History of Reducto neighborhood

Photo: IMM

With central axis in Gral. San Martín Avenue (former Camino del Reducto) and framed by Millán Avenue and current Rocha Street, the Garibaldi Avenue (former Camino de la Figurita) and Gral. Artigas Boulevard, lies the neighborhood known as “El Reducto” (meaning Bastion, or Redoubt).

The origin of the name is based in the stronghold established by General José Rondeau in this area in 1813, during the second Siege of Montevideo city, still held by the tenacious supporters of the King of Spain.

In an illustrative study published in 1950, Dr. Luis Bonavita marked the precise location of the place that had served as accommodation and headquarters for Gral. Rondeau, such as the home of Martín “Machín” Gulart, which had been fortified and turned into a bastion. According to the above researcher of Uruguayan history, such construction was near the corner of current San Martín and Burgues avenues.

Photo: IMM

As evidenced by official files –in custody at the General Archives of the Nation-, at the beginning of 1833, the distinguished citizen Pedro Pablo de la Sierra appeared before the Ministry of Government requesting a permission to extract “brick from the Reducto fortress with the name of Rondeau for the Church of Las Piedras.” Minister Santiago Vázquez ordered the Justice of the Peace of the 2nd District of Extramuros (outside the city walls) to collect information on the works that had been carried out by the Portuguese occupants at the Reducto -as used to be called by Rondeau-, and to submit said information to the Ministry. The Ministry, in turn, submitted that information to the State Attorney General, who on April 13, 1833, resolved that “the bricks that are in the Reducto belong to public property, since they come from the works of fortifications built by Brazilian occupants and that years later were demolished” and therefore it was considered that the request presented by the people of Las Piedras City through their attorney-in-fact could be accepted. Said bricks could be reused for the construction of the city church of Las Piedras, since “one of the first duties of the State” was “the support of religion and worship”. However, some claims caused the “proceedings to be suspended.”

Later on, during the Guerra Grande (armed conflict in Uruguay known as “The Great War” that took place from 1839 to 1851), the old Reducto would experience once again those days of armed battles as a military outpost of the besiegers or as a listening and observation post of the forces of “the Defense.”