Colonia del Sacramento

Colonia del Sacramento (Spanish pronunciation: [koˈlonja ðel sakɾaˈmento]; formerly the Portuguese Colónia do Sacramento) is a city in southwestern Uruguay, by the Río de la Plata, facing Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is one of the oldest towns in Uruguay and capital of the Colonia Department. It has a population of around 27,000.

It is renowned for its historic quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.[1] Modern Colonia del Sacramento produces textiles and has a free trade zone, in addition to a polytechnic centre and various government buildings.

Colonia del Sacramento
Capital city
Basílica del Santísimo Sacramento
Colonia del Sacramento is located in Uruguay
Colonia del Sacramento
Colonia del Sacramento
Coordinates: 34°28′17″S 57°50′39″W / 34.47139°S 57.84417°WCoordinates: 34°28′17″S 57°50′39″W / 34.47139°S 57.84417°W
Country Uruguay
Department Colonia
Founded byManuel Lobo
27 m (89 ft)
(2011 Census)
 • Total26,231
Time zoneUTC -3
Postal code
Dial plan+598 452 (+5 digits)
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Official nameHistoric Quarter of the City of Colonia del Sacramento
CriteriaCultural: iv
Inscription1995 (19th Session)
Area16 ha


Following the restoration of the Portuguese crown, King Peter II sought the resolution of the southern border of Brazil. Manuel Lobo with 5 ships containing about 400 soldiers, craftsmen, carpenters and stonecutters, and 18 guns, reached San Gabriel island on 20 Jan. 1680. On 28 Jan., they commenced establishing a post.[2]

José de Garro sent spies from Santo Domingo de Soriano on 22 Feb. 1680, after receiving a negative response on 10 Feb. to his ultimatum to leave the site. Garro sent a force of 3400 men under the command of Antonio de Vera Mujica, capturing the besieged town on the night of 6-7 Aug. 1680. Lobo was taken as a prisoner to Buenos Aires, where he died on 7 Jan. 1683. A treaty between Spain and Portugal signed in 1681, returned Colonia to Portugal.[2]:105-106,109

Field Marshal Duarte Teixeira Chaves arrived off the San Gabriel islands on 25 Jan. 1683, and commenced to rebuild the settlement. Field Marshal Cristóvão Dornelas Abreu was its governor until 1690, when Dom Francisco Naper de Lencastre took over. Smuggling, and cattle hunting from the Banda Oriental, were the main components of the colony's economy. Lencastre ordered the building of houses of stone and mud with tile roofs, the enlargement of the city walls, and the addition of a fortified tower. The colonists grew wheat, hemp flax, and grape vines, exported cattle hides to Rio De Janeiro, while importing wood and foodstuffs. Sebastião da Veiga Cabral took over as governor in 1699.[2]:113-115,121-127,131

As a consequence of the War of the Spanish Succession, the governor of Buenos Aires, Valdes Incian, initiated the Siege of Colonia del Sacramento. The forces of the Spanish governor were commanded by Baltazar García Ros from 18 Oct. 1704 until 14 March 1705, when the colonists were evacuated by Portuguese ships. Only the churches and bridge remained undestroyed.[2]:135-136,142

The colony was given back to Portugal in the Treaty of Utrecht. Manuel Gomes Barbosa took possession on 10 Feb. 1718 with 1040 colonists. More colonists arrived in 1721. Antonio Pedro de Vasconcellos took over as governor on 14 March 1722 and transformed it into the richest and best defended city in the Rio de la Plata region. This included the coastal bastions of São Pedro de Alcântara, São Miguel, Santo António, São João, Carmo, and Santa Rita.[2]:147-160,166,169

