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Artigas is the capital of the Artigas Department of Uruguay. Its name comes from that of the national hero, José Gervasio Artigas, who fought for the emancipation of the River Plate, and sought to create a federative nation from these colonies. As of the census of 2011, it is the eleventh most populous city of the country.LocationThe city is located on the border with Brazil, separated only by a bridge from the town Quaraí of the state Rio Grande do Sul of Brazil. It is the farthest city from Uruguay's capital Montevideo, being away.HistoryIt was founded on 12 September 1852 by Don Carlos Catalá as the town of San Eugenio del Cuareim. On 5 September 1884 it became capital of the department. It was renamed Artigas and its status was elevated from villa (town) to ciudad (city) on 31 August 1915.EconomyArtigas is a centre for trading grain crops with Argentina and Brazil. The railroad station and, since 1973, airport are focused on this commerce.The mountains in the area contain significant numbers of precious stones, especially agate and amethyst, which were first found in 1860, since when mining has taken place. Souvenirs and handicrafts made using these gem stones are produced in Artigas and exported widely.Make Artigas central to your Uruguay travel plans using our Uruguay road trip planning site.
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