Montevideo is the largest city, the capital, and the chief port of Uruguay. The settlement was established in 1726 by Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, as a strategic move amidst a Spanish-Portuguese dispute over the platine region, and as a counter to the Portuguese colony at Colonia del Sacramento. According to the census of 2004, Montevideo has a population of 1,325,968. It has an area of 200 square miles and extends 12 miles from west to east. The southernmost cosmopolitan capital city in the Americas and third most southern in the world, it is situated in the southern coast of the country, on the northeastern bank of the Río de la Plata. The city was under brief British rule in 1807 and was involved in the first major naval battle in the Second World War: the Battle of the River Plate.
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