The old park of the Los Callejones estate located in the town of Graneros, in the Region of Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins, is a hybrid between English picturesque and French classicism. Careful observation reveals the process of ideation and creation of this park to uncover the site’s hidden and/or forgotten elements.
Located in the district of Graneros, in the Region of Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins, and a little over 77 km south of Santiago, the old park of the ‘Los Callejones’ estate covers approximately 30 km2 of surface that today belong to the Association of Guides and Scouts of Chile. In addition to its frequent use as a campsite for Scout groups, it is used by the National School Camp Program, which provides summer vacations for socially vulnerable children and youth of the region.
Its history dates back to the end of the 19th century, when the Alsatian Guillaume Renner (1843-1924) approached the park’s design using the parameters of the so-called “French naturalist” movement, a sort of hybrid between English picturesqueness and French classicism. From the English side comes the organization of the site based on the gradual recognition of a sequence of gardens and forested spaces and from the French the arrangement of formal elements such as lagoons and fountains, and circulations extended in the mode of allées. In Callejones, Renner as designer and executor of landscape projects characterizing the Central Valley of Chile, such as the Cousiño Park of Santiago (1872-1873), the Gardens of the vineyards Quilín and Santa Rita in Alto Jahuel (1882-1885), and the Plaza San Agustín de Talca (1909-1910), organized a variety of exotic species such as oaks, American oaks, cedars, and fir trees, to name but a few, among which a number of redwoods are also notable.
A path of undulating trails, clearly marked by rows of Sequoia sempervirens, joins with clearings excavated from the forests, whose current reading reveals the process of ideation and creation of this park. The site reveals conditions hidden or forgotten through degradation, modification and/or morphological transformation in relation to the original project. Unfortunately, we lack a historic record of the process of its construction, and a critical discussion in relation to its role in shaping the landscape of Chile’s central valley.
DIRECTIONS: From Santiago, take Route 5 South to San Antonio, then at the fork veer towards Graneros by Route H-10 until you reach Camino Real No. 20, Codegua, Graneros – 1.7 km from Plaza Graneros subway station.