Melo is the capital of the department of Cerro Largo in Uruguay.
It was founded in 1795 by the Spanish soldier José Joaquín de Viana. From its earliest days, the city was an important commercial and transit center between Brazil and Uruguay.
In 1825, Melo was the site of the signing of the Treaty of Rio de Janeiro, which recognized the independence of Uruguay from Brazil. During the Great War (1839-1851), the city was occupied by both sides and suffered considerable damage.
In the 20th century, Melo experienced great economic growth thanks to agriculture, livestock and mining.
Currently, it is an important center of services and tourism in eastern Uruguay, with attractions such as the Santa Teresa Fortress, the Cerro Largo National Park and the Salto del Penitente Waterfall.
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