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In 1834, a wooden structure that was called Town Hall was built at the corner of Harris Promenade and Penitence Street in San Fernando. In 1930, a foundation stone was laid by the then Governor, Sir Alfred Claud Hollis, and the original building was replaced in 1931 by the one that still stands today. The design of the building, which consists of three floors, suggests a Roman influence. Over the years, the original building has been extended and today, City Hall consists of many different sections.
The first structure for what is currently known as the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese in San Fernando was built in 1823 by Father Onesime Christophe of Guadaloupe. That structure was demolished and rebuilt in 1950 by Father Sabastien Webber, a Benedictine monk. The current structure was dedicated in June, 1975. Previously known as the Notre Dame de Bon Secours Church, parishoners and residents of South Trinidad are calling for Our Lady of Perpetual Help to be elevated to cathedral status.
The Carnegie Free Library in San Fernando is named for a Scottish-born American philanthropist named Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie gave the Borough Council 2,500 pounds for the project in 1911 and eight years later, the library opened its doors. Its intricate concrete design, particularly the main entrance on High Street, is quite an eye catcher. The library currently has a membership of over 17,000 and offers diverse volumes to every age group. The library also facilitates children's outreach programs, as well as competitions for children, storytelling, class visits, book talks, workshops on culture, arts and crafts, and reading.
On October 20, 1990, the Naparima Bowl officially reopened (it had been destroyed by fire in 1977) and the artistic world breathed a sigh of relief. The "Bowl" consists of a 500-seat spacious, very well lit and air-conditioned auditorium, and a 40-foot wide stage, along with rehearsal and dressing rooms. An interesting feature of the "Bowl" is the open-air amphitheater that has not been used since its stage was destroyed in the fire. Today, the Naparima Bowl is used for cultural shows, concerts, queen shows, conferences, dance, music and art festivals.
What is now one of the most lively cities in Trinidad today began as a tiny fishing village that the Amerindians, Trinidad's original descendants, named "Anaparima," meaning "single hill". This reference was to what is now known as the San Fernando Hill, the city's most popular landmark. Today, San Fernando is one of Trinidad's largest commercial centers (second only to Port of Spain) and is home to a large number of locals of diverse racial and cultural backgrounds.
The San Fernando Hill is the most popular of South Trinidad's landmarks. It boasts perhaps the best view of Southern and Central Trinidad and on clear days, one can even catch a glimpse of the Northern Range and an outline of neighbouring Venezuela. The hill is utilised by tourists, as well as exercise enthusiasts and tour excursions. It is even used by the Roman Catholic Church for its annual Good Friday re-enactment walk of the Stations of the Cross and it is the spot chosen by many newlyweds for wedding photos.
Comprising of 25 hectares (61.78 acres) of the Petrotrin Oil Refinery, including two lakes, Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust is not only a haven for researchers and scientists but also nature enthusiasts. This non-profit organization is privately run and offers educational and engaging programs about the wetlands of the area and its ecosystem. Get to know the importance of wetlands, a glimpse of native avian species, flora and fauna as you explore the property through interpretive trails, boardwalks, landscaped gardens and marsh lands. Click the many birds nesting near the ponds or just enjoy birdwatching these tropical birds in their natural habitat.
The Fun Splash Water Park is located in south Trinidad and offers everything to make a lovely family day out. The kids are entertained with animal fun slides, the Rain Tree water play area and, of course, kid-friendly swimming pools manned by lifeguards. For adults, feel the thrill as you rush down the aqua twister and turbo slide that begins from a 20-foot platform. Bring your picnic baskets and coolers (no glass bottles) for a fun day out in the Caribbean sun; enjoy the peddle boats and kayaking in the beautiful lake or just hang out in the pool or ranch-style sheds. - Nadia Ali