Fortaleza del Cerro, Montevideo, Uruguay | CruiseBe
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Fortaleza del Cerro

History and museums
sightseeing, attractions, history, fort, lighthouse

Fortaleza del Cerro, also known as Fortaleza General Artigas, is a fortress situated in Montevideo, Uruguay overlooking the Bay of Montevideo. It belongs to the barrio of Casabó, at the west of Villa del Cerro. It holds a dominant position on the highest hill of the department of Montevideo (popularly known as Cerro de Montevideo with its altitude of 134 meters above sea level the sea, on the opposite side of the bay. Its function was to defend the population of Montevideo and its port, on the río de la Plata. Governor Francisco Javier de Elío ordered construction in 1809 and it was completed in 1839; this was the last Spanish fort built in Uruguay. It has housed the Military Museum since 1916.


On its location an observation post was first built by the Spanish in the late 18th century. In 1802 a lighthouse replaced it and from 1809 to 1839 the fortress was built. It has taken part in many historical developments and has been repeatedly taken over by various sides. The lighthouse was partially disabled in 1832 and in 1843 it was destroyed completely during Uruguay's civil war, known as the Guerra Grande. On 16 July 1852 a new lighthouse was inaugurated, built on top of the older one and was considered a first order lighthouse, 148 meters above sea level. In 1906 works to improve the lighthouse started and on 18 April 1907 the modern one was inaugurated.

Monument and Sight

It has been a National Monument since 1931 and has housed a military museum since 1916. Today it is a well-known attraction for tourists visiting Montevideo.

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