Guided in German: The Graf Spee: On the Trail of a Legend
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Approximately 3½ Hours
The Graf Spee was a German battleship with a unique design and state-of-the-art technology. During World World II, she suffered considerable damage and headed to Montevideo to complete repairs. The Captain's orders were to get the ship ready to leave in no more than 72 hours and leave port. While in Montevideo, spies from the United Kingdom and New Zealand approached the Graf Spee 's captain and led him to believe that they had a flotilla waiting to attack the Graf Spee as soon as it left Uruguay. In fact, only the HMS Cumberland was ready to engage in combat with the Graf Spee. The Captain decided to sink the Graf Spee within Montevideo's harbor and then he killed himself.
Today's panoramic drive through the city shows you the streets and buildings that caught the world's attention in 1939 and 1940 when the Uruguayan, British and German governments negotiated the fate of the Graf Spee and its crew. Have a look at the buildings that used to be the British and German embassies, the Port Authority and the Military Hospital. Along the way, take time to admire the combination of different architectural styles as well as some of Montevideo's oldest squares and monuments.
From atop Cerro de Montevideo, take in panoramic views of the bay and imagine that fateful day when curious citizens crowded the port to witness the arrival of the German warship.
You will also visit the Northern Cemetery, where 40 fallen German sailors were buried. From there, continue to the British Cemetery, where there are two tombs that serve as a somber reminder of the Battle of Rio de la Plata.
Your last stop is at the Naval Museum, which houses some of the Graf Spee's guns as well as the telemetry equipment recently recovered from the riverbed.
Return to the port driving along the shoreline so you can enjoy beautiful views of the city's beaches.