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Montevideo, Uruguay - Points Of Interest Include Salvo Palace

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Uruguay travel blog by Mark Berman - March 2008 May 2012   » View Photoset (99 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for over 11yrs!
In 2012 I visited Montevideo for the 2nd time and saw many more things as well as again
Uruguay Photo - Juan Antonio Lavalleja on horse, military man (1784-1853), Plaza de los 33, Montevideo.
Juan Antonio Lavalleja on horse, military man (1784-1853), Plaza de los 33, Montevideo.
seeing the Sunday markets - 'La Feria Tristan Narvaja Flea Market'. In the 4yrs between my very first time in Montevideo and in South America in 2008 I had travelled extensively in the continent for over 2yrs on 3 other trips. This was now my 5th time in South America and I had become a lot better at documenting my travels and taking note of names of things, like the name of the Sunday markets in Montevideo - La Feria Tristan Narvaja Flea Market, for example.

City Tour and Points of Interest

My 2nd time in Montevideo in 2012 was fantastic. I saw a lot in 2 days and would love to return another time in the future! I started at Plaza Constitucion (Matriz) (1726), this is where you can see the small antiques market on Saturdays, lots of old bits and pieces set out on tables - box cameras, ancient cutlery, numberplates, bells, bottles, books, coins, rusty keys, beads, dolls and colored rocks. Cathedral Iglesia Matriz sits beside the plaza. From here I walked down the streets of the old city towards the pier. I wasn't quite as
Uruguay Photo - Contemplating robbing the bank on horse and cart perhaps? Montevideo.
Contemplating robbing the bank on horse and cart perhaps? Montevideo.
blown away as I had been 4yrs earlier and I didn't see any policemen either but I did indeed like the graffiti art. The area around the pier was again accommodated by fishermen. Scattered all around the new and old cities are historical buildings, I saw church Iglesia San Francisco with its impressive tower/steeple. The building of the Republica Oriental Bank of Uruguay is pretty amazing, like a palace with 8 columns and a monument to Artigas.

Salvo Palace and Plaza Independencia

The area where the new and old cities join is around Plaza Independencia. One of Montevideo's most significant structures is here, you can't miss it, it's huge, Palacio Salvo built between 1922 and 1928 in eclecticism style, amazing! On the opposite side of the plaza is the
Uruguay Photo - Rusty keys, coins, beads, bits and pieces for sale at the Saturday antiques market in Montevideo.
Rusty keys, coins, beads, bits and pieces for sale at the Saturday antiques market in Montevideo.
theatre Teatro Solis, an historical building with columns built in 1842-56 with lateral wings added in 1869. To the left of the theatre is a statue of Juan Manuel Blanes (1830-1901), a Uruguayan painter. Nearby is a tribute to famous tenor Jose Soler (1904-1999), born in Spain, moved to Uruguay when 6yrs old. On another corner of the plaza is the Cafe Montevideo Building with its small dome at the top. You will no doubt also see the gigantic apartment building with its 100's of air conditioning units on the side. Walking along the main street in the new city (Av 18 de Julio) I saw other buildings including the Cine Rex Building built in 1928
Uruguay Photo - A beautiful tree-lined shady street in Montevideo.
A beautiful tree-lined shady street in Montevideo.
with its dome lookout. Next door is the interesting eye-catching facade of the Brazil Palace (1919).

