At the end of 2022, one of the world’s greatest sporting events will take place in Qatar, the “2022 World Cup”. Football is known as the world’s first sport, the World Cup has a huge influence in the world. The first World Cup was not held in England, the birthplace of modern football, nor in the mighty “five-star Brazil”. It was held in Uruguay, a little-known South American country.
It was named one of lonely Planet’s top 10 places to go in 2016.
For most Chinese, their perception of Uruguay comes from football or its star players. The Uruguayan football team is one of the most powerful teams in world football. It is often seen in the World Cup and Copa America competitions. And in many club competitions, from the older generation of “Prince of Uruguay” Francis Coli to “Chinese boy” Recoba to the recent all-powerful Luis Suarez, these names give people a little bit of understanding of the country. But apart from football, there seems to be little to remember, and most people probably don’t know where the country is on the planet without looking at a map of the world. Brazil reminds us of it with Its Monte Cristo and Carnival, Argentina with its Pampas Plateau, Chile with its cherry every winter, Peru with its World Heritage Site Machu Picchu, and even Bolivia with its salt lake is fascinating… What does Uruguay have?
A slow-paced vacation spot
Uruguay covers less than 180,000 square kilometers, making it a tiny country compared to neighboring Brazil and Argentina. On the map, Uruguay’s position is a bit depressing, sandwiched between the vast Atlantic Ocean and the giants of Brazil and Argentina. But far from being miserable, Uruguayans live a very cool life. In addition to football, Uruguay has a famous label in the world – Switzerland of South America.
Neutrality, peace, affluence and beauty are the first labels that come to mind when talking about Switzerland, and they also apply to Uruguay. Uruguay is also known as the “Country of diamonds” because of its triangular shape, like a giant diamond, and its abundance of amethyst. Uruguay, whose name means “river of colorful birds” in the indigenous language, sounds like a beautiful place, and it certainly lives up to its name.
Uruguay is located in the east bank of the River La Plata, the land is flat and fertile, the land is basically in the Pampas, there is no gobi desert. The beautiful coastline is pleasant, and due to the climate, there are almost no storms, tsunamis and other natural disasters. Even more notable is the air quality, which is very good due to the lack of heavy industry and often ranks at the top of global air quality rankings. The sky is blue by day and the stars are bright at night. No wonder many rich South Americans like to spend their holidays in Uruguay. It is said that even former US President George W. Bush has bought several vacation homes in Uruguay. In addition to outstanding natural conditions, Uruguay also has excellent social management. It is one of the safest countries in South America. It has the highest GDP per capita and income per capita in South America. It has a stable currency, ranks among the highest in political incorruptibility in the world, and its people are generally well educated. What’s more, the pace of life here is very slow. Some people say that if you are used to the “package tour of 12 countries for 8 days”, then coming to Uruguay will feel very uncomfortable. Five or six days in one place is the norm when traveling here.
Two bronze statues in Montevideo
Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, is not only the political, economic and cultural center of Uruguay, but also the transportation hub and the main port of South America, which is basically the first stop for tourists. Uruguay’s economy is based on agriculture, animal husbandry and tourism, and industrial products are mainly imported, so Montevideo’s traffic is exceptionally developed. According to locals, there are air and sea routes that can reach major cities and ports on any continent in the world.
It is said that when a Portuguese expedition first arrived in the 17th century, a sailor spotted a hill in front of him, 139 meters above sea level, and exclaimed, “I see mountains!” Montevideo got its name. Although this is not a solid statement, for this coastal city with an average elevation of only 22 meters, a hill of more than 100 meters is certainly worth a “wow”.
Uruguay’s full name is the Eastern Republic of Uruguay. This “Eastern” refers to Uruguay’s position on the eastern bank of the La Plata River, and Montevideo is located near the mouth of the River. La Plata means “silver” in Spanish, and the La Plata is the second largest river in South America, after the Amazon. La Plata river is a trumpet shaped river, narrow upstream, downstream is a huge trumpet mouth, Montevideo is close to the trumpet mouth, and Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires across the river, only about 200 kilometers apart, economic and cultural dependence is very high. But Buenos Aires was in the middle of the horn, though it was a little slant across the river.
Blue sky by day, bright stars at night, many South American rich people like to come to Uruguay on vacation.
At the center of independence Square stands a bronze statue of Artigas.
