Location: 520 Matucana
Preservation Status: National Monument of Chile in the category of Historical Monument
Parque Quinta Normal is an important green area of the community of Quinta Normal that has 36 hectares, was founded in 1841 and was designed by the French naturalist Claudio Gay. Originally, it had 135 hectares, with a diversity of tree species that facilitated study and experimentation. Today there are more than 4,200 trees.
Its name relates both to its agricultural origin (quinta: orchard) and to the proximity of the Escuela Normal de Preceptores (Normal School of Teachers) established in 1842. It was inaugurated by President Manuel Bulnes, and administered by the National Society of Agriculture. It was Chile’s first public park.
The Quinta Normal was conceived as an area for education and agricultural experimentation, then transformed into a meeting point for the city aristocracy who resided in Yungay District.
In 1970 the National Agricultural and Livestock Service turned over administration to the Municipality of Santiago.
As the social elite moved to the eastern part of the city, the park began to be enjoyed for its landscape and its recreational nature rather than its original scientific vocation.
In this way Quinta Normal became a center of popular culture with cultural, educational, sports and recreational activities.
The park is home to a number of cultural and educational buildings that integrate the national heritage: museums, educational facilities of the University of Chile, Balmaceda Arte Joven. It is within the Typical Zone of Yungay District and for years it was considered a nature sanctuary because of its biodiversity.