Tango Dancing in the Street

I now came to a plaza called Plaza Fabini with its fountain and sculpture of men on horses fighting called 'El Entrevero'. It was beside this plaza that I had seen the locals tango dancing on Friday evening 4yrs before. Across the road is Plaza de Cagancha (1836) and the Liberty Statue (1866), nearby is Santos Palace. I now came to the one of a kind 'locks fountain ' Fuente de los Candados. It's a special fountain where you place a lock with your intials on the fountain. When 2 people in love do this, they will return to the fountain together and their love will be forever locked, this is the legend. Next I came to the
Uruguay Photo - 2nd hand book shop in Montevideo - Libreria Vila.
2nd hand book shop in Montevideo - Libreria Vila.
Sorocabana Building (1925), it has a yellow dome, blue columns and many balconies. Near to here is the plaza with a naked statue of David de Miguel Angel, a bronze replica of Michelangelos 'David' made in Florence Italy in 1931. It's in front of the Municipal Palace. Across the road is church Iglesia Evangelica Metodista and up the road a little towards the markets is Plaza de los 33 Orientales, the main monument is to Juan Antonio Lavalleja on his horse - a Uruguayan military man (1784-1853). The plaza is more like a park and also has a monument to the firemen - Monumento al Bombero and something more special. 2 bronze men sit on one of the park benches, they are physicist Albert Einstein and Uruguayan
Uruguay Photo - Theater Teatro Solis built between 1842 and 1856, Montevideo.
Theater Teatro Solis built between 1842 and 1856, Montevideo.
philosopher Carlos Vaz Ferreira. It says that in this plaza on the 24th of April 1925 they sat here to have a chat. I came now to a monument of a man on a horse (common in South America), he is Manuel Oribe (1792-1857), 4th President of Uruguay, born and died in Montevideo. I saw a few old churches around this area including Iglesia de la Inmaculada Concepcion before heading back to Plaza de Cagancha for a bit of a sit down.

Attractive Leafy Streets

The central streets of Montevideo are very leafy, lots of trees, very attractive. I headed back down towards the river Rio de la Plata. I hadn't really seen the southern side, it's called Dique Maua, there are several things to see around here. Plaza Espana, Plaza Republica Argentina,
Uruguay Photo - A bicycle, a wooden door, anything and everything for sale at Montevideoss La Feria Tristan Narvaja markets.
A bicycle, a wooden door, anything and everything for sale at Montevideoss La Feria Tristan Narvaja markets.
monuments to British diplomat Sir Eugen Millington-Drake (1889-1972) and Admiral Guillermo Brown (1777-1857), an old clock tower and an amazing wall mural of an underwater scene. Walking northward through the grassy plazas with their shady palm trees I came to a monument to Isabel la Catolica - Queen of Portugal. The Holy Trinity church with its 4 grand columns stands nearby. I passed some cool graffiti art as I walked to Plaza Zabala (1878), this is the site of the original Governor House and warehouses, the central monument is to Montevideo's founder General Don Bruno de Zabala (1682-1736). There are quite a few interesting historical buildings around this area. It was late Saturday afternoon, time to
Uruguay Photo - Musicians and waltzing, graffiti art in Montevideo.
Musicians and waltzing, graffiti art in Montevideo.
head back to the hostel.

La Feria Tristan Narvaja Markets

I wanted to make an early start in the morning for the famous La Feria Tristan Narvaja markets! There is one thing you absolutely don't want to miss in Montevideo, of course it's the Sunday markets! I have been to several famous markets in South America including Otavalo in Ecuador and Andahuaylas in Peru, this one is up there with the best for sure! An amazing array of fruits and vegetables, flowers, clothing, paintings, shoes and boots, cheeses, books, leather and wooden products, household accessories, antiques and furniture, hardware and junk. I created an 18min video in 1 take while walking through just the main street of these markets!

Bus to Tacuarembo

The next morning I left
Uruguay Photo - Photo of Plaza Constitucion in the late eighteenth century, Montevideo.
Photo of Plaza Constitucion in the late eighteenth century, Montevideo.
Montevideo and travelled north for 4hrs 30mins to the town of Tacuarembo.

My First Time in Montevideo

In 2008 I was looking forward to visiting Montevideo. I arrived on a Friday afternoon in time for the weekend markets and religious events and to explore the old city Ciudad Vieja and whatever else the city had to offer. After settling into my hostel in the center of town - I went up to the main street and had a look around - plaza's and statues, shops and restaurants. As the daylight faded I saw an amazing thing in the street, people dancing tango, mainly older couples. Music was playing and people were gathered around watching. The next day I planned to have a real good
Uruguay Photo - Fabrica De Pastas, La Familia, Montevideo pasta shop.
Fabrica De Pastas, La Familia, Montevideo pasta shop.
walk around the old city.

