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the reclamation of a considerable area of land from the sea, as a valuable site for the building of warehouses and stores. of such improvements is estimated at $30,000,000, a sum nearly three times the entire customs revenue of 1888.
The entrance to the harbor is 4 miles wide and the water at that place is from 15 to 17 feet deep. In the outer roadstead, vessels of great draught find anchorage in water 25 feet deep, while within the harbor, the depth varies from 13 to 15 feet. The perimeter of the harbor measures about 6 miles. Vessels whose draught will not allow them to enter, discharge their cargoes outside on lighters.
The situation of the city, built on a chain of hills sloping gently to the shore, is favorable for efficient drainage, and the consequent cleanliness and salubrity. It overlooks the bay and the river, of which it commands a delightful view, and grand natural panorama, whose beauty consists not so much in marked diversity as in the harmonious blending of all its parts.
Being the capital of the Republic, Montevideo is naturally the center of political and social interest, whose activities are monifested in a degree only less than those that characterize rival on the Plata. It is also the seat of the religious hierarc. of the country.
It has an active and increasing commerce with foreign countries and a thriving trade with the interior, and, being the only port of entry of importance, furnishes nearly all the revenue of the Government. The Montevideo Exchange and the French and Italian chambers of commerce are spirited centers of daily commercial transactions, and a Spanish chamber will soon be inaugurated.
About 90 per cent of the entire foreign commerce of importation is carried on through this port, and 67 per cent of the total exports of the country leave its harbor.