For me, the only way to really get a feel for a city is to explore it on foot. That’s exactly what we did during our visit to Montevideo, the capital of the South American country of Uruguay, with our expert guide Roberto (of Ciudad Vieja Tours).
We are here! First time in Uruguay!
Since we arrived by ship, it made sense to start our tour at the historic Mercado del Puerto (Port Market), built in the 1860s
The ironwork for Mercado del Puerto was cast in Liverpool, England, and arrived with its own crew of blacksmiths to assemble it
Montevideo has its own unique Carnival, in which rival groups battle to put on the best shows, such as this one in the Ciudad Vieja (Old City)
A local artist in Ciudad Vieja replaces broken street tiles with mosaics
Art also adorns the walls (and gates/doors) of Ciudad Vieja
Palacio Taranco, built as a palace in the early 1900s, now houses the Museum of Decorative Arts
Plaza Zabala, named after Bruno Mauricio de Zabala (the guy on the horse), who founded what would become Montevideo in 1726
Casa Rivera, former home of Uruguay’s first president, General Fructuoso Rivera
Casa Rivera’s decorative octagonal tower
Places you only find with a local: an auction house where Montevideans come to get period pieces for renovated buildings
Sarandi: a typical pedestrian street in Ciudad Vieja
Plaza Constitución (Constitution Square) is the oldest plaza in Montevideo
Montevideo Metropolitan Cathedral in Plaza Constitución
Places you only find with a local 2: an impressive interior for a bookstore
Teatro Solis, Uruguay’s oldest theatre
A tiny remaining fragment of Montevideo’s fortifications
Puerta de la Ciudadela (Citadel Gate) in Plaza Independencia was once the eastern entrance into the Ciudad Vieja fortress
Plaza Independencia (Independence Square) stands on the border of Ciudad Vieja and Centro (Montevideo city centre)
We stumbled upon a wreath laying ceremony in Plaza Independencia at the monument to Uruguay’s national hero, José Artigas (again, the guy on the horse)
Artigas Mausoleum beneath his monument in Plaza Independencia
Palacio Salvo on Plaza Independencia is closely related to Palacio Barolo in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which was also designed by the architect Mario Palanti
The Mercado Agrícola (Agricultural Market) has recently been renovated
The Palacio Legislativo (Legislative Palace) is home to the Uruguayan Parliament
Casa Soler, with its unique tower
At 515 feet (35 storeys), Montevideo’s Torre de las Telecomunicaciones (Telecomunications Tower) is the tallest building in Uruguay
Parque del Prado: Prado Park, often just known as the Prado
Historic (and sadly slightly rundown) stagecoach hotel on the edge of the Prado
Monumento a la Diligencia (Stagecoach Monument) in the Prado
Monumento a los últimos charrúas (Monument to the Last Charrúa): the last four members of their tribe, they died in Paris in 1833, where they were being shown off as curiosities, after the rest of their people had been exterminated on the orders of General Fructuoso Rivera, Uruguay’s first president
Some of Montevideo’s beautiful old buildings desperately need a little TLC
Fortunately others, like the Castillo Soneira, are receiving it
Los Yuyos: a typical Uruguayan restaurant, where we had a tasty late lunch
Estadio Centenario (Centennial Stadium) was built to host the first ever football (soccer) World Cup in 1930
Not a military camp, but one of several exclusive schools for younger children in Pocitos
Back at the port: anchor of the German ‘pocket battleship’ Admiral Graf Spee, which was scuttled by her crew off Montevideo after the famous Battle of the River Plate in World War II
This post was inspired by this week’s photo challenges of Walks from Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge and Jo’s Monday Walk.
Our last view of Montevideo’s Ciudad Vieja and Centro as we sail away
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