Architecture

Uruguay has been throughout its history a product of contributions from different cultures and this characteristic is so much a part of the country that it is also manifested in its architecture. It does not matter where you gaze, it could be a building in Montevideo or a rural construction, but wherever you look there is an architectural work ready to surprise you.
Artigas Mausoleum (Montevideo)

Artigas Mausoleum (Montevideo)

Plaza Independencia is one of the places tourists prefer to immortalize their stay in Montevideo. One of the obligatory visits is to the José Gervasio Artigas mausoleum. There in a solemn atmosphere the remains of the national hero rest. It is a minimalist work in granite where around the urn are some of the mottos of the Artiguista ideology. Location: in the center of Plaza Independencia where the street 18 de Julio begins. Open every day.

Palacio Legislativo (Montevideo)

Palacio Legislativo (Montevideo)

The seat of the Uruguayan legislative power is one of the architectural jewels of Montevideo. This great work constructed in marble was inaugurated in 1925 and is not only surprising for its neoclassical architecture, but also for the richness of its interior decoration. In this venue, where the Senate and the Members of Parliament sit, you can also find one of the most important libraries in the country. There are guided visits from Monday to Friday in several languages. Address: Av. De las Leyes. Telephone: 142 extension 2528/2781. (www.parlamento.gub.uy)

Palacio Salvo (Montevideo)

Palacio Salvo (Montevideo)

It is one of the preferred photo opportunities for tourists. It is an art deco building that dates back to 1928 and at 105 meters was – until the middle of the 1930s – the tallest building in South America. Where the building is located there was the confectionary where La Cumparsita was first played, the most well-known tango around the world. Location: at the corner of the streets Independencia and 18 de Julio.

Plaza de Toros Real de San Carlos (Colonia)- Saint Carlos’ Royal Bull ring

Plaza de Toros Real de San Carlos (Colonia)- Saint Carlos’ Royal Bull ring

The Plaza de Toros Real de San Carlos is another icon of the city. Located four kilometers from the historical neighborhood this enormous structure is now held up by supports. The work is in the Mudéjar style and its ring of grass is circled by a stand. It was made by the architect José Marcovich and was inaugurated in 1910. Only eight official bull fights took place here, as they were forbidden in 1912 by the president José Batlle y Ordóñez. In the 1930s efforts were made to restart the fights only in this department and particularly in this ring, but the project failed. Location: Avenida Mihanovich and Rio de la Plata.

Calle de los Suspiros (Colonia del Sacramento) – Street of Whispers

Calle de los Suspiros (Colonia del Sacramento) – Street of Whispers

This little, narrow, cobbled street is a symbol of the city, Colonia. In addition to its particular charm due to the beauty of the buildings there, it has unique restaurant options a few steps from the coast. Due to its angle you have a good view of the river and on windy days it generates a current that caresses the passerby. In this event a warm coat is your best friend. Location: the corner of Henríquez de la Peña.

Castillo Pittamiglio (Las Flores-Piriápolis)

Castillo Pittamiglio (Las Flores-Piriápolis)

The architect Humberto Pittamiglio, a student of Francisco Piria in the art of alchemy, built this beautiful residence in 1956 in Las Flores, a few minutes from Piriápolis. It was a retreat where he spent his summers. The magnificence of its facade, reminiscent of a castle from the Middle Ages, contrasts with its delicate and smaller interior. An image of Christ dominates the view of the garden. Location: route 71, Las Flores, one kilometer from the Interbalneria route. Visits: Wednesday to Sunday.

El Águila- The Eagle

El Águila- The Eagle

Two kilometers from the center of Atlántida, in Villa Argentina, you can find the most emblematic construction of the area. El Águila, a stone building in front of the sea and owner of innumerable stories. Some claim that it was a smugglers hideout. Others are assured that there was an alchemist’s laboratory. There is also a legend that it was a Nazi refuge in the Second World War. However, what is certain is that it is an architectural craftwork (that lacks blueprints) which has become a symbol of the resort. Location: You can get to El Águlia from the streets inside Atlántida and Villa Argentina or from the Interbalaneria route from kilometer 43.

Casapueblo (Punta Ballena)

Casapueblo (Punta Ballena)

The secret of Casapueblo is the sun. That’s why the perfect time to enjoy this very special place is in the afternoon; for some from the terraces of this work created by Carlos Páez Vilaró (1923-2014). This prolific painter and sculptor, one of the most popular and beloved of Uruguay, transformed this building into a piece of art that he built with his own hands. He considered it to be a livable sculpture. Built at the point of Punta Ballena, Casapueblo is a direct reference to the constructions in the Mediterranean, with the imperial white and always facing the sea. Páez Vilaró was not an architect but he designed this work inspired by nature; especially the hornero bird’s nest. A museum dedicated to the artist is open year- round, a visit that implies immersing yourself in each period of his work and concludes in the ceremony of the sun. For this ceremony visitors attend the setting of the sun king while a poem is read by the artist. Location: Ruta Panorámica, Camino a la Ballena, Maldonado. (carlospaezvilaro.com.uy)