montevideo: cementerio central

Montevideo, Cementerio Central

I hadn’t done any research about the oldest cemetery in Montevideo… odd for me. I didn’t even know its location since I was wandering around town mapless. But after a picnic lunch gazing out at the Río de la Plata, I walked past gigantic walls & thought, this must be a cemetery. It’s my destiny :-)

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montevideo: pocitos

Montevideo, Pocitos, Boulevard España

Women used to wash laundry in the now-absent Arroyo de los Pocitos, but the upper class realized the potential of its pristine beach. Pocitos became part of the city in 1886, & soon after trolleys bought hundreds of visitors to the first beach restaurant & hotel. Elite summer vacation homes characterized the area during early stages of development, becoming a mini-Mar del Plata.

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montevideo: avenida 18 de julio

Montevideo, Avenida 18 de Julio

When Buenos Aires declared independence for the entire Viceroyalty, Montevideo remained loyal to the Spanish crown. BA apparently didn’t consult their neighbors… some things never change! No matter. Montevideo grew as a result, but 18 years later they also broke away. What initially began as a small port town…

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montevideo: ciudad vieja

Montevideo, Ciudad Vieja, architecture map

Although founded practically two centuries after Buenos Aires, early Montevideo followed the same city plan in 1724 as almost every other Spanish colonial town. Fitting snugly into a small outcrop & taking advantage of a natural port, the Ciudad Vieja consists of only 100 blocks —give or take a few— arranged in an 8 x 13 grid. The establishment of Montevideo attempted to resist encroaching Portuguese settlements, namely Colonia del Sacramento founded in 1680. Montevideo’s population grew very slowly, but in 1829 city officials demolished fortress walls & the Old City took on its current character.

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montevideo: first impressions

Uruguay, Montevideo, panorama

Living in Argentina’s capital city for 12 years, somehow I’d never been to the capital of Uruguay, just across the river. We all know the Río de la Plata is actually a super-wide delta, so the “quick” ferry takes 3 hours & a flight averages 50 minutes. Montevideo isn’t really as close as it appears on a map:

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