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Cerro Largo

Long hill is an Uruguayan department placed in the North-East of the country. It borders on the west on Durazno, to the north on Rivera and Tacuarembó, to the east on Brazil, and on the south on the department of Treinta Tres.

It has 13.648 km ², what turns it into the most extensive fourth department of Uruguay, and an estimated population of 89.564 inhabitants according to the census of 2004. The departmental capital is the city of melo, located to 387 km from Montevideo.

In the department of Long Hill, the emergence of big extensions of field they are the principal protagonist of an immense scenery that fills us with peace and harmony.

Long hill is an ideal place to forget the rough life of the city, to recover the vitality and to fill with energy.

While we circulate along the highway we can observe to the shore of the way in a vast field the rheas running for the big plains of the department.

On both sides of the highway the extensive prairies of Long Hill spread up to touching the horizon.

Precedents of the foundation:

In the middle of the XVIth century, Spain was disputing with Portugal this immense American, completely deserted territory removed from Montevideo and Buenos Aires, capital of the Virreinato of the River Plate.

Every time there was becoming more imperious the need for the construction of a drawstring of small forts to control the border of uncertain limits before the continuous advance of the Portugueses.

Before this situation the Viceroy Marquess of Loreto, in the year 1788 orders to make a study on this complex problems.

In 1791, Nicolás de Arredondo, the new Viceroy of the River Plate designates Manuel Cipriano de Melo and Meneses in his Lieutenant's character Commander of the Frontier Securities, the construction of six new guards. One of these guards was the Guard of the Long Hill, or of San Nicolás of Bari, that March 28, 1791 remains concluded, on the creek of the Stove in the skirt of the Long Hill.

At the end of 1794, the Viceroy Don Nicolás de Arredondo put Agustín de la Rosa to the care of the border, with residence in San Nicolás of Bari, who comes to the conclusion that the place of the same one was not the adapted one for being surrounded with areas of marshland, fact that there was making difficult the baby of cattle and the transit in winter.

In the same year, there is designated Viceroy Don Pedro de Melo of Portugal and Villena, which arranges to Of the Rose his transfer to the capital to treat matters of the campaign, what it allows him to Of the Rose to request him the transfer of the Guard, which is approved by the Viceroy, for resolution dated in Buenos Aires on November 10, 1794.

The transfer of the Guard begins this way to his new emplacement located in the place in which today the Cemetery of melo is:

In 1795, the Viceroy Pedro de Melo arranges to Of the Rose the foundation of a Town, he is so on June 27 of this year, Agustín de la Rosa goes out of the New Guard accompanied by several men and soldiers and eight blocks of this one and for six of the creek (Convents), he designs a square and begins to distribute lots concerning the same one.

This fact remains stamped on firstly sheet of the Book Electoral roll with date June 27, 1795, which survives up to today in the General File of the Nation of Buenos Aires.


The department is provided with important fluvial and washed courses that serve as internal supplying and like natural limit in some of his borders. The Big Chopper divides to the basins of the Lagoon Merín and the Río Negro. Other rivers and creeks of singular importance are the Tacuarí, the Parao and the Yaguarón that it separates to Long Hill of the Federative Republic of the Brazil.

In certain sectors we can find floods, ponds and low grounds that lend to the cultivation of rice and to the extensive baby of fish.


The climate is moderated and humid, with a temperature that 17 or 18 ranges between ºC average and an index of precipitations that goes from 1.100 to 1.200 mm per year. For this motive Long Hill is one of the Uruguayan regions that turn out to be more affected by the fall of rains and of increasing floods.


The cattle is the principal economic source of the department, and it concentrates principally on the sheep and bovine cattle. This activity has diminished by virtue of the appearance of new artificial prairies and fertilized fields. The fishing, the development of clay and the forestry are also representative.

The agriculture is in third plane, emphasizing the corn, the wheat, the soya, fruits, citrus fruits and vine. Finally it would be necessary to highlight that the industry of Long Hill is quite poor or lacking in many aspects, turning only concerning a refrigerator, a factory of drinks (the most ancient of the country), some few wine vaults and to a series of tambos milkmen.


Long hill is provided with good highways. The principal one of all of them is the national route nº 8 (also acquaintance as the route of General Juan Antonio Lavalleja), which goes from Montevideo up to Aceguá, in the limit with Brazil. Of not minor importance the national route is a nº 7 or of Aparicio Saravia, who also is born in the national capital and dies in Centurion (in the frontier stripe Uruguayan - Brazilian), intercepting with the route eight in the city of melo.

At present the only railroad route in functioning in the department is that there comes to Rio Branco from Montevideo route Nico Pérez and Thirty three.

The department counts also with a national and regional airport (in melo), waterways in the lagoon Merín, and a commercial and industrial port in Rio Branco, a neighboring urban center with the Brazilian city of Yaguarón in the state of Big Rio of the South.


The Municipal Commissariat of Long Hill is the supreme executive and legislative organ in the department. The Manager is who heads to the Executive power and is chosen by the departmental people to practise for not top period at the age of five of duration. It can, also, be reelect.

The Legislature assumes the Departmental Meeting composed by town councilors, who are part of the electoral elections and propose to debate on questions related to tariffs, tariffs, public works and educational matter, as well as of the percentage of destined capital of the above mentioned tasks.

The current municipal Manager is Ambrosio Barreiro belonging to the National Party, and that will remain in the charge until 2009.


There is a good number of rural and urban schools, there being at least a center of public instruction in almost all the localities of Long Hill. Nevertheless, about 67 % of the children registered in these establishments does it in unfavorable conditions, and scarcely 7 % does it in a stable economic or social situation.

The university education runs due to the University of the Work of the Uruguay (UTU), and of some institutes dedicated to the primary teacher education and it would help, as well as diverse practical courses orientativos to the sector of services and public health.


In the cultural ambience, the department has always been the cradle of brilliant literary talents like legendary Juana de Ibarbourou (also nicknamed Juana de América), Emilio Oribe, Casiano Monegal, Pedro Martins Marins and Justino Zavala Muniz. Not in vain, in 1988 there was created an artistic workshop that would operate across the Writers' Association of Long Hill, an institution faced to promote the literary art in the region, and that has summoned numerous literature contests in which there have taken part young writers of other departments and of member countries of the Mercosur.

The participants have the pleasure in attending the publication of his works and they are invited to diverse local and international meetings.

Demography and population:

According to the census of 2004, there were 86.564 inhabitants and 28.140 housings in the department. The average of number of persons for hearth belonged to 3,2 members. For every 100 women there were 97,2 men. The reports realized by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) of Uruguay reveal that for the year 2025, the entire population of Long Hill will belong to 98.887 inhabitants.

Population growth (inhabitants from 1852 until 2004):

? 1852: 6.451
? 1860: 17.475
? 1908: 44.742
? 1963: 71.023
? 1975: 74.027
? 1985: 78.416
? 1996: 82.510
? 2004: 86.564

Principal urban centers:

The most important cities of Hill Long sound: Melo, the capital, with 47.189 hab. according to census of 2004; Rio Branco, adjoining commercial port with Brazil, with 13.306 hab. (2004) and Dead Friar, with 3.223 hab. (2004) an agrarian people.

Related :
Hill Long Uruguayan department North-East population inhabitants cardinal departmental city melo Antecedentes foundation Hydrography Climate Economy Communications national route nº 8 nº 7 I Govern Education Culture Juana de Ibarbourou Demografía register 2004 Principales urban centers
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