Covering an area of almost 95 thousand square metres and containing a lake of 780 square metres, Cristina Enea is the city's largest park. Designed in "English Garden" style, it is considered to be one of the most interesting historical urban parks in Spain.
It was the brainchild of the San Sebastian resident Fermin de Lasala, the Duke of Mandas, in 1890. He had bought a plot of land called the Mundaiz estate, which already had a small palace on it, and to which were added other plots, farms and market gardens.
He enjoyed it until his death in 1917, and as he had no heirs, he left it to the city council, to be used by the public after the death of his remaining family members. He stipulated that nothing could be built there, nor could its extension be modified, nor could any tree be felled. He also specified that it could only be used as a public park, that it had to be locked at night, and that ball sports were not allowed.
Thus, after its establishment as a city park, a series of measures have been carried out to make it as accessible as possible to locals and tourists. Outstanding among these is a new access route by way of a pedestrian walkway from the river, and another which includes a footbridge over the river Urumea, connecting the park with the new neighbourhood of Riberas de Loiola.
Just a note about its name: contrary to popular belief, the name of Cristina Enea does not refer to Queen Maria Cristina, a frequent visitor to the city, but to the wife of its owner, Mrs Cristina Bruneti.
Towards the top of the park you can find the old Ducal Palace, today converted into a Centre of Environmental Resources.
Ducks and drakes, white swans, proud peacocks and thousands of wild birds live freely in this lovely place, and we can wander amongst them in this enclave of nature next to the city. Don't miss it...