Maldonado is the capital of Maldonado Department of Uruguay. As of the census of 2011, it is the seventh most populated city of the country.
Maldonado is also the name of the municipality to which the city belongs. It includes the following zones: Maldonado, Punta Ballena, Portezuelo, Barrio Hipódromo, Canteras de Marelli, Los Ceibos, Abra de Perdomo, Laguna del Diario, El Placer, Cantegril, Maldonado Nuevo, Cerro Pelado, San Francisco, San Fernando, Estación, Leonel, Perlita, El Molino, Biarritz, etc.
Maldonado was founded on 19 October 1755 at the initiative of the Governor of Montevideo Joaquin de Viana. It was firmly established by the arrival of 104 permanent settlers in 1757. Its original name was "Maldonado", but, years later, its name was changed to "San Fernando de Maldonado", in honor of King Ferdinand VI of Spain. It had acquired the status of "Ciudad" (city) before the Independence of Uruguay.
San Fernando de Maldonado Cathedral, a neoclassic cathedral begun in 1801 and completed in 1895;
Cuartel de Dragones (The Dragoons' Barracks), a Spanish garrison begun in 1771 and completed in 1797;
Torre del Vigia (meaning "tower of vigilance" or, more simply, "watchtower"), built in 1800 under the direction of Rafael Pérez del Puerto, its function was to inform the authorities of the entrance in Buenos Aires of the approach of any ship to the Río de la Plata;
El Puente de la Barra, a stressed ribbon bridge, where the roadbed swoops up, down, and back up and down once more, demonstrating an exceptional economy of material;