Colonia del Sacramento (formerly the Portuguese Colônia do Sacramento) is a city in southwestern Uruguay, by the Río de la Plata, facing Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is the oldest town in Uruguay and capital of the departamento of Colonia. It has a population of 21,714 (2004 census).
It is renowned for its historic quarter, a World Heritage Site. Modern Colonia del Sacramento produces textiles and has a free trade zone, in addition to a polytechnic center and various government buildings.
|From||To||Rule||Reason for Handover|
|1680||1680||Portugal||conquered by José de Garro|
|1680||1681||Spain||Provisional Treaty of Lisbon|
|1681||1705||Portugal||conquered in the War of Spanish Succession|
|1705||1713||Spain||Treaty of Utrecht|
|1714||1762||Portugal||First Cevallos expedition|
|1762||1763||Spain||Treaty of Paris (1763)|
|1763||1777||Portugal||Second Cevallos expedition|
|1777||1811||Spain||Revolt led by José Gervasio Artigas|
|1811||1817||Liga Federal||Portuguese invasion|
|1817||1821||Portugal||Brazilian Declaration of Independence|
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 hydrofoils 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 visitor attractions around the tree-lined Plaza Mayor (main square) are:
Two principal highways terminate at Colonia: Highway #1 connects Colonia to Montevideo and points east; Highway #21 connects to points north, including the Aarón de Anchorena National Park, distant, and Fray Bentos.