Montevideo is the capital of Uruguay. The city was founded by the Spaniards in 1726; located in a well-defended harbor on the left bank of La Plata Bay and developed primarily as a port. European immigration was carried out through it, and most of the immigrants settled here, which played an important role in the development of the capital. The largest transport hub, the leading banking, financial, industrial, cultural and tourist center of Uruguay.
The climate in Montevideo is subtropical – mild, moderately humid and warm. The average temperature in January is +23 degrees, and in July – about +10 degrees.
The population of Montevideo has now reached 1.5 million people, which is approximately 49% of the total population of Uruguay. The city is inhabited mainly by the descendants of Spanish and Italian emigrants (Creoles). In the middle of the XIX – early XX centuries. The population of Montevideo was largely replenished with immigrants from Western Europe – Spaniards, Italians, French. Uruguay is considered one of the most “white” countries in Latin America. The capital of Uruguay is recognized as one of the safest cities in Latin America and has a high standard of living.
The city and nearby beaches attract a large number of tourists. Not far from the capital is one of the attractions of Montevideo – the impressive cone-shaped hill El Cerro. Seeing this hill from the ship, the Portuguese discoverer exclaimed “Monte vide eu!”, which means “I see a hill” in Portuguese. So the city got its unusual name.
The city stretches for 20 km along the coast. The embankment is a great place for walking, here you can enjoy clean air, magnificent beaches and picturesque views.
Numerous monuments to the generals remind of the great role that the army plays in the political life of Uruguay. Other attractions include the mausoleum of Uruguayan national hero José Gervasio Artigas.
Today you can still see the ancient Gates of the Citadel, where the “Old City” begins. At the beginning of the twentieth century, it combined the commercial center, social, political and religious center of Montevideo. Sarandi Walking Street, leading from the Citadel Gate to Independence Square, hosts weekend street fairs, music events and theatrical performances. On both sides of the street there are bookstores, antique and art galleries, restaurants, cafes and bars. It also houses the Joaquin Torres Garcia Museum.
On Independence Square there is a bronze monument of the national hero – General Artigas, who fought for the independence of the country. One of the most remarkable buildings on the square is the Salvo Palace, the work of the architect Mario Palanti. This is a copy of the Barolo Palace in Buenos Aires. Both buildings have powerful beacons on their domes. According to the architect’s idea, the light of the lighthouses should be visible in the neighboring capital, located 200 km away, on the other side of the La Plata River. Undoubtedly, the Solis Theater, the center of the theatrical art of Montevideo, and the football stadium Estadio Centenario, which hosted the first World Cup in 1930, when the Uruguayans became world champions, will undoubtedly arouse interest.
In Old Montevideo, adjacent to the port and built according to a regular plan in the 18th and early 19th centuries, there are: the main square, Plaza de la Constitución; classic old town hall, colonial period houses with courtyards. The Plaza de la Constitución is where the first government placed its offices. The Cathedral and the Cabildo (City Hall), famous for the sophistication of their facades, stand opposite each other. The buildings did not retain their original appearance, as they were rebuilt by the high society of Montevideo, which, under the influence of French culture, imitated Paris during the “Belle Epoque”. It was a period of large-scale construction, elegance and luxury that turned Montevideo into a cosmopolitan city.
To the west of the port – formed in the 18-19 centuries. industrial and working area of Villa del Cerro with a rectangular network of streets bounded on the side of La Plata by a hill with a fortress (1801–09). The resort northeast coast of La Plata is built up with luxurious residential buildings and hotels. The central districts of New Montevideo, surrounding the Old City from the north, northeast, and east, formed in the 19th and 20th centuries, have a more free layout. Significant buildings include: the eclectic parliament building (Palacio Lechislativo); in the style of 20th century architecture. – new town hall, engineering and geodetic faculty of the Republican University, multi-storey building “Panamericano”. Modern microdistricts: Casavalle and others. Monuments to the colonists-migrants: “Van” and “Stagecoach” – both made of bronze, sculptor H. Belloni.
Montevideo has the National Historical Museum, the Museum of Natural History, the Pedagogical Museum, the National Museum of Fine Arts, the Municipal Museum of Fine Arts, the Zoological Museum, etc. There is a planetarium and two zoos.
Within a mere 15 or 20 minute drive from the city, most of Uruguay’s vineyards and wineries are worth visiting. The typical grape of Uruguay is Tannat, which was originally brought from France, but after adapting to climate and soil, has acquired excellent qualities. The visit includes a tour of the vineyards, a tour of the wineries and cellars, and of course a tasting or full lunch.