Montevideo's colonial era uncovered

Montevideo's colonial era uncovered

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The archaeologist Verónica de León, explained in an interview that the recent discovery of Montevideo's colonial-era defense system, provides the opportunity to improve and integrate the past buried under the Old City, the historic center of the city, with the current urban landscape.

De León, who studies the impact of public works in the Old City, found remains of fortifications that have not yet been evaluated by the National Heritage Commission.

The most recent finding was the San Carlos Battery, an artillery emplacement near the Port of Montevideo, but de León clarifies that other historical vestiges of Montevideo were found in the area in recent years.

One of these findings includes the remains of the fortifications of the colonial city found last year (2017), during the work carried out on the sidewalks around Plaza Zabala.

«Last year we started to monitor the public works in Plaza Zabala and, at the end of August, we found some walls. We were able to identify the remains as a portion of the colonial fort in Montevideo, which was completed in 1725, ”he explained.

Near to Taranco Palace, located in front of Plaza Zabala, were found other structures that could have been part of the colonial governors residence, built after 1740.

"No finds have been made outside what was then the walled city, as was the colonial water source located where the annex of the Executive Tower, the current Presidency building, is now," he added.

The artillery emplacements recently found, like the remains of fortifications, experienced numerous improvements over the decades, until they were dismantled by government orders in 1829, four years after the Independence of Uruguay.

"There are different reports and documents that refer to these improvements, including the bastions of the Citadel, the high-walled fortification built around the Old City in 1741, comprising some stone wall segments and others with earth dikes", Leon finished.

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