Uruguay travel blog by Mark Berman -
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I visited Maldonado for a few hours while I was staying in nearby Punta del Este
, it was a rainy day but I did my best to see a few sights between downpours.
I arrived in the center of town at the main square Plaza de San Fernando de Maldonado, there are several sights around this area. The most eye-catching is
the pink neoclassical cathedral built during the 1800's. The plaza is large and is surrounded by mainly shops. A statue of General Artigas stands in the
middle. 2 other historical buildings around the plaza are also pink, the police station and Paseo de San Fernando.
Dragon's Barracks Top Highlight
Probably the top highlight though is the
Dragons Barracks (Cuartel de Dragones), an old military fort right across the road from the plaza built in the late 1700's. Here you can see stone buildings
including the chapel, the foundations of other buildings, the military hospital, the plaza, cannon, statue and an old horse-pulled cart. There is also a
museum onsite - Museo Didactico Artiguista.
During a spell of rain I sat down for a bite to eat near the plaza, on the wall was a painting of something that
looked important, a local relic. I asked someone where it was and walked a few blocks to find the Torre del Vigia, the watchtower built in 1801 to watch
for ships coming from the Rio de la Plata. There is a cannon on the grass nearby. I came across a school with a monument to educator Jose Pedro Varela
(1845-1879), a man who greatly influenced the education system of Uruguay. A saw a stone statue of Manuel Mendoza Estremera (born in 1792) - el Nino Chasque,
a child who helped the poor and other children. The weather had really turned bad now, I saw a few other minor things while walking to find a bus back to
Punta del Este, but nothing special.
Museums and Shopping
One thing I can say about Maldonado is that it is full of shops of all kind,
it is definitely a place to go shopping. Maldonado is also known for its museums including the Sea Museum
(Museo del Mar), the Museum of American Art
(Museo de Arte Americano), Museo Nicolas Garcia Uriburu
and Museo Mazzoni
So I guess the motto of this story is that if you are in Punta del Este
and it's not beach weather you can always come to Maldonado and tour around the museums of the city. Enjoy!