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Full nameMontevideo
Official nameMontevideo
Other nameFormer colonial name:
City of San Felipe y Santiago de Montevideo
Settlement typeCapital city
MottoCon libertad ni ofendo ni temo
With liberty I offend not, I fear not.
DepartmentMontevideo Department
Bruno Mauricio de Zabala
IntendantAna Olivera
Total Area80.7 sq mi (209 km2)
Urban Area165.6 sq mi (429 km2)
Metro Area521.1 sq mi (1350 km2)
Elevation141.1 ft (43 m)
Total Population1,336,878 (1st) (2010 est.)
Urban (pop.)1700000
Metro (pop.)1800000
Demonymmontevideano (m)
montevideana (f)
Other information
Time zoneUTC -3 (UTC)
Postal code11#00 & 12#00
Area code+598 2 (+7 digits)
HDI (2005)0.884 high
1st Latinamerica

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Montevideo (-esmonteβiˈðeo) is the largest city, the capital, and the chief port of Uruguay. The settlement was established in 1726 by Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, as a strategic move amidst a Spanish-Portuguese dispute over the platine region, and as a counter to the Portuguese colony at Colonia del Sacramento. According to the census of 2004, Montevideo has a population of 1,325,968 (about half of Uruguay's population). It has an area of 530 sqkm and extends 20 km (12.4 mi) from west to east. The southernmost cosmopolitan capital city in the Americas and third most southern in the world, it is situated in the southern coast of the country, on the northeastern bank of the Río de la Plata (Spanish: "Silver River") - which is often referred to in English-speaking countries as the River Plate. The city was under brief British rule in 1807 and was involved in the first major naval battle in the Second World War: the Battle of the River Plate. It is also the place where the Montevideo convention was signed, in 1933, by nineteen nations of the Americas. The city hosted all 1st FIFA World Cup matches in 1930. Montevideo has a rich architectural and cultural heritage, the latter including tango and candombe. According to Mercer Human Resource Consulting, in 2007 Montevideo provided the highest quality of life in Latin America.

Described as a "vibrant, eclectic place with a rich cultural life", it is the hub of commerce and higher education in Uruguay: its first university, the Universidad de la República, was founded in 1849. The architecture of Montevideo reflects its history, ranging from colonial to Art Deco, and influenced by Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French and British immigrants.

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