Plaza Independencia © nouknouk
Montevideo's showpiece plaza contains some of the city's most impressive architecture, including its best-known landmark, the massive Italianate edifice of the Palacio Salvo, designed by an Italian architect living in Buenos Aires, Mario Palanti. The building, finished in 1925, was originally intended as a hotel, but now comprises residential apartments and offices. For many decades it was the tallest building in South America, and is built on the site where Gerardo Matos Rodriguez is credited with writing the first tango in 1917. The Plaza also contains a statue of Uruguay's national hero, General Artigas.