Uruguay, officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, is a country located in the southeastern portion of continental South America. As a representative democratic republic, the nation is governed by a president and his/her thirteen-member cabinet who are elected to five-year terms. The current leader of Uruguay, President Tabare Vazquez, has served two terms as the nation's 39th and 41st President. He initially took office in 2005 and served until 2010. Vazquez was then reelected in 2015.
The President of Uruguay is both the head of state as well as the leader of the country's national government. While in office, the president lives in the official presidential residence; Suarez Residence (also known as the Residencia de Suarez) which is located in Prado in Uruguay's capital and largest city Montevideo.
Construction initially began on the Residencia de Suarez in 1907 during the first term of President Jose Batlle y Ordonez. The building was completed in 1908 and acquired its name due to its location at the intersection of Suarez and Reyes streets. The presidential residence was designed by local Uruguayan architect Juan Maria Aubriot who was also responsible for designing the law school building at the University of the Republic as well as the Edifico Lapido which was declared a National Heritage Site in 1989.
The first Uruguayan president to live at the Suarez Residence was Luis Batlles Berres who served as the nation's president from 1947-1951 and again from 1955- 1956. Among the other presidents who have resided at this prestigious address include Jorge Pacheco Areco (1967-1972), Juan Maria Bordaberry (1972-1976), and Luis Alberto Lacalle (1990-1995).
It is interesting to note that several of Uruguay's heads of state have opted to remain in their own private residences rather than stay at the Suarez Residence. Two leaders who chose this option include Oscar Diego Gestido (1967) and Jose Mujica (2010-2015).
Montevideo Botanic Garden
The official address of the Suarez Residence is Joaquin Suarez 3773. The Montevideo Botanic Garden is located behind the government-owned residence. This particular museum is notable because it is the South American nation's one and only botanical garden. A popular site with tourists and locals alike the Montevideo Botanical Garden receives approximately 400,000 visitors every year. It is composed of three main areas; a theme park, educational center, and research facility. The Garden features a wide array of butterflies, native plants, aqua plants, botanical species, and herbs.
The official Uruguayan presidential residence is located in the country's capital, Montevideo. This large city has an urban population of about 1,719,453 citizens. It occupies an area of some 77.5 square miles and was founded in 1724 by Bruno Mauricio de Zabala (1682-1736), a Spanish soldier and administrator.
Among the many landmarks and historical buildings located in Montevideo include the World Trade Center Montevideo which opened its doors in 1998 and is comprised of three towers, two multi-story buildings, and a central square. Another important cultural site is the Montevideo Metropolitan Cathedral which was consecrated in 1804 and still serves as the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montevideo.