In South America, in the estuary of the Río de la Plata, there is a small country called Uruguay. Its capital is the city of Montevideo and today we are going to discover its history and what are its attractions.
So close to Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, many travelers often make a getaway, "crossing the pond", as they say around here to the Río de la Plata, one of the widest rivers in the world, to breathe calmer airs, the typical of a small town.
The Uruguayan capital is named for the mountain that is next to the bay and there are several versions that speak about the origin of the name. They all link the verb to see with the word mountain. History tells us that in the first half of the XNUMXth century the first settlers arrived and the city began to be founded. At the end of the previous century, the Portuguese had already founded, not far away, more off the coast of Buenos Aires, a picturesque town called Colonia de Sacramento.
So in 1723 the Portuguese founded Montevideo but a year later the Spanish kicked them out. They crossed the Río de la Plata from Buenos Aires with some pioneer families, some from this city, others arriving from the Canary Islands, plus Guarani Indians and blacks from Africa.
The history of Montevideo and that of Uruguay in general are closely linked to the history of Buenos Aires and Argentina, but the proximity to the Portuguese colonies of Brazil also had their influence. Later, the weaving and handling of England that did not want the estuary of the Río de la Plata in the hands of a single state, with the help of the upper bourgeoisie of Buenos Aires, very little federal, Uruguay becomes independent in 1828.
Then at the beginning of the 20th century and hand in hand with the same immigration process of its neighbor Argentina, many Europeans began to arrive, especially from Italy and Spain. In the first decades of the XNUMXth century, the neighborhoods of Montevideo and urban development began to take shape.
What to visit in Montevideo
Montevideo is an old city so visits start from the historic helmet. Formerly it had stone walls and a fortress. The only thing that remains is the door, between Peatonal Sarandí and Plaza Independencia. Within the historic center you will find the oldest buildings, museums, picturesque cafes, restaurants and shopping promenades.
La Pedestrian Sarandí is the access to the Old City, connecting two important points of the old part of the city: on the one hand the Independence Square and on the other the Main Square, old Plaza Mayor. It is a colorful local promenade that goes from number 250 to number 700. When the centuries-old fortifications were demolished, the city was opened and thus, the Plaza Independencia, became the link between the Old City and the New City.
Around him is the Salvo Palace, Etévez Palace, Executive Tower, Solía Theater and Puerta de la Ciudadelto. In the center of the square is the monument to José Gervasio Artigas, the national hero, with his mausoleum. It is worth highlighting the Solís Theater, a construction from 1856, which was restored in 2004 and has a shop and a recommended restaurant.
In addition, there are guided tours on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 11 and 12, You can make a reservation from the Montevideo website. If not, on your own, you can go from Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 18 p.m. And if you want to do it from your home, you can use the Solis App to visit the theater in a vicarious way and with augmented reality.
Other cultural sites to visit in Montevideo are the Contemporary Art Space, Andes 197 Museum2, the Cultural Space At the Foot of the Wall, the Government House Museum, the Vilamajó House Museum, the Museum of Pre-Columbian and Indigenous Art, the Museum of Decorative Arts, the Fine Arts Museum, the Museum of Art History, the Museum of Memory, the Migration Museum or the Old Customs Museum.
If you like the carnival Montevideo has a great tradition and you can get to know it at Carnival Museum. Uruguayans also like soccer, so you can visit the Football Museumbowl or the Peñarol Museum, and to learn about the gaucho tradition there is the Gaucho Museum. There are also a handful of old houses, from the colony, open as a museum, such as the Casa Garibaldi, the Romantic Museum or the Casa de Rivera.
El Salvo Palace It is another emblematic building in Montevideo. Dates from 1928 and it was built by a couple of textile brothers. It has 27 floors and 105 meters high, so it used to be the tallest tower in Latin America until 1935.
Montevideo is a city that overlooks the Río de la Plata, so if you go in summer or spring, a good idea may be to walk through its beaches of white arnas and clean waters. There is a promenade of almost 30 kilometers It runs along the beaches so it's a great walk. The main points on the walk are the Memorial to the Jewish Holocaust, the Escollera Sarandí, the Punta Cárdenas Lighthouse, the Montevideo Cartel, Plaza Virguilio and the Puertito de Buceo.
To enjoy good panoramic views of Montevideo then you have to go to the hill, with its 135 meters high and at the top the General Fortress of Artigas, the Panoramic viewpoint and the Telecommunications Tower from the Aguada neighborhood.
Night comes, what about nightlife in Montevideo? For the most classic there are milongas and clubs to dance tango, a mirror of Buenos Aires that can be very attractive to tourists.
In summer you can enjoy the summer theater, under the open sky, and if you like food there are the Gastronomic Markets of the Old City, with a wide range of flavors. There is the Montevideo Agricultural Market, with 100 stores, the Sinergia Design, the Ferrando Market, the Siam Market and the William Market, just to name a few.