Montevideo is the capital city of Uruguay, located on the estuary of the River Plate. It is the largest city in Uruguay, with a population of 1.35 million (2004) (metropolitan area: 1.8 million).
Montevideo was founded as a Spanish military post in 1726 and rapidly developed as a commercial port. In 1828 it was declared capital of the newly-independent state of Uruguay.
In December 1939, following the Battle of the River Plate, the damaged German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee took refuge in the neutral waters of Montevideo harbour. Under pressure from the Uruguayan government to leave, the captain of the Graf Spee, Hans Langdorff, scuttled the ship on 17 December to avoid risking the lives of his crew in a hopeless fight with British naval vessels awaiting him in international waters.
Montevideo's sister city is Montevideo, Minnesota (pronounced "mon-teh-VI-dee-oh" instead of "mon-teh-vi-DAY-oh").