The largest green area in Santiago and an important meeting point for locals since it was first constructed in 1873.
Each year it attracts the country’s attention with the start of the Chile’s National Holiday celebrations. During these days, thousands of people gather at the typical fondas and ramadas, i.e., catering stands and sheds made from branches, and watch the traditional Military Parade which commemorates the Day of the Glories of the Army.
The park’s 74 hectares not only have attractions such as a large green meadow, a picnic area, swimming pools and a skate park, but also provides the ideal setting for mass events such as shows or the successful Loolapalooza Festival, held since 2011.
In 1841, under the Government of Manuel Bulnes, the decree was signed authorizing the purchase of land for military instruction. The place chosen was a dry and dusty plain located in the south area of the capital.
The great attraction of the place, known as Campo de Marte, were the military exercises carried out by battalions of the National Guard on the Sunday before the September 19 Military Parade.
In 1856, Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna had written about the idea of creating a wood in Campo de Marte. Two years later, under the Government of Manuel Montt, the Director of the Agricultural Department, Spanish-born Manuel Arana Bórica was instructed to draft drawings and prepare a budget for constructing the park. However, the project was again left aside until 1870, when Luis Cousiño Squella offered to head and finance the restructuring works for the area, with the expert advice of French landscape designer Guillermo Renner.
The works were completed when the splendid wrought iron fence, which remained intact until 1931, was put in place.
It was Vicuña Mackenna who gave the name to the four avenues surrounding the park: Benjamín Viel on the east; Beauchef on the west; Fernando de Vic Tupper on the north and José de Rondizzoni on the south.
Ornamentation of Cousiño Park was under the charge of Luis Cousiño Squella, who had fountains, vases and countless sculptures brought from Europe to decorate this green area.
The park was inaugurated in 1873 as part of the overall plan for the transformation of Santiago, as designed by Mayor Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna.
Highlights include Cerro Chino, the lagoon and the picnic area. In 2007, as part of the Master Plan for Restructuring O’Higgins Park, a 7.5 hectare meadow was established in the land adjacent to the Ellipse. Two years later, the Municipality of Santiago inaugurated a skate park covering more than 5 thousand square meters.
In September 2015, it was opened to visitor use, the picnic remodeled sector. It is a space of 25,000 aquare meters, which is composed of 40 modules equipped with tables, benches and barbecue; a square of access; new paths, lawns and planting 22 Chilean cocopalm and 10 ative trees.
General Rondizzoni, 473, Santiago.