Another attack during the Spanish-Portuguese War, 1735-1737, failed. Don Luis Garcia de Bivar took over as governor in 1749, but died on 5 March 1760. During that time, the Treaty of Madrid (13 January 1750) was never complied with and finally considered null and void. Brigadier Vicente da Silva da Fonseca then took over as governor. Fonseca was forced to surrender the colony to Pedro Antonio de Cevallos on 11 Oct. 1762. Spain returned the colony in the 1762 Treaty of Fontainebleau, and Dom José Pedro de Figueiredo Sarmento took over as governor on 27 Dec. 1763. He was replaced by Francisco José da Rocha on 15 March 1777.[2]:170-175,177-178,187,195,202-203

With the Treaty of San Ildefonso in 1777, the colony became a Spanish possession once more.[2]:206-207

It then transferred to Portuguese control again, being later incorporated into Brazil after 1816, when the entire Banda Oriental (Uruguay) was seized by the government of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves and renamed the Cisplatina province.

On 10 January 1809, before the independence of Uruguay, it was designated as a "Villa" ("town" in 19th century Portuguese) and has since been elevated to the status of "Ciudad" ("city" in Spanish).

Since independence, Colonia del Sacramento has expanded to the north and east, but the original Bairro Histórico (historic quarter in Portuguese or Barrio Histórico, current Spanish spelling) retains its irregular, terrain-fitting street plan built by the Portuguese, contrasting with the wider, orthogonal calles in the newer Spanish area.

Timeline of rule

The rule from 1680 to present (with flag of the period) is:

From To Rule Reason for Handover
1680 1680 Flag of Portugal (1667).svg Portugal     conquered by José de Garro
1680 1681 Flag of Cross of Burgundy.svg   Spain Provisional Treaty of Lisbon
1681 1705 Flag of Portugal (1667).svg Portugal conquered in the War of Spanish Succession
1705 1713 Bandera de Costas 1700-1771.png   Spain Treaty of Utrecht
1714 1762 Flag of Portugal (1750).svg Portugal First Cevallos expedition
1762 1763 Bandera de Costas 1700-1771.png   Spain Treaty of Paris (1763)
1763 1777 Flag of Portugal (1750).svg Portugal Second Cevallos expedition
1777 1811 Flag of Spain (1785–1873, 1875–1931).svg   Spain Revolt led by José Gervasio Artigas   
1811 1817 Flag of Artigas.svg Liga Federal Portuguese conquest
1817 1822 Flag of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves.svg United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves Brazilian Declaration of Independence
1822 1828 Flag of Brazil (1822–1870).svg Brazil Cisplatine War
1828 present Flag of Uruguay.svg Uruguay


In 2011 Colonia del Sacramento had a population of 26,231.[3]

Year Population
1908 8,021
1963 12,846
1975 17,046
1985 19,102
1996 22,200
2004 21,714
2011 26,231

Source: Instituto Nacional de Estadística de Uruguay[4]


Colonia del Sacramento has a mild humid subtropical climate, described by the Köppen climate classification as Cfa. Summers are warm and winters are cool, with relatively frequent frosts and fog. The precipitation is evenly distributed throughout the year, with an average of 1,039 mm (40.91 in), and the annual average temperature is 17 °C (63 °F).

Urban fabric

The city was developed on a peninsula that protrudes into the Río de la Plata. The 16 hectare "Barrio Histórico", or Portuguese Old City, was enclosed by a fortification wall across the peninsula in the site of present-day Calle Ituzaingó. Most of the fortification wall was removed in 1777 and the remaining parts in 1859. The Portuguese part of the city has an irregular street network.

Outside the wall, the historical part of the city was planned in Spanish colonial style and in the characteristic checkerboard layout.

