Uruguay is interesting, first of all, for its colonial architecture, beaches and nature reserves.
It is best to start your acquaintance with the sights of Uruguay from the capital. The architecture of the colonial period has been preserved in Montevideo, its most striking example is the Estevez Palace, built in 1873. At one time there was the residence of the President of the country, then a museum of presidential gifts and his officials, and today it is a museum where the remains of the national hero of Uruguay, Jose, were transferred Artigas.
According to Allcitycodes, Montevideo Cathedral, built on the site of a small chapel in 1790, was for a long time the tallest building in the city and today is considered one of its symbols. Today there is a crypt where famous figures of the country are buried, and the cathedral itself is accessible to tourists.
The Palacio Salvo Palace is one of the most colorful buildings in the Uruguayan capital. Its height is 105 m, and according to the architects’ idea, it symbolizes Dante’s “Divine Comedy”: the three basement floors are hell, from the first to the eighth is purgatory, and the 15-meter tower is paradise. At the top there is an observation deck, which can be reached by a high-speed elevator.
Palacio Salvo has an Argentine “twin brother” – the Palacio Barolo Palace, located in Buenos Aires.
12 km from the resort of Punta del Este, in the small village of Punta Ballena, one of the most beautiful buildings in the whole country is located – Casapueblo (village house). This house of unusual shape, reminiscent of the outlines of the creations of the famous architect Antoni Gaudí, was built in 1960 by the famous Uruguayan artist Carlos Pez Vilar. The house was built for more than 30 years, without drawings and sketches, and today it houses the artist’s house-museum, a restaurant and a popular hotel on the coast.
The famous monument “Hand” (La Mano) is also located in the resort town of Punta del Este, right on the beach. It looks like huge fingers coming out of the sand. The author of the sculpture, Mario Irarrasabal, who created it in just a week, thus depicted the inextricable connection between man and nature.
The main attraction of the town of Colonia del Sacramento is the monastery of St. Francis, built in 1638. Today, only the walls remain from it, but you can still appreciate how impressive this building was. The ruins of the monastery are well lit, and it is most interesting to look at it at night, they are especially beautiful at sunset.
There are several interesting museums in Uruguay, and most of them are located in the capital.
The National Museum of Fine Arts (Museo nacional de artes visuales) is the most famous art museum not only in Montevideo, but also in the country. Here you can see the works of world-famous masters, in particular Pablo Picasso and Pablo Serrano, and Uruguayan artists Rafael Barradas, Joaquin Torres and others. In total, the museum has about 6,000 paintings. In addition, the museum has an impressive art library with 8,000 books.
Museum of Fine Arts. Juan Blanes is located in the Palladio mansion, which is already a work of art in itself – generously decorated with marble and decorated with statues. Works by Uruguayan artists, including contemporary ones, engravings and sculptures are exhibited here, and the only Japanese garden in the country is laid out on the adjacent territory.
Carnival in South America is not only a Brazilian tradition. Uruguay has its own carnival, and Montevideo has its own Carnival Museum. It was created relatively recently, in 2008, and primarily not for tourists, but for local residents, in order to preserve the traditions of this action and tell the younger generation about them. In the museum you can see carnival costumes and masks from different eras, musical instruments, numerous photographs and documents telling about the history of the carnival in Uruguay, and watch popular science films on this topic.
The city of Colonia del Sacramento has an unusual Colored Pencil Museum. The largest collection of colored pencils in the world is exhibited there – almost 15,000 pieces, various household items of the mid-20th century, and tours of the museum are conducted personally by the owner.
Events in Uruguay
The main event in Uruguay is the famous carnival, which takes place every year in January – March and lasts 80 days. During the carnival on the streets of Montevideo, you can see colorful masquerade processions, concerts of street musicians and other entertainment events.
On Easter week, the Rodeo Festival begins in the country. It is traditionally attended by several thousand riders from different countries. As part of this event, not only rodeos are held, but also folk music concerts, dances, exhibitions and fairs of local artisans, there is a lot of food and wine everywhere.
The wine festival takes place every year in Punta del Este on the last weekend of January and gathers the best sommeliers and winemakers, as well as connoisseurs of this drink. During the festival, you can taste the best wine, new and long-loved varieties, as well as chat with a sommelier.