Ciudad Vieja is the name given to the old city of Montevideo, capital of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay. Today, the Ciudad Vieja is a suburb of Montevideo. It is populated by businesses, government ministries, banks, and in recent years it has undergone a major transformation that has become as the center of the city night. It is densely populated by nightclubs, discos and pubs, where citizens and tourists spend the night.
Part of this transformation is due to the campaign by the Municipality of Montevideo to restore this historic space for the abandonment it has been subjected for decades.
Typical streets the in Ciudad Vieja:
The Mercado del Puerto is one of the busiest places in the Ciudad Vieja.
Until 1829 it was surrounded by a wall that protected the city from possible invasion, the structure no longer exists, which remains nevertheless is one of the most emblematic monument of Montevideo, it is “Puerta de la Ciudadela” which is still standing. It is the symbol of the ancient fortified Montevideo and was built from 1742. Today, located on either side of Independence Square marks the beginning of the pedestrian street Sarandi, leading to the center of Ciudad Vieja.
Some neighborhood streets recall the presence of the wall, as the street of Ciudadela or the street Brecha which takes its name by being located at the point where the British managed to open the wall during the siege of the city in the English invasion of 1807. The old street was transformed into a pedestrian one called Sarandi in 1992, increasing its characteristics of shopping and walking. In 2005 it was extended beyond the Plaza Matriz.
The Ciudad Vieja contains most beautiful buildings of the colonial era or the first decades of independence. In Ciudad Vieja stands the Cabildo (built between 1804 and 1812), the Teatro Solis, the Catholic Church and several museums including the Museo Torres Garcia, the Cabildo and the National Decorative Arts (housed in the Palace Taranco). The National Historical Museum in Ciudad Vieja includes the Romantic, the houses of Ximénez, Fructuoso Rivera, Juan Antonio Lavalleja, Juan Francisco turned, by Giuseppe Garibaldi. We can also find in this neighborhood the site where in 1764 was born José Gervasio Artigas, hero of the Republic of Uruguay. La Rambla (the riverwalks) of Montevideo was conceived here as a fast lane to facilitate the heavy transportation to and from the Port of Montevideo.