Like many cities in South America, Montevideo is divided into old and new districts. The old town retains its colonial architecture, while the new town is a modern metropolis of tall buildings. The dividing line is Maidan, a small square that is regarded as the pride of Montevideo, and of Uruguay as a whole. Like central squares in many cities around the world, independence Square is surrounded by museums and government offices. On one side of the square is the Gate of the City, which was the theme of the design of independence Square at the time. The main purpose of independence Square was to enlarge the capital of the Republic, and the gate of the city meant that the republic began there. At the center of the square stands a bronze statue of Attigas, known as the father of Uruguay. Like most countries in South America, Uruguay has experienced a period from indigenous people’s independent development to colonial invasion, and then in the global independence wave, through the uprising of national heroes led the people to launch an independence war, and finally won the stage of independence. In Uruguay, the national hero is Attigas.
Uruguay’s indigenous people are the Charua Indians. Discovered by Spanish explorer Juan Dias de Solis in 1516, Uruguay became the subject of contention between Spanish and Portuguese colonizers more than 100 years later. After a long struggle, the Battle was won by the Spanish. In 1726, Uruguay became a Spanish colony in what was then known as the eastern bank of the River La Plata. In the early 19th century, as the wave of independence swept South America, Artigas gave up his position as an officer in the Spanish colonial army and joined the revolution. His Patriotic Army defeated the Spanish colonial army at the battle of Las Piedras and then laid siege to Spanish-held Montevideo. In 1815, Attigas led the Patriotic Army to control all of Uruguay, Uruguay’s war of independence achieved a temporary victory. Only a year later, Portuguese troops invaded Uruguay again from Brazil and annexed it to Brazil in July 1821. After his defeat, Artigas went into exile, but the spark of independence he left behind did not die. In 1825, Uruguay finally won the war of independence and became a sovereign nation, and Attigas is known as the “father of Uruguay.” In the heart of Montevideo’s Independence Square, the bronze statue of Artigas has been transformed into a copper green color. He was dressed in an officer’s uniform, straddling his horse and staring straight ahead. Beneath the statue lies the remains of Artigas, the father of Uruguay, who died in Paraguay in 1850 and returned in 1855 to his home country, where he led the way to independence. A bronze statue of the 17 meters high, 30 tons of his military life, gray marble pedestal, carved with the eastern people followed Mr The historical scenes of great migration, to all the Uruguayan tells them to independent of hard struggle, also tell us about the forever pursuit of just how valuable the spirit of independence and freedom.
Colonia del Sacramento, the outdoor coffee table is the best place to enjoy and feel the old town streetscape.
Independence Square is not only the dividing line between the old and new parts of Montevideo, but also the starting point of Montevideo’s main road. The name of this main road is very interesting. It is called “July 18th Avenue”. The name comes from the fact that Uruguay’s first constitution was promulgated on July 18, 1830. The main road runs through the new town, connected on both sides by streets named after Uruguayan historical figures and provinces. Walking along July 18 Avenue, you can see many small gardens and sculptures, with the statue of Liberty carved on the white Peace Pillar in the center of the avenue, symbolizing freedom and light. There are also many important buildings in Cagancha Square next to the Column of Peace. Continue along the main road and you will soon arrive at Montevideo’s City Hall. Most of the town halls abroad can be visited, and this is no exception. Montevideo’s City Hall is a famous attraction because there are few high-rise buildings in the city. The top floor of the city hall can enjoy a panoramic view of the city, and admission to the city hall is free. Arriving at the top floor of the city hall, there are also small signs on the observation deck to introduce the characteristic buildings where people are located. Basically, you can take a turn on the observation deck and have a good idea of the next journey. Outside the city hall, to the east, there is a bronze statue of a warrior on horseback, holding aloft a sword, somewhat similar to the statue of Artigas on Independence Square. This is the Gaucho monument. Gaucho is not a person, but a mixed race of Indians and Spaniards, mostly living in the highlands and grasslands of central South America. Gauchos are a bit like north American “cowboys”. They are used to living on horses, herding cattle and hunting for a living. They are brave and strong, and played a very important role in the War of Independence in South America. In Uruguay and Argentina, the Gaucho has become a symbol of nationalism. Gaucho folklore, mythology, literature and art are highly recognized in both countries and have become the most important regional cultural traditions. Continuing along the main road, you can see a square called Plaza de 33, which is also named after Uruguay’s independence. In 1825, a group of 33 Easterners led by Juan Antonio La Valleha returned from Argentina to lead a new independence movement that recaptured Montevideo from the Portuguese and declared Uruguay’s formal independence from Brazil. The plaza of the 33 takes its name from the uprising of the 33 men who eventually drove out the colonists and declared the country’s independence.
