🇺🇾 Mercedes is the capital and largest city of the department of Soriano in Uruguay. According to the census 2011, it is the tenth most populated city of the country. Mercedes is an important centre of tourism, commerce and a commercial port. Its main industries are based on agriculture, dairy products, paper manufacturing and industrial activities. Its rambla is one of the widest in the country.
Mercedes was founded in 1788 by the priest Manuel Antonio de Castro y Careaga with the name of Capilla Nueva de las Mercedes. It had acquired the status of "Villa" (town) before the Independence of Uruguay. On 6 July 1857, its status was elevated to "Ciudad" (city) and it was designated as capital of Soriano, one of the nine original departments of the Republic at the time, by the Act of Law Nº 531. Previously, the capital of the department was Villa Soriano.
The city is located on the junction of Route 2 with Route 14, and is situated on the south bank of the Río Negro. Also Route 21 from Colonia del Sacramento of Colonia Department terminates in this city.
Mercedes has a population of over 41,970 people. Mercedes also forms the centre of the wider Soriano Department which has a population of over 82,594 people.