El Calvario, that abandoned large park on a steep hilside right above downtown Caracas, has been restored. It was constructed in the late 19th century as a series of gardens at different levels, connected by winding paths. Later, a chapel and additional gardens were added. The park deteriorated over the latter part of the 20th century. The landscaping was not maintained and the park became infested with criminal activity. In all my years visiting Caracas I’d never been there.
The restoration was yet another act of political theatre by President Chavez. A statue of Christopher Columbus was knocked down, replaced by one of Ezequiel Zamora, a Venezuelan general from the 19th century.
Regardless, it is once again a quiet and safe green space overlooking central Caracas.
The gardens and paths are restored and park is patrolled by the National Guard.