Colonia del Sacramento, that locals call Colonia, is the capital of the province of Colonia, Uruguay. It is located a few kilometres souteast of the confluence of the Uruguay River and Río de la Plata River. Its historic quarter has been declared World Heritage in 1995, illustrating the successful merge of the Portuguese, Spanish and post-colonial styles. Since it is very close to the city, it has a strong bond with it. There are many travellers who come and go to that destination, as well as people from Buenos Aires, who have properties there. There was once a project to join both cities through a binational bridge.
The city of Colonia del Sacramento has been declared a World Heritage site.
After the Spanish mission of Villa Soriano, the first settlement, called at the beginning Nova Colonia do Santíssimo Sacramento, happened in a land that nowadays is uruguayan territory. It was carried out in 1680 by a group of portuguese people under the command of Maestre de Campo Manuel de Lobo. The settlement was located in front of Buenos Aires, in Río de la Plata Gobernment territory (belonging to Spain) during José de Garro´s mandate. The year it was founded, it was assaulted and occupied by the governor of Buenos Aires, but it was returned to Portugal in 1681, while awaiting further negotiations that never succeeded.
With the Treaty of Utrecht (1731), Portugal keeps its possession. Under Portuguese sovereignty, the colony became a center of Portuguese and British smuggling towards the Spanish possessions. That is why Felipe V commissioned the governor of Buenos Aires, Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, the construction and fortification of Montevideo, in order to be able to control the smuggling.
The construction of Montevideo took six years (1724-1730). In any case, Carvajal, minister with Fernando VI, tried to sign a limits agreement with Portugal (1750), in such a way that Spain would keep the Colonia del Sacramento, handing over to Portugal the Jesuitical Reductions called "Los Siete Pueblos de las Misiones" in exchange (in the actual Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil). When Spain joins the War of the Seven Years (1762), the negotiations are stopped and Pedro de Cevallos takes over the colony once more. However, the war finishes when the Treaty of Paris is signed (1763), in which the return of the hard fought Colony to Portugal is stipulated.
Finally, in 1777, Cevallos himself, appointed Viceroy of the newly created Viceroyalty of Río de la Plata, conquers the colony for good, conquest that is endorsed through the Treaty of San Ildefonso, which is signed the same year. The territory remained divided between the supervision of Buenos Aires and the government of Montevideo.
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