Montevideo, the city with the late 20th-century modernist buildings
Montevideo’s architecture and climate have often been compared to Argentina’s Buenos Aires, without the crime, as well as the Mediterranean, from the French Riviera to the Italy’s famous southern coastal enclaves.
Yet, Montevideo does not seem set in the present. Its architecture combines the remnants of Cuidad Vieja’s genteel colonial days with a profusion of late 20th-century modernist buildings and the local architectural aesthetics of low-rise, poured concrete houses with smooth sides that glimmer in the southern Atlantic sun. Aside from the tall, harp-shaped modernistic headquarters of the national telephone company, Montevideo’s architecture adds to the impression of a city forgotten by time.
If you visit Ciudad Vieja, you cannot miss the Teatro Solis, restaurant and bar located in an old colonial style building and known for its world class dining. On the other side, find very modern, hip restaurants at the Montevideo World Trade Center such as Asia de Cuba and Gardenia.
On any Saturday, visit Montevideo’s Mercado del Puerto, a wonderful old marketplace where dozens of restaurants — most of which are little more than polished bars — face a hissing, sighing tableau of meat vendors grilling meat, chicken, fish, sausage and red peppers.
Mercado del Puerto is a community gathering place for locals and tourists where early morning sunshine slants through the iron-and-glass roof onto a festive, fragrant and yet urgent scene that hasn’t changed in decades. El Palenque is just one of dozens restaurants here.
Almost every town celebrates Carnaval, a weeklong festival that precedes the beginning of Lent. Carnaval overtakes Montevideo with parades, dancing in the street and all night revelry.
Montevideo holds a cattle fair in August. In the countryside, gauchos still mount their horses to round up cattle on the vast estancias. The criolla, or rodeo Uruguayan style, is a great spectacle to see in El Prado. Contact us when ready to buy a house in Montevideo.
Compiled and Edited by Pamela Bieri