Points of interest

The Barrio Histórico (historic quarter) section of Colonia del Sacramento is designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is a popular tourist attraction for visitors from Buenos Aires, and there is frequent ferry service across the Río de la Plata between the two cities, with fast ferries completing the journey in just 50 minutes. The historical section of Colonia, which has some cobblestone streets built by the Portuguese in the 17th century, is within walking distance of the ferry terminal. Among the notable tourist attractions around the tree-lined Plaza Mayor (main square) are:

  • Portón de Campo – the City Gate and wooden drawbridge
  • Lighthouse and convent ruins of the 17th-century Convent of San Francisco
  • Basílica del Santísimo Sacramento – the Basilica of the Holy Sacrament, built of stone by the Portuguese in 1808
  • Portuguese Museum – constructed in the 18th century, it exhibits Portuguese furnishings, jewelry, uniforms and old maps of Portuguese naval expeditions
  • Casa de Nacarello – an 18th-century Portuguese house
  • Municipal Museum – rebuilt by the Spanish in 1835 as the Casa del Almirante Brown, it exhibits artifacts and documents of the city's different periods and cultures
  • Viceroy's House – the Casa del Virrey, reconstructed from the original ruins
  • Plaza de toros Real de San Carlos, a Bullring included in an old tourist complex now abandoned.



Map of the Old City in ceramic tiles

Colonia-from Faro-view-TM

View of the historic district from the top of the lighthouse

Colo do sac 1

Portón de Campo, the City Gate

Colonia-Porton de Campo-murallas-TM

Another view of the City Gate


Lighthouse at Colonia del Sacramento

Colonia-Calle San Pedro-TM

Calle San Pedro, a typical street in the historic district

Colonia-Muelle 1866-TM

The 1866 Wharf of Colonia

Colonia del Sacramento water front2

The water front


Old car parked on Calle Real in the historic district


Night at the historic quarter district - "Misiones de los Tapes" Street

A boat to unite two countries

The Buquebus seen from the Paseo San Gabriel

Colonia del Sacramento art in Uruguay

Wall art in Colonia del Sacramento


Remains of Portuguese Azulejo


Colonia del Sacramento is served by three ferry boat lines from Buenos Aires, Argentina: "Buquebus", "Seacat Colonia" and "Colonia Express".

Two principal highways end in Colonia: Route 1 connects Colonia to Montevideo and points east; Route 21 connects to points north, including the Aarón de Anchorena National Park, 30 kilometres (19 mi) distant, and Fray Bentos. There is also a local airport for small planes. There is a project in process to lengthen the runway and begin commercial flights to Buenos Aires (this was done in the past) and other cities within Uruguay.

The city is served by Laguna de los Patos International Airport located 6 kilometres (4 mi) from Colonia along Route 1.

Consular representation

Argentina and Portugal both maintain a consulate in Colonia del Sacramento.

Twin town/sister city

See also


  • Assunção, Fernando O.; Cravotto, Antonio (1996). Colonia del Sacramento, patrimonio mundial. Montevideo: UNESCO. (with prologue by Federico Mayor Zaragoza and introduction by Marta Canessa de Sanguinetti) (in Spanish)


  1. ^ "21 World Heritage Sites you have probably never heard of". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Mayor, Federico; de Sanguinetti, Marta Canessa; Assuncao, Fernando; Cravotto, Antonio (1996). Colonia del Sacramento. UNESCO. pp. 88, 93, 98–103. ISBN 9230032956.
  3. ^ "Censos 2011 Cuadros Colonia". INE. 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  4. ^ "Statistics of urban localities (1963–2004)" (PDF). INE. 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  5. ^ Castaño, José; Giménez, Agustín; Ceroni, Mauricio; Furest, José; Aunchayna, Rossina. "Caracterización Agroclimática del Uruguay 1980–2009" (PDF) (in Spanish). Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agropecuaria. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 December 2018. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  6. ^ "Estadísticas climatológicas" (in Spanish). Dirección Nacional de Meteorología. Archived from the original on 30 November 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  7. ^
  8. ^ (in Portuguese) Cidades-irmãs de Pelotas terão espaço na Fenadoce Archived 2011-07-23 at the Wayback Machine, Prefeitura Municipal de Pelotas - accessed on June 4, 2007.

