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the capital of Trinidad and Tobago. The political, economic, and cultural center of the country, Port-of-Spain is located in the northwestern part of the island of Trinidad. The climate is subequatorial. The mean temperature in January is 25.8’C, and in July 26.7’C. Precipitation totals 1,910 mm a year. Population, 159,000 (1970, including suburbs).
Port-of-Spain was founded on the site of the old Indian settlement of Conquerabia. From 1783 to 1797 it was the chief city of the Spanish colony on the island of Trinidad. In 1797 the island passed to Great Britain. Port-of-Spain was a center of the national liberation movement, and demonstrations and marches against colonial rule were often held in the city. In 1962, Port-of-Spain became the capital of the independent state of Trinidad and Tobago.
A port on the Gulf of Paria, Port-of-Spain handled 1.6 million tons of cargo in 1971. It is a commercial and transportation center and has an airport. Industries include food processing (mostly rum production) and the manufacture of textiles and wood products. Port-of-Spain also has a shipyard. Exports include petroleum products, asphalt, sugar, citrus fruits, and coffee.
The Trinidad branch of the University of the West Indies, the Polytechnic Institute, and the Sugar Technologists’ Association are in Port-of-Spain. Also in the city are the Central Library of Trinidad and Tobago (more than 447,000 volumes), the Trinidad Public Library, the National Archives, and the National Museum and Art Gallery.