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Paysandú, capital city of the department of the same name on the Uruguay River (2004 population 73,272), 210 miles northwest of Montevideo. Paysandú was founded by Father Pedro Sandú in 1772 to provide shelter and protection to twelve Guaraní families who had converted to Christianity. Soon after, it developed into an important station where travelers heading for the upper reaches of the Uruguay River changed from fluvial transportation to overland routes. Using to advantage the fact that it was accessible by ship, Paysandú developed rapidly into an agricultural center specializing in grains and, later on, into an industrial city with food processing plants, sugar beet mills, breweries, and packing plants. This balanced commercial and industrial infrastructure allows the city to compete successfully with Salto for the dominant position in Uruguay's western corner.

See alsoUruguay, Geography; Uruguay River.


Uruguay González, Paysandú (La Paz, 1981).

Additional Bibliography

Barrios Pintos, Aníbal. Paysandú: Historia general. Montevideo: Intendencia Municipal de Paysandú, 1989.

Caillabet, Carlos. Retratos con historias: Paysandú. Paysandú: Ediciones Carolina, 2003.

Schulkin, Fernando. Sitiados: La epopeya de Paysandú, 1864–1865. Montevideo: s.n., 2000.

Tomeo F., Ana Maria. Suiza En Paysandú: En busca de nuestros abuelos helvéticos. Montevideo: Ediciones el Galeón, 2004.

                              CÉsar N. Caviedes

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