External links

2003 South American U-20 Championship

The 2003 South American Youth Championship (Sudamericana sub-20) is a football competition contested by all ten U-20 national football teams of CONMEBOL. The tournament was held in Uruguay between 4 January and 28 January 2003, it was the 21st time the competition has been held and the second to take place in Uruguay. Argentina won their fourth trophy.

Alberto Suppici

Alberto Horacio Suppici (20 November 1898 – 21 June 1981) was coach of the Uruguay team during the 1930 FIFA World Cup, leading the host nation to victory in the first ever FIFA World Cup. Suppici is known as el Profesor (the Professor). His cousin was professional driver Héctor Suppici Sedes. From Croatian descent whose real surname was Suppisich.

Basílica del Santísimo Sacramento, Colonia del Sacramento

The Basilica of the Holy Sacrament (Spanish: Basílica del Santísimo Sacramento) is a Roman Catholic parish church in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay.

Club Plaza Colonia de Deportes

Club Plaza Colonia de Deportes, or simply Plaza Colonia are a football club from Colonia in Uruguay. They currently play in the Uruguayan 1st Division.


Colonia (Roman) (plural coloniae) was originally a Roman Empire outpost established in conquered territory to secure it. Eventually, however, the term came to denote the highest status of Roman city.

Colonia may also refer to:

PlacesColonia del Sacramento, the oldest city in Uruguay and a UNESCO World Heritage site

Colonia Department, a departamento in southwestern Uruguay, where Colonia del Sacramento is the capital

Colonia, Yap, a city in Micronesia

Colonia, New Jersey

Colonia, Oxnard, California

Cologne, originally Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensis, Germany's fourth-largest city

Colonia, a village in Tritenii de Jos Commune, Cluj County, RomaniaMusicColonia (music group), a Croatian dance music group

Colonia (Autopsia album), a 2002 compilation album by Autopsia

Colonia (A Camp album), the second album by A CampFilmColonia (film), a 2015 German filmOtherColonia (surname)

Colonia (Mexico), a neighborhood of large urban areas in Mexico

Colonia (United States), a low-income community along the U.S./Mexican border

Colonia (ship), a cable vessel that worked on the All Red Line

Colonia (bird), a genus of tyrant flycatcher containing a single species, the long-tailed tyrant

Colonia Airport

Colonia International Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional de Colonia "Laguna de los Patos") (IATA: CYR, ICAO: SUCA) is a general aviation airport serving Colonia del Sacramento, capital of the Colonia Department of Uruguay.

The airport is just inland from the shore of the Río de la Plata estuary, 6 kilometres (4 mi) east of Colonia. Southeast approach and departure are over the water.

The Colonia non-directional beacon (Ident: COL) is located on the field. The

La Plata VOR-DME (Ident: PTA) is located 31.8 nautical miles (59 km) south of the airport.

Colonia Department

Colonia (Spanish pronunciation: [koˈlonja]) is a department of southwestern Uruguay. Its capital is Colonia del Sacramento, the country's second oldest city.

Emiliano Dumestre

Emiliano Dumestre Guaraglia (born February 11, 1987 in Colonia del Sacramento) is a Uruguayan rower. He is a two-time medalist in the men's double and quadruple sculls at the 2010 South American Games in Medellín.

Dumestre represented Uruguay at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, where he and his partner Rodolfo Collazo finished fourth in the C-final, and sixteenth overall in the men's lightweight double sculls, with a time of 6:51.94.Dumestre is a graduate of agricultural studies at Universidad de la Empresa Business School in Montevideo.

Enrique Ballestrero

Enrique Ballesteros (18 January 1905 – 11 October 1969) was a Uruguayan footballer who played as a goalkeeper. He was a member of the Uruguay squad that won the 1930 FIFA World Cup. He played in all four matches of the tournament, including the final win against Argentina. "Quique" Ballestrero played for the Rampla Juniors.

Facundo Waller

Facundo Waller (born 9 April 1997) is an Uruguayan football player who plays as midfielder for Plaza Colonia in Uruguayan Primera División.

