History of Mercedes

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 Ley Nš 531. Previously, the capital of the department had been Villa Soriano