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Montevideo, Uruguay

Montevideo (Spanish pronunciation: [monteβi?ðe.o]) is the largest city, capital, and chief port of Uruguay. The settlement was established in 1724 by Bruno Mauricio de Zabala as a strategic move amidst a Spanish-Portuguese dispute over the platine region and as a counter to the Portuguese colony at Colonia del Sacramento. According to the census of 2011, Montevideo has a population of 1,319,108 (about half of Uruguay's population).  It has an area of 530 square kilometres (200 sq mi) and extends 20 kilometres (12 mi) from west to east. The southernmost cosmopolitan capital city in the Americas and third most southern in the world, Montevideo is situated in the southern coast of the country, on the northeastern bank of the Río de la Plata ("Silver River") — which is often referred to in English-speaking countries as the River Plate. The city was under brief British rule in 1807 and was involved in the first major naval battle in the Second World War: the Battle of the River Plate. It is also the place where theMontevideo convention was signed, in 1933, by nineteen nations of the Americas. The city hosted all of the matches during the first FIFA World Cup in 1930. Montevideo has a rich architectural and cultural heritage, the latter including tangoand candombe. According to Mercer Human Resource Consulting, in 2007 Montevideo provided the highest quality of life in Latin America.

Described as a "vibrant, eclectic place with a rich cultural life," it is the hub of commerce and higher education in Uruguay. Its first university, the Universidad de la República, was founded in 1849. The architecture of Montevideo reflects its history, ranging from colonial to Art Deco, and influenced by Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, and British immigrants.

 

Sofitel Carrasco Casino & Spa, Montevideo, Uruguay

The construction of the Sofitel Carrasco Casino & Spa started in 1912 and finished in 1921, after 9 years of work.

For decades, it was a landmark of luxury for tourists visiting Montevideo. However, because of the eventual deterioration of the building, it was closed in the late 1990s.

In 2007, bidding for a public contract for  the restoration and operation of the site began. By the end of 2009, it was finally adjudicated to Carrasco Nobile SA, a consortium led by the Codere Group together with international investors Global Partners and AGG. They designated Sofitel, of the French chain Accor, as the hotel operator. The hotel re-opened its doors in March 2013. According to El País, the opening of this building brings with it a whole revolution in the neighbourhood of Carrasco, with many real estate and business investments.

 

 

Sofitel Carrasco Casino & SPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Horse Lamps by Moooi at the lobby of the  Sofitel Carrasco.

The Horse Lamp was designed by Front for Moooi in the Netherlands. This life-sized horse looks absolutely grand in large spaces and is perfect for loft spaces, boutique hotels, and restaurants. Highly decorative in form, the Moooi Horse Lamp will make an incredible statement in any interior setting.

Moooi designs and produces their modern lighting and contemporary accessories in the Netherlands. No wonder Moooi's collection is so attractive: the Dutch word for "beautiful" is "mooi". A combination of elegance, grace and timeless good-looks typifies the Moooi collection. Legendary Dutch designers of note include Edward van Vliet, Bertjan Pot, JurgenBey, Job Smeets, Maarten Baas, and Marcel Wanders. Museum curators clearly have taken notice as well, as several pieces of the Moooi collection have already been snatched up for museum collections including the MoMA, New York.

 

 

 

Solís Theatre

Solis Theatre (SpanishTeatroSolís) is Uruguay's oldest theatre. It was built in 1856 and is currently owned by the government of Montevideo. It is located in the Plaza Independencia (Ciudad Vieja).

In 1998, the government of Montevideo started a major reconstruction of the theatre, which included two US $110,000 columns designed by Philippe Starck. The reconstruction was completed in 2004 with the re-opening taking place in August of that year.  Acoustic studies of the rehabilitation project were entrusted to Jerome Falala of the French studio AVEL ACOUSTIQUE. TomásGiribaldi's La Parisina, considered the first Uruguayan national opera, premiered at the Solís on September 14, 1878.

