Most important city and the capital of Uruguay, Montevideo, is also the southernmost capital of South America, the city is home to around half of the population of Uruguay.
Located on the north shore of the Río de la Plata, Montevideo is just over 200 km as the crow flies west of Buenos Aires, the bay of Montevideo is the largest and most important natural and commercial harbor of Uruguay.
Montevideo is a city alive and vibrant, it has a rich architectural and cultural heritage, and is the hub of trade and economy of Uruguay.
The architecture of Montevideo reflects its history, there are buildings in colonial, neo-classical, art deco styles and also many modern buildings.
According to tradition, the city’s name is derived from an exclamation made by a sailor in Magellan’s expedition that he was surprised to see a hill in an area so flat, the exclamation was “Monte vide eu!” (I saw a mountain!), to this episode goes back the name of the capital of Uruguay.
Montevideo was founded in 1726 by Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, Spanish governor (capitán general) of the province of Río de la Plata, today’s Argentina. Zabala, in 1724, built a fort to counteract the expansionist ambitions of the Portuguese, who controlled Brazil, and that in 1680 had occupied the region and founded the city of Colonia del Sacramento (Colónia do Sacramento).
Around the fort starting from 1726 some colonists settled, the new outpost was named San Felipe y Santiago de Montevideo, this settlement, which grew into the city of Montevideo, was the center of Spanish control on the Banda Oriental (current Uruguay), and was later elevated to the rank of capital of Uruguay.