keys” to the Americas. Due to its strategic location the fort was under constant attack by pirates and other conquering forces and as a result, the fort had to be rebuilt three times between the 17th and 18th centuries.

Abandoned canons at Fort San Lorenzo in Chagres by Summit Enginnering and DesignCyArk

A Key to America

The site was partially destroyed by the British admiral Edward Vernon in 1740 and was most recently rebuilt in 1768 with additional fortifications added in 1779. The site is surrounded by large earthwork battlements and a moat. The site features a large cistern used for freshwater in times of siege, a series of underground tunnels and rooms used to hold prisoners and several cannons which have been left in place.

3-D point cloud scan of Fort San Lorenzo by Summit Enginnering and DesignCyArk

The data collected at Fort San Lorenzo provided an accurate point in time record of the condition of the site and was archived by CyArk.

Open Heritage 3D by CyArkCyArk

Data from this project is now freely available through Open Heritage 3D.

Download the data from this project.

About Open Heritage 3D

The mission of the Open Heritage 3D project is to:

● Provide open access to 3D cultural heritage datasets for education, research and other
non-commercial uses.

● Minimize the technical, financial and legal barriers for publishers of 3D heritage data.

● Promote discovery and re-use of datasets through standardized metadata and data formats.

● Foster community collaboration and knowledge sharing in the 3D cultural heritage community.

● Share best practices and methodologies for the capture, processing and storage of 3D cultural heritage data

Credits: Story

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This project was made possible through the following partners:

Summit Engineering and Design

Instituto Nacional de Cultura Panama

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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