You wouldn’t think building-happy Santiago would let the prime real estate that is Parque Forestal go without construction, but the narrow strip of land was left over after a canal was built in 1891 to tame the unpredictable Río Mapocho. The area quickly filled with the city's refuse. A decade later, under the watchful eye of Enrique Cousiño, it was transformed into the leafy Parque Forestal. It was and still is enormously popular with Santiaguinos, and recent investments have cleaned it further, installed playgrounds for children, and created a bike path along the northern edge.
On weekends, the area near the Contemporary Art Museum fills with jugglers, people doing aerial silks, and acrobatics. The eastern tip of the park, near Plaza Baquedano (also referred to as Plaza Italia, though that plaza is further north) is distinguished by the Wagnerian-scale Fuente Alemana (German Fountain), donated by the German community of Santiago. The bronze-and-stone monolith commemorates the centennial of Chilean independence.