views updated


Salto, capital of the department of the same name in Uruguay on the eastern margins of the Uruguay River, 260 miles from Montevideo, and second-largest individual city of Uruguay, with 80,823 inhabitants (1985). One of the oldest settlements in the country, Salto was founded in 1756 as a military post not far from the noted Salto Grande waterfalls and rapids, which made upstream navigation impossible. It was originally meant to be a mission, but the foundation of Paysandú in 1772 diminished its significance as a center of evangelism. The proper city was founded in 1817, and the department of the same name in 1837. Mainly a service hub for the numerous sheep ranches of the region, it is the most important administrative center of Uruguay's Littoral. In 1974 the governments of Uruguay and Argentina began construction on the Salto Grande Dam, which spans the Uruguay River between Salto and two Argentinean cities: Entre Ríos and Concordia. Built with hydroelectric capacity, the dam began generating power in 1979. The fourteen Kaplan turbines that power the dam's generators are capable of producing 1,890 megawatts of power.


Conti, Susana. Salto. Montevideo, Uruguay: Editorial Fin de Siglo, 2000.

Fá Robaína, Juan Carlos. Reminiscencias salteñas. Montevideo, Uruguay: Editorial Fin del Siglo, 1996.

Giuffra, Elzear. La República del Uruguay (Montevideo, 1935).

Kleinpenning, Jan M. G. Peopling the Purple Land: A Historical Geography of Rural Uruguay, 1500–1915. Amsterdam: Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation, 1995.

                                       CÉsar N. Caviedes

More From