Montevideo is the capital of Uruguay. With a 2011 population of 1.3 million people, nearly half of Uruguay's population, it is also the country's largest city.
Montevideo has been the capital of Uruguay since the country's independence in 1828. Founded in 1726 by the Spanish to check the Portuguese advance from Brazil, Montevideo is home to colonial architecture as well as more modern buildings. As Uruguay's main port, the city is also a business hub. Its location on the sea has also made it a magnet for immigrants, and its huge Italian community has influenced Uruguayan Spanish. In addition to being the capital of Uruguay, Montevideo is the administrative hub of Mercosur, the main South American trading bloc.