Built in 1915 and named after the Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa, Balboa Park, located in the city of San Diego, California, is an urban complex of almost 5 square kilometers, housing a variety of cultural attractions among which are museums, stores, restaurants, gardens, galleries, and of course the famous San Diego Zoo.
The neo-colonial Spanish architecture and Mission style grounds have been located in a nature preserve since the mid-19th century. It was in 1892 when American botanist Kate Sessions occupied a site in what was then called City Park to build a nursery with the intention of planting one hundred trees for the park and for the city.
In 1902 the Park Improvement Committee was born, headed by Sessions, who is considered to be the Mother of Balboa Park, and it was from then on that in later years the beginnings of the park began to take the shape as we know today.
It was named a National Historic Landmark in 1977, and added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. To date, Balboa Park is managed by the City of San Diego and the Parks and Recreation Department, has hosted numerous events, conventions and concerts, and is open to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Some of the most important museums in the area are the Centro Cultural de la Raza, Comic-Con Museum, Museum of Photographic Arts, Museum of Us (formerly Museum of Man), San Diego History Center, San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Natural History Museum, among many others, most of them located near the Del Prado promenade.
Among its nearly 20 gardens, the Japanese Friendship Garden is one of the most popular and visited by people, a meeting point between two cultures united by the majesty of the place and the value of friendship.
Over the years, Balboa Park has witnessed the visit of millions of people in search of a quiet place to spend time with family or friends, and enjoy the art, culture and nature that San Diego offers to everyone.
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