Returning to the old town feels like a throwback to colonial times in an instant from the hustle and bustle of modern times. Most of the buildings in the old town were built by Spanish colonists, and both the buildings themselves and the sculptures are in Spanish style. Here, people mostly walk, wasting their time in one square or sculpture after another in exchange for leisure and comfort. Follow independence Square to the old city, not far from Montevideo’s oldest square, Syntagma Square. Built in honor of the Spanish Constitution of 1812, the Square is actually a small garden space, with a white marble angel fountain in the middle, full of European features. Next to Syntagma Square is Montevideo’s most important religious site, the Metropolitan Cathedral, which is certainly an essential building in a Catholic country and is generally one of the oldest buildings in the city. The church was built in 1726, when The Spanish colonist De Savara arrived with 13 families to build a military fortress. The church is also built in the Style of Spanish neoclassical architecture. The Metropolitan Cathedral is one of the most magnificent buildings in an old town where buildings are generally stunted. On the other side of Syntagma Square is the colonial government building, which has been converted into a municipal museum and historical archive. Continue on to zabala Square, which was built in 1878. Known as the city’s founder, Zabala built a stronghold on the site of the Spanish and Portuguese conquest of Uruguay in 1724, which became Montevideo’s forerunner. There is also a statue of Zabala himself on horseback in military uniform, similar in form to the statue of Atigas in Independence Square, except that one is a colonist and the other is a national hero. Such a sight is really intriguing. The Old Town is inherently laid-back, but if you want to enjoy the most cozy atmosphere in the old town, look no further than great Bretania Avenue. It is a walkway that encircles the old city. The seaside market and port are all on this street. The south of the avenue is the leisure paradise of Montevideo citizens, where people take a walk, go fishing, enjoy the sea breeze and blue sky, enjoy relaxed and happy. Here, as if the world’s troubles are no longer exist, life is only carefree.
Maldonado and Colonia
While Montevideo is relaxed enough, the capital city still has many functions that are too complicated for Uruguayan vacationers. Maldonado and Colonia, on either side of Montevideo, are the best places to escape the city.
On the town’s main road, you can see more historic houses and explore colonia’s earliest neighborhoods.
The five fingers, which are the calling card of the Eastern Horn, were made by a Chilean artist in the summer of 1981. It is not suitable for swimming because of the strong wind and waves here. The more suitable sports are surfing and sailing. Therefore, the five Fingers statue is also called the monument of the drowning man.
Maldonado lies southeast of the capital at the mouth of the La Plata River, which meets the Atlantic Ocean. The town has just over 10,000 people, and casapublo and East Point make it a popular destination for vacationers. Casapubulo is called a “White House”, a house, but it bears little resemblance to a traditional house, except that it has doors and Windows and people can live inside. People are more like living in strange white sculptures. These unique white houses are the work of Uruguayan artist Carlos. Carlos is a collection of painting, sculpture, pottery, writing in a versatile artist, he is not only proficient in South American culture, African culture is also very popular, so his works are with a strong African color. In 1958, he began building his dream “livable sculpture” there, which literally means living in a house, and the result was these oddly shaped white houses. Although not as horizontal and vertical as ordinary houses, the sculptural curves combined with the blue sky and sand present a more natural beauty, as if these buildings are not man-made, but naturally grown here. Today, the white houses are part art gallery, part resort hotel. The deep blue waters of the Atlantic, the white houses, the eerie curves and roofs, paired with lush tropical plants, sitting on the terrace is really “facing the sea, with spring blossoms”. Perhaps it was at this time that the true meaning of “livable sculpture” began to sink in.
A dozen kilometers down the road from The White House is Another maldonado resort, East Point. Halfway along the road, you can also see the site of the naval battle at the mouth of the La Plata River during World War II. A huge iron anchor is placed on a big stone on the roadside. This is the iron anchor of the German battleship, which was salvagedafter sinking and placed here, to remind people of the cruelty of war and the difficulty of peace. Continue to come to the east corner of the so-called “Miami of South America”, in addition to a cape like Miami, here is also like Miami is a traditional resort for the rich. With a large number of holiday villas and hotels, beaches and walking distance to the Atlantic coast, it is a combination of all the elements of a holiday destination, good security and excellent environment, and it is no wonder the rich flock to the area. There is also a landmark sculpture on the beach – the five fingers of the sea. A huge hand is buried in the sand, with only five fingers sticking out. Walking up to the huge fingers, you feel that human beings are so small, and the seemingly huge fingers are so small in front of the vast Atlantic ocean. The original intention of the designer is to remind tourists to pay attention to safety and prevent drowning accidents while swimming, but the inadvertly-inserted design creates awe for nature and becomes a must-visit place for tourists to clock in.
East Point is also a place that has influenced the world. It was here that the GATT negotiations, known as the Uruguay Round, began in 1986 and lasted seven and a half years in the Eastern Corner, eventually leading to the establishment of the WORLD Trade Organization. The site of the GATT negotiations still stands today on the Atlantic side and is a landmark building in the East Corner. Green garden, fresh natural sea breeze, blue sky under the picturesque scenery, no wonder the negotiation will be selected here, in such a beautiful scenery, even if the difficult negotiations will bring a bit of relaxed color.
