The City was once protected by walls and a large fortress. Here at the western edge of Plaza Independecia is the one remant of the colonial citadel – razed in 1833. You can also get a feeling for the old walls down near the west end of the peninsula, by the breakwater where old cannon faced out onto the waters of the Rio de la Plata in search of those would-be invaders. Now inhabited by fishermen in search of tonight's meal.
Reminiscent of the Malecon in Habana - at least the pictures I have seen, la Rambla can be a highlight of any visit to Montevideo. The avenue stretches for miles along the sea and bordered by tall apartment buildings, parks, promenades and beaches. You can see a large part of the City at play here on a sunny Sunday afternoon. The seashore is a feature that really makes Montevideo something special. It is easy to see myself sitting in that fold out chair with a cold tanque in hand.
The anchor and "Range finder" of the german battleship "Admiral von Spee" can be seen in the cruise-port, just a few steps from the place, where all the cruiseships are docking.
The german battleship "Admiral Graf Spee" was one of the most famous battleships in WW II : In 1939 she sank 9 merchant-ships of the Allied states but was finally damaged herself by 3 british warships following her in the "Battle of the river Plate". She could escape to be repaired in the neutral port of Montevideo. According to international laws she was secure there only for 72 hours and had to leave the port again within that time. The captain of the "Admiral Spee" decided to give up and sink the ship rather than risking the lifes of his crew and soldiers.
The range finder of Admiral Graf Spee was raised in 2004 in a distance of 8 km from the city of Montevideo.
Take a walking tour of the "Ciudad Vieja", or the old colonial city, starting from the Plaza Independencia to see:
1. The huge statue of Uruguay’s greatest hero, José Gervasio Artigas,it marks the spot of his mausoleum. The changing of the guard at noon is a popular sight.
2. From there, visit the Palacio Estevez which until 1095 served as the Palacio de Gobierno. The 26 story building next to is the Palacio Salvo, once the tallest building in South America. See the Teatro Solis, inaugurated in 1856 and the site of much of Montevideo’s artistic events.
3. Connecting the Ciudad Vieja to the rest of Montevideo from the plaza, is La Puerta de la Ciudadela, the colonial military defense.
4. Walk down Calle Sarandi to the Plaza Constitucion where the Iglesia Matriz, the earliest public building in the city. Many of it’s earliest residents were baptized there, including José Gervasio Artigas who was born on June 19. 1764.
5. Take time to explore the Museo Romantico and Casa Lavalleja, both part of the Museo Historico Nacional.
6. Continue to the Casa Garibaldi, where the Italian hero once lived.
Pocitos (little wells) is not only a beach; it is one of the most typical places of my hometown. Its name comes from the past, when laundrywomen were used to dig out little wells in the sand to get fresh water. At the beginings of the 20th century, Pocitos became a fashion beach, and nowadays is a fashion neighbourhood. There you can find modern buildings, fancy restaurants, cinemas, shopping-malls and anything you want, close to a beautiful seaside.
Pocitos no es solamente una playa; es uno de los lugares más característicos de mi ciudad. Su nombre viene del pasado, cuando las lavanderas excavaban pocitos en la arena para obtener agua dulce. A comienzos del siglo XX, Pocitos se volvió un balneario de moda, y actualmente es un barrio de moda. Allí pueden encontrar edificios modernos, restaurantes de lujo, cines, centros comerciales y lo que quieran, junto a una hermosa costa.
You should take a walk thru downtown Montevideo, specially Avenida 18 de Julio which is the main street. You will find a lot of shops with different things that may interest you.
Also visit Plaza Independencia where the "Mausoleo de Artigas" is.
From there you can also go to Ciudad Vieja, right next to the downtown, where you will find a lot of european style buildings and churchs. At the end of Ciudad Vieja there's the Mercado del Puerto, a place where you can find a lot of very nice restaurants with excellent food.
The Rambla is the street that boards Montevideo's coastline, it is also one of the most important avenues of the cities and it has heavy traffic during the daytime.
The Rambla is definitely where the vest views of Montevideo are, its a combination of natural beauty with modern buildings. You should go specially to the Pocitos Rambla where in summer a lot of people gather around to have a drink, chat, ran or just walk.
Near Ciudad Vieja and downtown you can find the Palacio Legislativo (Legislative Palace), it's a very nice building to take pictures. You may also want to visit the Teatro Solis in the Ciudad Vieja and the University (free to public, over the 18 de Julio Av.)
Arts and handcrafts are varied and have high quality; there are several markets and shops with this kind of stuff, but you can even find some artistic expressions on the street!
El arte y las artesanías son variados y de alta calidad; hay diversos mercados y tiendas de artesanías, pero se pueden encontrar expresiones artísticas incluso en la calle!!!
El Prado (the meadow) is one of the several parks of Montevideo (is my favorite one). Trees, fountains, a rosebed, a lake, invite to walk along its alleys or to rest under a tree.
(More pictures in my travelogue.)
El Prado es uno de los numerosos parques de Montevideo (es mi preferido). Árboles, fuentes, una rosaleda, un lago, invitan a caminar por sus senderos o descansar bajo un árbol.
(Más fotos en el travelogue.)
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