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Historia de Punta del Este 1

Editor's note:
We know that the following text has many absences, so much of spelling as grammatical. Anyway, we prefer publishing it since the content has a great historical value. Also, we encourage our visitors and readers to help us in the translation and correction of this text. You can send to us your suggestions to Thanks.

Francisco Piria was born in Montevideo August 21, 1847, son of Lorenzo and Serafina Piria Grossi, of Genoese origin. His grandfather, Joseph Piria conducted naval transportation businesses in Buenos Aires, making periodic trips to Montevideo, back in 1810, with the frigate "Conception."

Don Lorenzo Piria, father of Francisco, followed the family tradition and settled in Montevideo after serving in the same branch activity. The origin of Piria was modest and thanks to the intervention of an uncle, a priest, had the opportunity to study in Europe. Based in the Uruguayan capital, he decided to experiment in a unknown business field: clothing apparel - especially "The Remington" coats- a shop in the Old Market in Montevideo.

A fire virtually put Piria in the street but, boasting an exceptional contraction to work, rebuilt the shop and continued in the mall industry. In the first block of Avenida 18 de Julio in Montevideo, opened" The National Exhibition" selling various goods.

In mid 1873, with an outstanding capital stock of three million pesos, founded "The Industrial" which led him to hold in the commercial activity that ruled his life in the future: the auctioneer. As a teenager, was conducting auctions with a borrowed hammer.
He applied knowledge and cunning and very quickly managed to turn wastelands in inhabited places, growing his fortune, which came to do no less than twenty two trips to Europe.

In 1890, at the incomparable beauty of the landscapes , decided to acquire land in the vicinity of the named Puerto del Inglés at the foot of the huge hill that now bears the name of the Pan de Azúcar. In order to do a good transaction, Francisco showed his discontent and negative impression of this region of the mountains when he was invited there to tempt him to buy them. When the owner became convinced that this really was a "wasteland of stones and infinite solitude of sand and wind" and not worth a copper, Piria took to buy ... to 50 cents a hectare.

Piria was then 45 years and with an exemplary demonstration of perseverance, began planting trees to hold the mobile dune sands that covered anything he wish to build. In turn, he grew in his mind the great idea of a spa town, imitating those famous in Europe that impressed him in each trip.

Piria moved to the place of his visionary PIRIA-POLIS and built, around 1897, a residence that is now known today as Castle Piria, dignified place for a real museum to remind him after his death.


The origin of the city responds faithfully to the etymology of its name: Piriápolis, "Piria City." It is the only city in the country that was conceived, planned and then carried by a person, Francisco Piria.

By 1890, returning from one of many trips to Europe, came to a rugged coastline, wild, known as "Puerto del Inglés" (now Port Piriápolis). Conceived then, impressed by the beauty of the Riviera, in full swing, found the resort city of the future. That same year he purchases land to the descendants of Leonardo Olivera and face the transformation of the landscape: inhospitable fields become olive groves, vineyards, orchards, forests, pine forests. Hundreds of men and women and dozens of machines are shaping the dream of Piria.



Since its first inhabitants until our days, the stories that formed the character and personality of modern Punta del Este, queen of summer resorts of South America...

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