Uruguay, a country in the continent of South America, well introduced to us for its wine, the birthplace of tango, its delicacies, making a bold statement for being the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage was colonized by European nations. The Portuguese were the first to lay their hands here, then came the Spanish. The capital Montevideo was established by the Spanish. 

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Landscape near Sierra de Mal Abrigo, a hill in the San José department of Uruguay_©Tano4595


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Goucho near Rocha, Uruguay, PC-Eduardo Fonseca Arraes

The landscape of the country is essentially rolling planes and low hills with fertile coastal lowlands, which have catered to the architecture here. This country is completely in the temperate zone. The climate here is relatively mild and uniform. According to the Koppen classification, the country has a humid subtropical climate. Due to this certain climate type, the architecture here concentrates mostly on air movement, coolness during summer, and heating the area during winter.  

History Of Architecture In Uruguay

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The Salvo Building was the tallest building in Uruguay when it was built. PC – httpsamuraworld.comentopicslifestylearticles6054-art-deco-2

Like numerous other countries, Uruguay was colonized by European nations. The architecture here is considerably impacted by various European migratory countries. This is the reason Uruguay has a mix of different architecture styles – Renaissance, neoclassical and art deco.These styles have developed and moulded a basis for future architecture styles here. 

Architecture In The Recent Years

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Zonamerica, a Business and Technology park in Montevideo, it is the first private Free Zone in Uruguay. PC –  Zonamerica Business Park
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Palacio Legislato. httpswww.gettyimages.nophotospalacio-legislativo-(uruguay)

The architecture here is a reflection of European styles due to the huge immigration in the 18th and 19th centuries. This country had a lot of migrants and colonizers, who left an enduring impression on the architectural style like the Palacio Salvo by Italian architect Mario Palanti. However, the modern and contemporary architecture here has advanced over the years, with design catering to people’s needs and solving the problems at hand. During the 1920s and ’30s in Uruguay, the political climate of liberalism, in agreement with a prosperous and educated population, created a prototypical environment for the reception of modern architecture. 

Uruguay is the birthplace of the great contemporary architect Rafael Vinoly. However, this country only has one of its structures. Palacio Legislativo is the home for the government, designed by Vittorio Meano and Gaetano Moretti, made into a neoclassical structure and indeed looks the same. The Palacio looks as if it was stolen from the centre of an Italian city and placed within Montevideo itself. 

Ciudad Vieja or called the old city holds diverse examples of art deco style, including the Museo Torres Garcia, which looks like a Parisian Townhouse in design, the Montevideo Cabildo has its reflection of Spanish Colonialism. 

The Impact Of Architecture And Culture On Tourism –

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Cabo Polonia  © Fedaro  Wikicommons

Due to the vibrant culture and escalating rage about visual arts, music and architecture in the country, tourism has emerged as a critical contributor to the economy. The influence of Portuguese and Spanish architecture is a major tourist spot for the people. This includes strolling through the colonial heritage – Colonia del Sacramento. 

Montevideo, houses the most diverse selection of cultural activities. Historical monuments such as Torres Garcia Museum as well as Estadio Centenario, which housed the first world cup in history, are here. However, simply walking the streets allows tourists to experience the city’s colourful culture.

Culture Of The Country

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The Carnival of Uruguay, Montevideo, Uruguay. PC –  Kobby Dagan
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Musicians playing the Candombe, Montevideo, Uruguay. PC -Galina Savina

The country is known for a diverse range of cultures, foods, religions, art and much more attaining to form a unique national identity. The people here are known for their politeness, warm and welcoming nature. Uruguayan culture is mostly European and its influence. The tradition of the gaucho has been important for the art and folklore of the country. People are proud of their tango skills. The mingle of various cultures has shaped this country. 

Visual Arts – 

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A journalist looks at Picasso’s The Three Dancers. Photo by Denis DoyleGetty Images.

Uruguay takes pride in its development of visual arts. Carlos Paez Vilaro was a prominent sculptor and painter who drew Timbuktu and Mykonos. Juan Blanes was the first Uruguayan artist to gain widespread recognition. Pedro Figari, a post-impressionist painter, who mostly works with pastel colours, became renowned. 

Landmarks –

1. Casapueblo – Carlos Páez Vilaró

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Casapueblo, Punta Ballena. PC  – Raphael Labaca Castro

Carlos Paez Vilaro is one of the most conspicuous artists. He donated Casapueblo along with his work to construct a museum. This structure is known for the astounding views it delivers. The structure is beautiful and uniquely shaped. The structure was inspired by Rufous Hornero birds’ nests.

2. Palacio Salvo

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The magnificent Palacio Salvo is impossible to ignore. PC –  Christian Córdova

This building is an essential monument in describing the architectural development of the country. It is a national heritage monument with 27 floors. The architecture style is art deco with renaissance and gothic references of neoclassical elements.

3. Solis Theater

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Teatro Solís, as delicate as it is opulent. PC –  LWYang

It is the artistic hub in Montevideo. It has a humongous elliptical hall and four floors for people to spectate, found in lyric theatres. The interior is alluring and also this is the very first theatre in Montevideo – 160 years old.

4. Montevideo Metropolitan Cathedral

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Montevideo Cathedral. PC – John Seb Barber

This was the first catholic temple in the capital city and a national heritage monument. It is located in front of Plaza Matriz, in the old city in one of the most prominent squares. It has its origin back to the colonial period, constructed around the 1740s. Later it was replaced with the building that stands todaya neoclassical style.

The history, culture, and geography tell us a lot about the people, their nature, and the architecture that shaped the areas. The architecture shows how the design has been developed over the years and how history is still preserved. It goes on to show how beautiful of a country Uruguay is!


Carlos F. Brillembourg. Latin American architecture

Available athttps://www.britannica.com/art/Latin-American-architecture/Uruguay

Accessed  – 16 / 7 / 21

Milena Fajardo. The Ultimate Tour of Uruguay’s Architectural Landmarks. 

Available at – https://theculturetrip.com/south-america/uruguay/articles/the-ultimate-tour-of-uruguays-architectural-landmarks/

Accessed – 17 / 7 / 21

The Culture Of Uruguay


Available at – 16 / 7 / 21



Available at – 15 / 7 / 21


A keen observer and nature enthusiast, Pranita is a final year architecture student. She believes architects need to be empathic and compassionate to acknowledge users’ obstacles and comfort. She relishes reading about urban design, art, aesthetics, spaces, people, countries, culture and craves to learn more. Barring this, she squanders her time overthinking and anticipating the worst aftermath.

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