Port of Spain
Port of Spain is the capital of Trinidad and Tobago. It is located on the northwest coast of Trinidad Island, and is the largest city in the country. The city has a municipal population of 49,031, a metropolitan population of 128,026 and a transient daily population of 250,000. It is located in the Gulf of Paria, on the northwest coast of the island of Trinidad and is part of a larger urban agglomeration. That extends from Chaguaramas in the west to Arima, in the east, with an estimated population of 600,000. The official population of Port of Spain is relatively small by a concentration of high density of commercial and governmental buildings.
Most of the inhabitants of Port of Spain are mainly in the urban center, to a large extent, economically depressed. The conurbation of the East-West corridor with a population of almost 600,000 people would be a more accurate representation of the metropolitan population density and its image as a big city, with its suburban road system. The Corridor is the most developed region of northern Trinidad that extends from the capital, Port of Spain, 24 km east to Arima. The Corridor includes towns such as Barataria, San Juan, San José, Curepe, San Agustín, Tunapuna, Tacarigua, Arouca and Cinco Ríos, which used to be differentiated communities but which are currently districts within a continuous urban area. Much of the Corridor runs along the 'Eastern Main Road', between the Churchill-Roosevelt highway and the foothills of the Northeast Cordillera.
It is a densely populated development zone and quite crowded by some of the best agricultural land in the country. The city mainly serves as a retail sales center and administrative center. In addition, it acts as a financial services center and is the headquarters of two of the largest banks in the Caribbean. It is one of the most important maritime transport centers of the sea, with exports of agricultural products and asphalt. Bauxite from the Guianas and iron ore from Venezuela are transferred through facilities in Chaguaramas, about eight kilometers west of the city. The tallest building in Port of Spain is the 'Nicholas Tower' with 21 floors. There are plans for the proposed Waterfront International Project to include a 26-story office tower. Port of Spain was founded by the Spaniards in the old site of the aboriginal village of Cumucarapo.
At the end of the 18th century, the capital was transferred from San José de Oruña by the last governor, José María Chacón and Sánchez de Soto. After the conquest of the island by England during the French Revolutionary Wars in 1797 it remained the capital of the colony, and after independence it became the capital of the country.