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PAYSANDU, or PAISANDU, a town and river port of Uruguay and capital of a department of the same name, on the left bank of the Uruguay River about 214 m. N.W. of Montevideo, with which it is connected by rail. Pop. (1908 estimate), 15,000. It has railway connexion with Rio Negro and Montevideo to the south-east, and with Salto and Santa Rosa, on the Brazilian frontier, on the north; it is at the head of low water navigation on the Uruguay River, and is in regular steamer communication with Montevideo and Buenos Aires.

There are some good public buildings, including two churches, a hospital, a theatre and the government offices. Paysandii exports cattle and sheep and salted meats, hides, ox tongues, wool and other animal products. There is a meatcuring establishment (saladero) at Guaviyu, in the vicinity. The town was named in honour of Pay, or Pai (Father) Sandu, a priest who settled there in 1772. It has suffered severely from revolutionary outbreaks, was bombarded by Rivera in 1846, and was partly destroyed in 1865 by a Brazilian bombardment, after which its gallant defenders, Leandro Gomez and his companions, were butchered in cold blood.

The department of Paysandu area 5117 sq. m.; pop. (1907, estimate), 54,097 is one of the richest stock-raising regions of the republic.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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