Quinta Normal Park is an emblematic green area in the city, a landmark drawing together part of the varied cultural offer of the Yungay Quarter.
It was initially an agricultural experimentation field, later becoming a meeting point for the more well-to-do Santiago families. With the exodus of the elite to the east sector of the city, Quinta Normal became an area for popular entertainment.
It is visited annually by thousands of people attracted by the wide range of cultural events offered by the network of museums located inside, as well as by its nooks and crannies, such as the lagoon where visitors can enjoy a boat ride or the square with water games inaugurated in 2011.
Quinta Normal park, founded in 1842, covers about 40 hectares of land and since 1976 holds the title of Nature Sanctuary because of the diversity of plant species found there.
In 2013 was chosen by a magazine Travel + Leisure as one of the most beautiful parks in the world.
Since 1842, the park began to be developed as a scientific experimentation center. During the 20th century, and up to the 1930s, it was a meeting point for intellectuals, politicians, aristocrats and the middle classes.
In January 1841, President José Joaquín Prieto authorized the purchase, for 9,675 Chilean pesos, of a plot of land that used to belong to José Diego Portales. The park began to be developed in 1842, and two years later 134 hectares of land were turned over to the National Agriculture Society that included Quinta Normal, as well as the small farms called Las Chacras de Lo Merced, Lo Portales and La de Vigurin, to be used for acclimatizing foreign trees and for the reproduction of exotic animals. More than a decade later, this gave rise to the greenhouse and to the creation of the Botanical Garden which, along with the one in Buenos Aires, was one of the first in South America.
During the first decades of the 20th century, this park became a meeting point for intellectuals, politicians, aristocrats and the middle classes. By way of an example, since the turn of the century, the National Agriculture Society held annual exhibitions there that later led to the International Fair of Santiago, FISA.
In 1969, the Municipality of Santiago took charge of the administration of the park.
Inside the park is a network of museums, including the Railroad Museum, the Museum of Natural History, and the Museum of Science and Technology. In the surrounding area, the following can also be visited: the Artequin Museum, the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, the Santiago Library and the Matucana 100 Cultural Center.
Other must-see attractions include the lagoon, with two jetties for boats, and the water games square, whose water jets are lit up by colored lights at nighttime.
Matucana, 520, Santiago.