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Nueva Helvecia is a Uruguayan city located in Colonia. Nueva Helvecia (formerly known as Colonia Suiza) is 120 kilometres west of Montevideo, the capital and largest city of Uruguay. It's a few miles from the coast where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Río de la Plata and East of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is known nationwide for its Swiss heritage.HistoryThe first wave of immigrants arrived at the end of 1861. However the day of its foundation is considered to be 24 April 1862. This year marks the time when a large number of immigrants, mostly from Switzerland, but with a significant number from Austria, Germany, Italy and France, settled in the area. Colonia Suiza, Colonia Valdense, Colonia Miguelete, Rosario and other towns are the consequence of this European immigration. The name "Nueva Helvecia" was given to "Colonia Suiza" some decades later. The first Swiss settler was David Salomon Bratschi from Bern, Switzerland. He arrived in 1858, three years earlier than the first large group of settlers who arrived in 1861.Swiss emigrationEurope was undergoing severe economic hardships during the second part of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution affected many small artisans and family businesses. By law the Swiss mercenary soldiers no longer could fight for other countries and were coming back home to find their families in precarious conditions that could not support any more members.Plan your vacation with our Uruguay travel planner and discover the best things to do in Nueva Helvecia.
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