Trinidad (island)

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Macqueripe Bay in Chaguaramas
Macqueripe Bay in Chaguaramas
Waters Caribbean Sea
Archipelago Lesser Antilles
Geographical location 10 ° 25 ′  N , 61 ° 21 ′  W Coordinates: 10 ° 25 ′  N , 61 ° 21 ′  W
Trinidad (island) (Lesser Antilles)
Trinidad (island)
length 140 km
width 97 km
surface 4th 748  km²
Highest elevation Cerro del Aripo
940  m
Residents 1,267,145 (2011)
267 inhabitants / km²
main place Port of Spain
The island of Trinidad
The island of Trinidad

Trinidad ( Spanish for " Trinity ") is an island in the Caribbean Sea and the largest island in the Lesser Antilles and part of the territory of the island state of Trinidad and Tobago .


The island is located a few kilometers from Venezuela and the South American continent, east of the Paria peninsula (separated from the Paria Gulf ) and north of the Orinoco Delta (separated by the Boca de la Serpiente strait). About 30 km northeast is the smaller island of Tobago .

In contrast to the other islands in the region, the island of Trinidad is not of volcanic origin, but was once part of the South American mainland. Its surface is highly structured: At the 4821 km² island of Trinidad, there are three east-west running mountain ranges, the north ( northern range ) up to 940 m Cerro del Aripo rises. In the north there is tropical rainforest , in the south savannah or cultivated land .

The tropical climate is characterized by daytime temperatures of around 30 ° C, at night the temperature drops to 20 ° C. The main part of the moderate annual precipitation of 2000 mm falls between June and October.

Between the Venezuelan Paria peninsula in the west and the northwestern peninsula of Trinidad in the east ( Chaguaramas ) lie the Bocas Islands , five small islands: Chacachacare , Huevos , Monos , Gaspar Grande and Little Gasparee . South of Chaguaramas are the small islands of Cronstadt Island and Carrera Island (a prison island) as well as the Five Islands .


In 2011 there were 1,267,145 inhabitants.

The original Indian population ( Arawak ) became extinct at the end of the 18th century. As everywhere in the Caribbean, where plantation economy was practiced, this was based on the brutal exploitation of slaves . With the abolition of slavery in the British colonies in 1834, the slaves were replaced by contract workers, mostly from British India. The working and living conditions of these contract workers differed only slightly from those of slavery.

50% of the population in Trinidad are descendants of African slaves. About 40% are descendants of Indian contract workers, about 10% of other origins. In addition to the Christians , who make up about 40.3% (29.4% Catholics, 10.9% Anglicans), there are about 23.8% Hindus , 5.8% Muslims and small Jewish communities.

The capital of Trinidad and Tobago is Port of Spain . The largest city, however, is Chaguanas with more than 80,000 inhabitants.

In addition to English , the official language of the state of Trinidad and Tobago, French , Spanish , Hindi , Chinese and Antilles Creole (the so-called "Patois") are spoken, the latter only by a few old people, especially in the village of Paramin in the Northern Range .


As the first ceramic culture, the Saladoids colonized Trinidad, which is part of the mainland. Until their displacement by the Taíno in the 7th to 9th centuries AD, they had spanned a trade network across the entire Antilles, which also included northern South America. Traces of the saladoids can be found in Blanchisseuse , among other things . About 1500 years ago, a flood separated the area from the rest of the mainland and made Trinidad an island. A legend of the Warao Indians about the flood has been confirmed by geologists.

The island was discovered by Columbus on July 31, 1498 on his third voyage. Columbus named the island in view of three mountain peaks Trinidad, which means something like Trinity (Trinity). From 1552 Trinidad was under Spanish rule and remained in the possession of the Spanish crown for around 250 years.

In the Spanish-English War as part of the coalition wars , Trinidad was occupied without a fight by the British under Sir Ralph Abercromby in February 1797 and was formally confirmed to them in the Peace of Amiens in 1802 . From 1889 onwards, Trinidad and Tobago, now also British, were administered as a joint British colony "Trinidad and Tobago" with its administrative headquarters in Port of Spain; the two islands have since shared the same political history.

In 1956, the colony received limited internal self-administration. From 1958 to 1962 "Trinidad and Tobago" belonged to the West Indian Federation .

In 1962 Trinidad and Tobago was granted independence as an independent state within the British Commonwealth .

Economy and Infrastructure

Since the beginning of commercial oil production in 1910, the production and processing of oil and natural gas have been the most important economic sectors. Cheap energy sources are used for metal smelting. Trinidad is home to the world's largest natural asphalt deposit , known as La Brea Pitch Lake .

Port of Spain has the main port on the island.

There is left-hand traffic on the entire island .


Trinidad is not only the birthplace of the steelpan , but also the calypso and the soca . Trinidad celebrates the second most important carnival in the world after the one in Rio de Janeiro .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Trinidad and Tobago 2011 Population and Housing Census Demographic Report (PDF). Trinidad and Tobago Central Statistical Office. p. 26th
  2. Elizabeth Abbott: Sugar. A bittersweet history, London and New York 2010, p. 313ff.
  3. ^ Patois Mass: rooted in our culture . In: Catholic News , Port of Spain, March 3, 2019, pp. 11 and 15.
  4. ^ Prehistory of the Caribbean Culture Area , Southeast Archaeological Center, National Park Service , accessed December 25, 2014.
  5. ^ Basil Reid: Tracing Our Amerindian Heritage , in: The Pelican , accessed December 25, 2014.
  6. Experience Earth: Caribbean (1) - After the flood.
  7. ^ Railroad Map of Trinidad . 1925. Retrieved October 25, 2013.