On the northern side of the commune of Santiago, bordered by the Mapocho River on one side, the Forestal Park is one of the most emblematic green areas in the city as well as being an attractive walk for locals and tourists alike.
Thousands of people are drawn by its fields and the attractions in its surroundings, which relate to the living cultural wealth of the quarters known as Lastarria, Bellas Artes and Centro Histórico (Historic Quarter).
All along the park, from Pío Nono bridge to the Mapocho Station Cultural Center, are some important landmarks such as the Fine Arts Museum or the German Fountain that highlight the attraction of this green area.
The Forestal Park was built towards the end of the 19th century with the purpose of creating a tree-lined park that was eventually to become a green lung for the city.
In its origins, dating back to Colonial times, this area was uninhabited and was used as an animal ranch or for military practices, although it lacked a specific use.
Its design was the work of French landscape designer Georges Dubois, the aim being to create a tree-lined park. Due to its proximity to the river, it was decided to flood several blocks in order to level out and irrigate the area. During the works, many tree species including ceibos, araucarias, elms, chestnut trees, cypresses and Chilean palm trees, among other species, were planted.
The Forestal Park has over 6,400 trees, including a row of eastern plane trees stretching from Plaza Italia to the Fine Arts Museum.
In the course of its history, it has undergone numerous changes, such as the inclusion of the Fine Arts Palace Gardens; the removal of the lagoon, which was dried up in 1944; and the construction of an area for children’s games, among other uses.
The most recent intervention was the responsibility of the Municipality of Santiago, in 2011, when the green areas were enlarged, a bike track was built and the German Fountain was restored, among other actions.
One of its landmarks is the German Fountain, donated by the German people in 1910; the monument to Rubén Darío, inaugurated in 1945 in tribute to the Nicaraguan poet; and the sculpture “To Glory”, donated by France on the occasion of the Centenary of the Republic, in 1910.