Federico Puppo

Carlos Federico Puppo Gross (born 6 December 1986) is a Uruguayan (Italian) footballer.

Horacio Salaberry

Horacio Salaberry (born 3 April 1987) is a Uruguayan footballer. He currently plays for L.D.U. Quito in the Ecuadorian Serie A.

Joaquín Noy

Joaquín Noy González (born December 3, 1992 in Colonia del Sacramento) is a Uruguayan footballer who plays for FC Juárez on loan from Montevideo Wanderers.

Leandro Salvagno Rattaro

Leandro Salvagno Rattaro (born March 3, 1984 in Colonia del Sacramento) is a Uruguayan rower, who won silver for the quadruple sculls at the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and a bronze at the 2006 South American Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He made his official debut at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, where he finished second for the D-final, and twentieth overall in the men's single sculls, with a fastest possible time of 7:01.33.

At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Salvagno won the D-final of the men's single sculls, finishing ahead of Hong Kong's Law Hiu Fung by two seconds, with a time of 7:04.13. He only placed nineteenth out of thirty-two rowers in the overall rankings.Salvagno, however, felt short in his bid to qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, after competing in the single sculls at the Latin America Continental Qualification Regatta in Buenos Aires. He finished abruptly in sixth place for the semi-final rounds, with a slowest possible time of 8:44.30.

List of diplomatic missions in Uruguay

This is a list of diplomatic missions in Uruguay. There are currently 41 embassies in Montevideo. Several countries have non resident embassies.

List of museums in Uruguay

This is a list of museums in Uruguay.

Museo del Hombre y la Tecnología

Juan Manuel Blanes Museum

Museo de la Casa de Luis Alberto de Herrera

Museum of the sea (Uruguay)

Museo Torres García

National Museum of Visual Arts (Uruguay)

Story of the Andes Survivors Museum

Museo de Artes Decorativas (Palacio Taranco)

Museo de Arte Precolombino e Indigena (Montevideo - Uruguay)

Museo Paleontologico (Colonia del Sacramento - Uruguay)

Plaza de toros Real de San Carlos

Plaza de toros Real de San Carlos is a bull ring in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay. It is currently a derelict building that is crumbling down. It is forbidden for safety reasons to access the bull ring.

When in operation it could host 10,000 spectators. It is designed in typically Moorish style.

Sergio Rodríguez Viera

Sergio Rodríguez Viera (4 April 1928 – 6 April 1986) was a Uruguayan footballer who played as a forward, and football manager.

Siege of Colonia del Sacramento

The Siege of Colonia del Sacramento was a successful siege in 1704 by Spanish forces of the Portuguese colonial town of Colonia del Sacramento, opposite Buenos Aires and now in the nation of Uruguay. Four thousand natives and 650 Spaniards, led by the governor of Buenos Aires, Don Alonso Juan de Valdes e Inclán, and Baltasar García Ros, besieged the city beginning late in 1704. One week after a frontal assault failed, in early February 1705, the Portuguese abandoned Colonia del Sacramento.

Climate data for Colonia del Sacramento , Uruguay (1980–2009)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 39.6
Average high °C (°F) 28.6
Daily mean °C (°F) 23.8
Average low °C (°F) 19.0
Record low °C (°F) 10.1
Average precipitation mm (inches) 101.3
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 6 6 6 6 5 5 5 5 6 7 7 6 70
Average relative humidity (%) 66 70 73 74 75 77 76 73 71 71 68 66 72
Mean monthly sunshine hours 288.3 237.3 235.6 180.0 167.4 132.0 151.9 179.8 198.0 223.2 240.0 272.8 2,506.3
Mean daily sunshine hours 9.3 8.4 7.6 6.0 5.4 4.4 4.9 5.8 6.6 7.2 8.0 8.8 6.8
Source #1: Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agropecuaria[5]
Source #2: Dirección Nacional de Meteorología[6]
Coat of arms of Colonia Department.svg Coast of Colonia Flag of Uruguay.svg
Towns and

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