ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting the Gateway of the Citadel, Montevideo, Uruguay: recalling the Colonial-to-Independence-Era transition

Updated on September 4, 2013
Flag of Uruguay
Flag of Uruguay | Source
Gateway to the old fortified city, Montevideo
Gateway to the old fortified city, Montevideo | Source
Artigas at the Gateway
Artigas at the Gateway | Source
Gateway to the Citadel, Montevideo
Gateway to the Citadel, Montevideo | Source
Map location of Montevideo, Uruguay
Map location of Montevideo, Uruguay | Source

A metaphorical window from the past linking with the beloved don José

In Downtown Montevideo, Uruguay is an historic structure, the Gateway to the Citadel (Spanish: Puerta de la Ciudadela ). In Spanish, this phrase is often simply contracted to Ciudadela, although strictly this refers to the former fortified Old Town (Ciudad Vieja ) as a whole, rather than to the Gateway only.

The Old City was originally within the defence walls erected by the Spanish Colonialist forces in the 18th century. Montevideo was founded in 1724. The most significant remains of the Old City's defensive walls consist of the Gateway. This structure consists of twin pillars and a pediment with walling which serves as backing.

Particularly after Uruguayan Independence, Montevideo expanded eastwards from the Old City area. It is therefore possible to see the local built environment as reflecting a spacial and also psychological transition from Colonial times to the post-Independence era.

Interestingly, the personality of the principal Independence leader, General José Gervasio Artigas (1764-1850) looms large in any understanding of that era. Don José originally served in a Colonial regiment, but later took on the cause of Independence for the peoples of the River Plate. The Gateway opens onto Independence Square (Spanish: Plaza Independencia), the centrepiece of which is an equestrian statue of don José , with the entrance to his Mausoleum beneath.

A famous picture of don José standing at the Gateway is thus very evocative to Uruguayans. This is because it symbolizes the way the country's principal Independence Era leader led them from Spanish Colonial rule (strongly identified with the formerly fortified Old City) to the dignity of citizens of an independent Republic, eventually achieved when don José was in exile. There is thus a sense in which don José himself symbolizes a gateway to Independence.

Remembering as I do the many times I passed by the Ciudadela , my imagination rests in the idea that it would not be too surprising if don José Gervasio Artigas were quietly to appear, standing at one of its pillars. Imagination, certainly; but among Uruguay's citizens the idea of a civic watchfulness for the common good of an independent people is a resurgent leitmotif which the memory of the beloved don José — so often remembered from the portrait of him standing at the Ciudadela — may be said to invigorate.

July 3, 2012

Also worth seeing

In Montevideo itself numerous visitor attractions include: the Independence Building facing Plaza Independencia; the Artigas Mausoleum; the Salvo Palace; the Legislative Palace; the main building of the University of the Republic (UdelaR); the Obelisk; the Cerro Fortresss; the Cerrito; and many others.

...

How to get there: LanChile flies to Montevideo , Uruguay from North American destinations including New York and Toronto . The Uruguayan airline PLUNA, which codeshares with VARIG, flies to a number of Latin American regional destinations. Car rental is available at Montevideo Carrasco International airport. Some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

For your visit, these items may be of interest

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • MJFenn profile imageAUTHOR

      MJFenn 

      6 years ago

      teacherjoe52:

      Yes, this central area of Montevideo is historically very absorbing. Thank-you for your comment.

    • teacherjoe52 profile image

      teacherjoe52 

      6 years ago

      Very interesting.

      Thank you.

      I like to learn about history.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)