Since its opening in 2012, the Celestino Mutis Park has transformed into the largest urban oasis in the city of Cádiz, boasting lush greenery and sprawling spaces for leisure and recreation. This beautiful park was developed from the former shipyard land, which was previously utilized for industrial purposes. Its inauguration marked the completion of the “Barrio de Astilleros” developement project.
The park is bordered by the Astilleros neighborhood’s new homes, Avenida de las Cortes, and additional land owned by Astilleros, which connects to the maritime edge of the Bay of Cádiz, where a new promenade has been created. It’s also located in close proximity to a large shopping center (Corte Ingles) and the1812 Constitution Bridge, which offers easy access to the city.
The park is divided into three zones, North, East, and West, with each area having its unique characteristics. The North and East areas are exposed to the easterly wind, which can negatively affect plant growth due to their proximity to the sea. However, the park’s designers have chosen species that can withstand these conditions, making the best use of the space. The municipal facilities of the indoor pool separate the North and East zones from each other. In contrast, the West zone remains independent, protected from the wind by its location and neighboring buildings.
The Celestino Mutis Park is a vital area for transit, leisure, sports, and free time activities. It features several facilities that cater to multiple uses, such as a children’s playground, physical exercise equipment for the elderly, table tennis, chess and picnic areas.
The park’s highlight is the open-air tent called the “Auditorio de Costa Rica”, which hosts cultural activities throughout the year, with seating for approximately 220 people. The tent’s tubular steel structure is anchored by concrete and covered with PVC textile material.
The park boasts specimens of trees, shrubs, and perennials of around 200 different species, distributed throughout the park. Each tree has an informative poster that identifies it and provides details on its origin, history, botanical characteristics, and uses. These posters are a fantastic resource for visitors to learn about the park’s vegetation and its cultural significance, making it an excellent destination for school groups and visitors of all ages.
Who was José Celestino Mutis?
José Celestino Mutis (1732-1808) was a Spanish botanist and one of the most important figures in the history of botanical exploration in Colombia. He was the director of the Royal Botanical Expedition to New Granada, which was a scientific expedition sent by King Charles III of Spain to study the natural resources and flora of the Viceroyalty of New Granada, which included present-day Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela.
During the expedition, which lasted from 1783 to 1816, Mutis collected and classified more than 24,000 plant specimens, many of which were previously unknown to science. He also made significant contributions to the study of quinine, a natural antimalarial drug extracted from the bark of the cinchona tree.
In recognition of his contributions to botany, several plants and animals have been named after him, including the genus Mutisia, which includes several species of Andean shrubs with colorful flowers.
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