The Cathedral

The Metropolitan Cathedral (Iglesia Matriz) is worth a look. The white interior has big archways and chandeliers, statues, golden shrines and monuments, paintings and stained glass windows.

Amazing Old City

I came to Ciudad Vieja. There were a lot of tourist police there because many poverty stricken refugees from the rural areas live in slums in these streets. I started to see some interesting and scary looking graffiti, some children posed for a photo and a man was carrying a barrel. It was my first real experience in an old city in South America and I was totally blown away. The city takes you back to an earlier century, founded in 1726,
Uruguay Photo - The Saturday antiques market at Plaza Constitucion in Montevideo.
The Saturday antiques market at Plaza Constitucion in Montevideo.
it used to have a wall built around it, it is the real deal. There are some interesting buildings and museums too. I saw a horse and cart, a busker and met a man who had a flask of mate tea that wanted me to photograph him. I saw an artist painting a street scene before coming across an interesting outdoor market area full of strange and interesting antiques - jewelry, paintings, rocks and bits and pieces.

The Wharf

The main walkway through the old city heads down towards the sea and pier. A huge chimney or smokestack stands like a monument at the end of a street beside the Rio de la Plata. The people of Montevideo love to spend their time fishing down here by the water's edge and drinking flasks of mate tea. I walked for a
Uruguay Photo - Statues on the facade of the Republica Oriental Bank in Montevideo.
Statues on the facade of the Republica Oriental Bank in Montevideo.
long time out onto the pier and still didn't reach the end, it goes out very far. I looked back towards the old city with the new city behind it.

Pasta and Salad for Lunch

I headed back through streets with sinister graffiti and rough looking buildings up to the new city for lunch. A salad and hot pasta meal for about $6.50USD, I gave the leftovers to a homeless boy.

BBQ at Hostel

That night there was a bbq on the roof terrace of my hostel for all the guests which was fun. A bunch of us took a couple of taxis, which are really cheap, to the top of the old city where there is a lot of nightlife in the area. We went to the Irish pub and had a great night, there was live music and a lot of people. The old city is a dangourous place at night
Uruguay Photo - Art mural of bright colors on a wall in Montevideo.
Art mural of bright colors on a wall in Montevideo.
in the areas without lights, so don't venture too far in.

Religious Ceremony and Animal Market

Next morning I wanted to see the Sunday markets. On the way I saw an interesting religious ceremony on the street beside a statue where people were holding small branches up in the air and priests were conducting a service and throwing water. When I got towards the market area I began to see exotic animals like snakes, tarantula spiders and jerbos. I had a huge snake put around my neck for a tip and had a tarantula spider crawl up my arm! The Sunday market is massive and covers many blocks, buskers playing music, people selling animals, food, pirated cds and software, everything and anything, 1000 stalls!

Bus to Rivera

In the afternoon I checked out of my hostel and lay in a park for a few hours and at 6pm took a 6hr bus north to Rivera on the border with Brazil. Montevideo is really nice, laidback and with laidback people, quite clean and safe. I would recommend visiting during a weekend.

     

View all photos in the Montevideo Photoset


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My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Montevideo, Uruguay:

Live MVD Hostel, Montevideo, Uruguay - Large Photo
Live MVD Hostel, Montevideo, Uruguay (May 2012 - 2 nights) - A fun relaxing hostel with a fireplace, internet, kitchen and outside area. The dorms have nice beds and lockers. It's a new hostel and I recommend it!
Red Hostel, Montevideo, Uruguay - Large Photo
Red Hostel, Montevideo, Uruguay (Mar 2008 - 2 nights) - I thought it was nice with a great central location. They put on a bbq for all the guests up on the roof area and I enjoyed meeting some cool people, we all went out on the town afterwards. Perfect for me.

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Montevideo, Uruguay - Points Of Interest Include Salvo Palace. The Sunday markets - 'La Feria Tristan Narvaja Flea Market' is one of Montevideos highlights, it's not just food and produce, it's antiques and books and all kinds of stuff! Montevideo is a great city and has some good sights and restaurants!

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