Adjacent to downtown Lima you find the Parque de la Exposición, also known as Parque de la Cultura or Gran Parque de Lima, an oasis of peace and tranquility amidst Lima's noisy and hectic hustle and bustle. Enjoy the Museo de Arte with its beautiful gardens, numerous pavilions, theaters and stages, restaurants and food vendors, monuments, fountains and a Japanese garden.
When the former president of Peru José Balta ordered the demolition of Lima's city walls in 1870 the area of the south gate, known as Gate of Guadeloupe, was assigned to become a big park housing the "Exposición International de Lima" (The international exhibition of Lima).
The wide expanse of green space with the Palacio de Exposición, which houses today the Museo de Arte was built and designed by Manuel Atanasio and the Italian architect Antonio Leonardi and inaugurated in 1872. The park was also home to Lima's first zoo. During the War of the Pacific (1879 - 1883), the Parque de la Exposición was used for military purposes; before the Chilean invasion as a garrison and hospital for Peruvian soldiers and after the invasion Chilean troops set up their camp here. As many other parts of Lima the Parque de la Exposición was left to deteriorate in the 70s and 80s. But in the late 90s the park was completely remodeled.
Today you can enjoy the newly renovated Museo de Arte with its beautiful gardens, numerous pavilions, theaters and stages, restaurants and food vendors, monuments, fountains, a small pond with paddle boats and a Japanese garden with koi ponds (a present from Japan to the city of Lima). The park houses regularly fairs and festivals, often showcasing arts and crafts, foods and cultural events from other parts of Peru.
At weekends the numerous stages and the atrium are used for all kinds of performances: from puppeteers to theatre plays and musicals.