 

 

 

Mercado del Puerto

The centre of traditional Uruguayan food and beverage in Montevideois the Mercado del Puerto ("Port Market"). The complex contains a considerable range of restaurants and cafes. La Palenque restaurant serves Uruguayan and Spanish cuisine with a variety of lamb, pork and cold meats dishes with vegetables, paella, rice, and shellfish. Additionally, the market is host to various cultural events on Saturdays.

The Mercado del Puerto is the city's most famous area for parillas ("barbecues") The open-aired building which houses the market was built in 1868.  While originally a venue for fresh produce, it is now filled with parillas.  The structure was built in the style of a nineteenth-century British Railway station. It is listed among "The Best Markets" in South America.

 

 

Authentic Uruguayan Parilla

The smoke, which takes hold of the market and its surroundings at midday, is clear evidence of what happens inside the venue. And there is no one who can resist such temptation. “Taxi, to the port”, is the phrase heard by almost every Uruguayan taxi driver when the clock strikes noon. 

The best samples of Uruguayan cuisine, from chivito al plato (a steak with ham, cheese, tomato, lettuce, and mayonnaise) or a la canadiense (the same steak in a sandwich version) up to the best and most simple meat cuts, achuras (offal), asado (grilled meat),chicken, matambres (stuffed meat rolls), chotos (plaited intestines), pamplonas (grilled stuffed-meat) and other delicacies very popular in these corner of the world await for customers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                          

Foreign tourists are astonished at the beauty with which the dishes are presented. Steakhouses appear before everybody as real shop windows displaying their meats and other delicacies at popular prices instead of clothes, jeans, or handbags. 

The adrenaline rush that occurs inside, where waiters and cooks do their best to assist everybody in due time and proper form, happens in few places around the world. Here, it occurs naturally as soon as the clock strikes 12 and appetite appears. Outside, there is always a group of youngsters who display their dance routines and the sound of the Afro-Uruguayan candombe, a tradition that can change any lunch or dinner meeting into an unforgettable party.

 

 

 

 

 

 Beautiful Street Sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Palacio Salvo, Plaza Independencia

Palacio Salvo (English: Salvo Palace) is a building in MontevideoUruguay, located at the intersection of 18 de Julio Avenue andPlaza Independencia. It was designed by the architect Mario Palanti, an Italian immigrant living in Buenos Aires, who used a similar design for his Palacio Barolo in Buenos Aires,Argentina. Finished in 1928, Palacio Salvo stands 100 m (330 ft) high with the antenna included.

The site was bought by the Salvo brothers for 650,000 Uruguayan pesos. It was built on the site where the Confiteria La Giralda was once located, renowned as the site where Gerardo Matos Rodríguez wrote his tango, “La Cumparsita” in 1917.

The original specifications, describing the details of the construction, describe a lighthouse at the top of the building, which was replaced by a set of antennas. The specifications stated: “on the top part of the tower a lighthouse will be placed made by Salmoiraghi of Italy, with a parabolic mirror of 920 mm (36 in), reaching approximately 100 km (62 mi), and a rotating 100 amp lamp.

The building was originally intended to be a hotel, but this plan didn't work out, and it has since been occupied by a mixture of offices and private residences. The building has a height of 95 m (312 ft). While the set of antennas was at its top, its total height was 330 ft. The antennas were permanently removed in November 2012. For decades it was the tallest building in South America.

 

 

 

 

Plaza Independencia

(Spanish forIndependence Square) is the name of Montevideo's most important plaza. It separates Ciudad Vieja from downtown Montevideo, with the Gateway of The Citadel on one side and the beginning of 18 de Julio avenue on the other.

In the center, the Artigas Mausoleum dominates the perspective.

Many important buildings, such as the Solís Theatre and the workplaces of the President of Uruguay (both the Estévez Palace and the Executive Tower) are located by this square.

One of the characteristic buildings located by the square is Palacio Salvo.