A sculpture, a mausoleum, lots of palm trees and a great atmosphere form the heart of the city.
The heart of the city.
Presided over by a large sculpture of national hero José Gervasio Artigas, with stairs leading down to his underground mausoleum, this square beats like the heart of the city. All official public events were held in this square until the end of the 19th century and today it is a must for any visitor to the city and a meeting point for all kinds of celebrations. Surrounded by 33 palm trees, symbolising the revolutionary group known as the Treinta y tres orientales (literally the Thirty Three Easterners) who landed on the Agraciada Beach in 1825 –in the final stage of the fight for independence–, it is an excellent example of the transformation of Montevideo after the demolition of the colonial fortifications gave way to a more open urban layout. . It was designed in 1837 by the Italian architect Carlo Zucchi in the style of a laudatory city square. The Plaza Independencia marks the start of the main street in the city, the Avenida 18 de Julio, which runs by or very near to some of the most famous monuments and buildings in Montevideo.