Montevideo Cabildo (Old Montevideo City Hall), Montevideo

Montevideo Cabildo (Old Montevideo City Hall), Montevideo

The Montevideo City Hall is a historic building in the Old City of Uruguay's capital. Built on Constitution Square, opposite the Cathedral, this two-stored edifice was established to serve administrative and judicial functions.

Originally, the municipal council of Montevideo met in the house of Captain Pedro Groronardo, until in 1737 it was decided to build a designated headquarters. After a series of discussions, changes and various long-stops, caused by the continuous development of Montevideo at the end of the 18th century, the construction finally got underway in 1804.

Throughout the 19th-20th centuries, many important historic, political and social events took place at this heritage location. On July 18, 1830, in one of its rooms, the country's first Constitution was signed. Following that, it was the seat of the Uruguay's Parliament, whilst also serving as a prison.

In 1925, after the inauguration of the Legislative Palace, current home of the Uruguay's Parliament, the respective bodies left the building and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs moved in. In 1939, the City Hall saw intense diplomatic talks pertaining to the arrival of the German Navy ship Admiral Graf Spee that took part in the battle of Silver River (Río de la Plata). It was the first naval collision between Great Britain and Germany during World War II, and the only WWII episode in South America – occurred in Uruguayan territorial waters.

In the 1950s, the City Hall went back under the municipal management and became city history museum in September 1958. It is currently known as the Cabildo Historical Museum. It houses a vast collection of antiques, paintings, costumes, and historic documents. The entrance is free of charge.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Montevideo. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Montevideo Cabildo (Old Montevideo City Hall) on Map

Sight Name: Montevideo Cabildo (Old Montevideo City Hall)
Sight Location: Montevideo, Uruguay (See walking tours in Montevideo)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Montevideo, Uruguay

Create Your Own Walk in Montevideo

Create Your Own Walk in Montevideo

Creating your own self-guided walk in Montevideo is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Prado District Walking Tour

Prado District Walking Tour

A quiet, upscale barrio El Prado, in the north of Montevideo, is famous primarily for the sprawling park of the same name. Indeed, the city’s main green space, Parque del Prado is a major public venue made up of grassy fields, with the Arroyo Miguelete (Miguelete Creek) running through it, for which the neighborhood has been dubbed "the lung of the city".

Apart from the park,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles
Montevideo Old Town Walking Tour

Montevideo Old Town Walking Tour

In 1683 Portuguese founded a city called Colonia do Sacramento across the bay from Buenos Aires. Field marshal Manuel da Fonseca built a fort there he called Montevieu. In 1724 the Spanish governor of Buenos Aires, one-armed Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, forced the Portuguese out and changed the name of the city.

Bruno and the Spanish settlers called their new city "Saint Philip and Saint...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles