ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting the House of Dr. Luis Alberto de Herrera, Montevideo, Uruguay: Remembering Issues of Historic Sovereignty

Updated on December 10, 2019
Flag of Uruguay
Flag of Uruguay | Source
House of Dr Luis Alberto de Herrera, situated in Montevideo Department.
House of Dr Luis Alberto de Herrera, situated in Montevideo Department. | Source
House of Dr Luis Alberto de Herrera, situated in Montevideo Department.
House of Dr Luis Alberto de Herrera, situated in Montevideo Department. | Source
Dr. Luis Alberto de Herrera
Dr. Luis Alberto de Herrera | Source

A locally well grounded standing

This house in Montevideo, Uruguay, is a museum dedicated to the memory of prominent Uruguayan historical figure Dr Luis Alberto de Herrera y Quevedo (1873-1959).

La Casa del Dr. Luis Alberto de Herrera is located at Avenida Dr. Luis A. de Herrera 3760, appropriately named for Dr. Herrera (1). This late 19th century structure has been part of the Museo Histórico Nacional since 1966. Its gardens were designed by Charles Racine. Eclectic style elements including neo-Renaissance — popular in Uruguay in its day — are visible at the House.

In any attempt by outsiders to understand a figure such as Dr. de Herrera, one must first of all try to divest oneself of perceptions which may — however unwittingly — be coloured by a Cold War-driven analysis. It must be remembered that, as far as Latin America is concerned, memories run deep about the way first British and then American perceived gunboat diplomacy was part of the historical experience of Latin American countries long before Cold War divisions started to coalesce in the 1940s.

So who was Dr. Luis Alberto de Herrera? and what did he represent?

First of all (and I will forbear from summarizing his thought just yet), he was a ruralist who for decades led the Partido nacional or blanco: this party's historic opponent was the Partido colorado, against which, until 1904, the Nacionalistas engaged in period civil war insurrection for much of the mid- to late-19th century. Dr. Herrera himself was always proud of his role in the 1897 and 1904 rebellions against the Colorado government, in office for the best part of a century.

When I tell you that Dr. de Herrera was an avid supporter — at least morally — of Nicaraguan revolutionary Augusto César Sandino (1895-1934), the followers of whose cause were later known as Sandinistas, many North Americans might immediately assume that Dr de Herrera must therefore have been a leftist, even a Marxist, of some description.

Except that nothing could be further from the truth. Such an assumption would arguably be coloured heavily by the projection of a Cold War-driven analysis.

The fact is that, long before the Cold War, just as large numbers of Latin Americans already found it morally unacceptable for European powers to have exercised a hegemonic influence upon their countries economic and political affairs, so a similar degree of moral indignation historically arose if the United States has tried to intervene by toppling Latin American leaders, whether by overt or covert means.

(I myself am not moralizing; but I am trying to insist that one must comprehend the basic thinking of many citizens of Latin American countries in seeking to understand figures such as Dr. de Herrera, because otherwise inaccurate assumptions are likely to be projected upon such figures and their significance.)

Interestingly, Dr. Luis Alberto de Herrera is known for having supported in 1933 the coup d'état led by the sitting President, Gabriel Terra. So in the eyes of some foreign observers this automatically tarnished Dr de Herrera's reputation as a supposed reactionary.

Except that all was not as it seemed. Gabriel Terra, with the reputation of a Colorado liberal, had taken office in 1931 as President in 1931. Terra was basically a socialist, who advanced state intervention in the economy, women's rights, and other measures widely seen as progressive, enforcing these measures by decree. Meanwhile, wealthy families who had exercised a more conservative influence through the parliament were in a measure sidelined. Thus, each side could try to portray itself as more 'liberal' than the other, to some extent. Alfredo Baldomir succeeded Terra as President in 1938, later staged his own coup, and his rule by decree was supported by leading Colorado liberals and communists, while many socialists opposed it.

Dr Luis Alberto de Herrera was, in short, a conservative nationalist, but one whose roots and thinking were both very much localized in Uruguay, especially its rural areas, but also in the wider mainstream of Latin American nationalism. To some considerable extent Dr de Herrera represented a determination not to allow the urban interests of Montevideo inordinately to dominate national life: a tall order, since traditionally about a half of Uruguay's population has lived in the country's capital.

Dr de Herrera's career and principles thus defy glib classifying or re-classifying by international observers.

Dr. de Herrera's Nacionalistas finally won the elections in 1958, a moment which provided somewhat of a crowning achievement for a man who had led his party for half a century. His passing in 1959 cut short an electoral triumph which had occurred when Uruguay was being governed by a Collegiate Presidency (based on that of Switzerland).

Part of Dr Herrera's political legacy has been personal. His grandson. Dr Luis Alberto Lacalle de Herrera (1940-) served as President of Uruguay 1990-1995, and his great-grandson Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou (1973-), a former Parliamentary speaker, ran for President in 2014, narrowly losing to President Tabaré Vázquez. [Addendum: In November 2019, Mr. Lacalle Pou became President-Elect of Uruguay.]

A statue of Dr. de Herrera stands at the nearby intersection of Avenidas Herrera and Flores.

August 3, 2016


(1) An adjoining street is Margarite Uriarte de Herrera, named for the wife of Dr Herrera.

See also:

Map location of Montevideo, Uruguay
Map location of Montevideo, Uruguay | Source

Also worth seeing

Among the noted sights of Montevideo , are the Salvo Palace and the Ciudadela on Independence Square and the Artigas Mausoleum, the Legislative Palace, and the Cerro Fortress and many others.


How to get there: Latam flies to Montevideo , Uruguay from North American destinations including New York and Toronto. Car rental is available at Montevideo Carrasco International airport. Please note that some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. For up to date information, please check with the airline or your travel agent. Visitors to the Casa del Dr Luis Alberto de Herrera are advised to email: in advance regarding opening times.

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


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, 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:

    Show Details
    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 or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    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)
    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.
    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)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)