Puerta de la Ciudadela
This gateway to the old town of Montevideo hints at two essential features of this area: colonial ruins and an incredible sense of peace.
The famous line “Al sur, al sur, está quieta esperando Montevideo” by Charrúa writer and poet Mario Benedetti celebrates the peacefulness of the city. This sense of tranquillity and calm envelops visitors as they explore the historical quarter of the Uruguayan capital. The Ciudad Vieja area still shows many signs of the city's colonial past: the Citadel, a symbol of the Spanish fortifications and military strength, was built in the mid-17th century and is protected by thick stone walls surrounded by moats. Its gate connects the small stronghold with the colonial city via a trench and drawbridge and the slotted grooves used to anchor the drawbridge chain are still visible today. This monument is a symbol of the old fortifications of the city, which were totally destroyed in 1879. Standing between the Plaza Independencia and the pedestrianised street Sarandí, today it connects the Ciudad Vieja area with the centre of Montevideo.