Love Park or Parque del Amor
El Parque del Amor, or English Love Park is located on the cliffs of Miraflores, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It is a beautiful natural lookout, where one can see the waves of the Pacific rolling in towards the coast below, or view the Morro Solar in the distance in Chorrillos, with the coast extending further along the bay to the port of Callao. This is also the perfect spot for a romantic view of the setting sun in the late afternoon.
The park has a small amphitheatre, with a gigantic sculpture of an Andean couple in what has been called the eternal kiss, or El Beso . It was made by the famous Peruvian sculptor Victor Delfin and a tradition has already developed around it, with many couples going there after the religious ceremony. They go to the park, dressed in their wedding clothes and this happens especially on Fridays and Saturdays. Locals also compete for having longest kiss under the statue.
The park is surrounded by undulating walls with romantic quotes from well known Peruvian poets scripted in mosaic tiles, with the monumental statue of two lovers passionately embracing each other in the middle.
Monuments in Lima and other Latin American capitals have to do mainly with military figures and conflicts, but this park overlooking the sea is devoted only to love and romance. Walking there at most times of the day and night one can find couples kissing or snuggled close together. As was to be expected, the Parque del Amor was opened in 1993, on Valentine’s Day.
Other love parks
El Parque del Amor is not the only one in the world. There used to be a LOVE Park in Philadelphia, but that was closed down a few years ago. The Philadelphia LOVE Park was built in the 1960s. In the late 1980s, young people discovered that the park's curved granite stairs and ledges were perfect for skateboarding, so it became the world capital of skateboarding, celebrated by millions. Street skateboarding is a popular form of the sport, as it uses natural features available in cities, rather than manufactured ramps.
Philadelphia also had a love sculpture overlooking the park and there was even a gift shop selling creative souvenirs.
In 2002, however, the city enforced the ban on skateboarding in LOVE Park. In the interest of reaching a compromise solution, in 2004, a coalition of civic organizations lobbied the City to ease the prohibition on skateboarding in LOVE Park and a number or organizations were formed. They had a strong plan, however it was rejected by the Mayor’s office.
In comparison, I think the Peruvian Love Park will have a long life, as nobody is going to prohibit people from expressing love, so the park with its Kiss Statue will continue fascinating visitors, lovers and passers by for a long time to come still!
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