The French were the first to attempt to build a canal in Panama. Their endeavors were disastrous due to disease and a fool-hearty scheme to build a sea-level canal through the mountains to unite the two oceans. When they got to Panama, they found a backwater without any modern amenity that could hardly be called a city. One of their first steps was to build the city a-new. The buildings in this district of Panama still have their French charm even though the French withdrew defeated by nature from Panama, their architectural legacy endures.