Montevideo Architecture And Old Town

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Montevideo Highlights Tour

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Private tour to see the best of the city and learn its history.

Montevideo is charming, a true surprise. It has a lot of interesting history and yet it feels more modern than it looks.

Montevideo is an eclectic mix of architectural influences, with amazing buildings dating back to very prosperous times. The city is really an open-air exhibition of monuments, sculptures and museums, displaying the wonderful work of Uruguayan artists and architects. It was founded in 1726 by Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, governor of Buenos Aires, to counteract the Portuguese advance into the area from Brazil and from 1807 to 1830 Montevideo was occupied by British, Spanish, Argentine, Portuguese, and Brazilian forces, which created chaos and confusion and ultimately a weakening of power.

Your tour of Montevideo begins in Old Town, your first introduction to this diverse mix of architectural styles. Many of these buildings date back to very prosperous times, and the city is really an open-air exhibition of monuments, sculptures and museums that tell the story of the past. Many of the famous Uruguayan artists and architects have contributed their work in the parks and squares and the buildings surrounding them.

As you enter the heart of Old Town at Independencia Square, you will begin an easy and short walk to see some of these structures close up. Enjoy a short and easy walk to see the Palacio Salvo and to enter the magnificent Teatro Solis. You will find yourself soon in a pedestrian area as you continue to Torres Garcia Museum, which houses the works of one of the best-known Uruguayan artists.

At Matriz Square you will find the cathedral, the banking quarter and the Gurvich Museum. José Gurvich, born in Lithuania in 1927 into a Jewish family of humble extraction, emigrated to Montevideo 1932 with his mother and sister, to join the father who had arrived in Uruguay a year earlier. He became a well-known international artist and philanthropist and always maintained Montevideo as his home. Passing by the 1908 Casa Rivera Museum, once a private residence but now a National Historic Monument, continue to the Palacio Taranco for an internal visit. This palace is located in front of the Plaza Zabala, in the heart of the Old City and was erected in the early 20th century during a period in which the architectural style was influenced by French architecture. It is now the Museum of Decorative Arts and its collection is particularly strong in French and Spanish furniture. The Palacio Taranco sits on the edge of the Plaza Zabala, which is where you will end your tour and return to your starting point.

- Dress comfortably and wear walking shoes.
- There are moderate walks between buildings and stairs at the museum. There is no lift at the museum.
- Restrooms are available at the museum.
- Food and beverages are not included.

- You will need to provide your passport information at the time of booking.
- There is a surcharge on certain holidays, including Christmas Day.

Days offered: 7 days a week

  • 09:00 AM, duration: 3 hours
  • 01:00 PM, duration: 3 hours Monday afternoon departures not available.