Another city, Colonia, lies north of Montevideo in the middle of the La Plata River. It’s just an hour’s ferry ride from Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital, across the river. Colonia is one of the oldest cities in Uruguay. It was founded in 1680 by Portuguese settlers who conquered the La Plata River valley and was later administered by Spanish settlers. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site because of its intact colonial architecture. Colonia is so small that it can be fully visited in less than a day. Colonia’s rhythm is also slow, so slow that even the East Cape is “fast” compared to it. Wander the huge cobblestone streets, look at the wall murals and ceramic signs, come across rows of old tile-roofed houses and mini squares, white lighthouses and dilapidated monasteries, and the oldest Church of our Lady in Uruguay… There are no famous classics here, or perhaps the most famous classics are the old city itself and its mood as if it had been transported back hundreds of years.
A painting commemorating Uruguay’s trip to the World Cup in Russia.
Inside the Stadium is a football museum with signed jerseys from all eras and photographs of football legends, showing visitors the history of the modern game over 100 years.
“Football” is another symbol of Uruguay
Of course, Uruguay is not all about relaxing and relaxing. There are two things that break the peace and turn Uruguay into a sea of passion: Carnival and football.
When it comes to carnival, many people think of Brazil first, but Uruguay’s carnival is as good as its neighbors’. The carnival is one of the longest in the world, and it seems as if this laid-back country is about to unleash the enthusiasm of the whole year. Every year in late January, tourists flood the area for the annual carnival. Throughout the 40-day carnival, people are fully releasing their enthusiasm, whether it is the wild tango of Argentina or the samba style of Brazil, all are perfectly integrated here, and even the African culture is full of infinite vitality here. Uruguayans are also proud to say that the carnival here is a melting pot of the country’s culture, which blends various cultures together and radiates a distinctive style.
The carnival lasts only 40 days, but in Uruguay football lasts a whole year. Although the strength of The Uruguayan football team can only be regarded as the Strongest in the Americas, not the world’s top, but Uruguay’s brilliant history and contribution to world football, can be no less than the “kingdom of football” next to Brazil.
Soccer fans know that a soccer team that has won the World Cup can have a five-pointed star on its chest. The number of stars is the number of Times the country has won the World Cup. For example, Brazil has won the World Cup five times, so it has five stars on the chest. It is also known as the “five Star Brazil” by fans. Germany and Italy have won four championships each and have four stars on their chests. Although Uruguay has won only two World Cups, they also have four stars on their chest, which is not a random addition. The four stars are related to the development of the world game and why the first World Cup was held in Uruguay.
Before the World Cup, the Olympic football competition represented the highest level of international football. Uruguay won the 1924 Paris Olympics and the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, establishing the country as the world’s dominant soccer team. The Uruguayan soccer team was made up of professional players, which was deemed unfair and was later banned from the Olympic Games. Then FIFA president Jules Rimet came up with the idea of holding a football world Tournament to represent the highest level of international football, and the Uruguayans quickly seized the opportunity. Eager to mark the centenary of Uruguay’s independence with a grand celebration, soccer enthusiasts quickly raised $400,000 to build the World’s largest soccer stadium, the Uruguay Century Stadium, as quickly as possible. At the same time, because the outbreak of the global economic crisis for the European and American countries are trapped in crisis of the swamp, and Uruguay itself less affected by economic crisis, and generously promised to cover the cost of all the competing countries, plus the Uruguay was worthy of the name in world football, as a result, the first World Cup kicked off here, It also marks the centenary of international football’s greatest competition. Two of the four stars on Uruguay’s jerseys represent their 1930 and 1950 World Cup victories, and two represent their two Olympic titles. FIFA and the International Olympic Committee agreed to put four stars on Uruguay’s uniforms, considering that Uruguay’s two Olympic football competitions represented the precursor of the World Cup and the highest level of international football at that time.
The leisure and hospitality of Uruguay attracts everyone who comes here, and it’s all built on an invisible foundation: peace. Uruguay, a relatively isolated country that has not experienced the direct devastation of war since independence, is free from conflict and has a low crime rate that allows its people to enjoy leisure and enthusiasm. Walk in ancient street alley, from time to time can head on a small and fresh cafe, and hide in the cafe in ancient street alley, more like a small paradise. Shopkeepers like to set up simple tables and benches under towering trees, and watch visitors walk up and down the flagstone roads, ordering a cup of coffee or mate, Uruguay’s national drink, while the sun dappled through the breeze and leaves on the lovers’ faces.