Plaza Independencia (Independence Square), Montevideo

Plaza Independencia (Independence Square), Montevideo (must see)

Jose Gervasio Artigas Arnal, the national hero of Uruguayan independence, was a fan of Thomas Paine, Jefferson, Rousseau, and other revolutionary writers of the 18th century. Although he is called the father of Uruguayan freedom, he died in exile. His remains were laid to rest in the Artigas Mausoleum on Independence Square in the center of Montevideo.

The Independence Square houses an equestrian statue of Artigas, created by Italian sculptor Angelo Zanelli. Stairs led from the monument to the underground mausoleum. The Square was designed in the 1830s by Italian architect Carlo Zucchi, who drew inspiration from Rivoli Street in Paris. The Independence Square was redesigned thirty years later by Swiss architect and sculptor Bernardo Poncini.

The Independence Square separates the Old City from downtown Montevideo. The gateway of Ciudadela and the Montevideo Twin Towers are on one side of the Square, and the 18th of July Avenue is on the other. The Solis Theatre, the 19th century Estevez Palace, and the Executive Tower are nearby. The landmark Salvo Palace is also nearby.

The Artigas monument dominates the center of Independence Square. Large green areas cover each of the four rounded corners of the Square. The place is surrounded by a broad and heavily trafficked motorway.

In May and June of 2009, Independence Square hosted the 17th exhibition of the United Buddy Bears project. The Buddy Bears are life-sized fiberglass bear sculptures created by Austrian sculptor Roman Strobl. The outstretched arms of the standing Buddy Bear symbolize friendliness and optimism. The Buddy Bears have appeared in Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Cairo, Shanghai, and St. Gallen, Switzerland.

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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Plaza Independencia (Independence Square) on Map

Sight Name: Plaza Independencia (Independence Square)
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.
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
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