(The Cocal River is next to the Nariva River and is located on the East Coast along the Manzanilla Mayaro Road at the Southern end of the Manzanilla Beach, Trinidad and Tobago – Photo by Anushka Ameerali)
History of St. Joseph – The First Capital of Trinidad & Tobago
The National Record of the Founding of the Town of San Josephe de Oruna summarises that:
In the name of the King and Don Antonio de Berrio y Oruna, Domingo de Vera took possession of the island of Trenydad. Authority for this settlement in Trenydad was issued by Antonio de Barrio in Margarita on April 8, 1592 and Domingo de Vera named this place ‘San Josephe de Oruna’.
St. Joseph was the first capital of Trinidad. It was founded in the year 1592 and named San Jose de Oruna.It was also the very first established town in Trinidad discovered by Don Antonio de Berrio y Oruna, who in the year 1580 inherited a Royal Charter in which he was then allowed to explore the El Dorado for Spain.
The El Dorado was also known very well for all it’s riches. In his conquest to find all the riches of the El Dorado and as Trinidad being so close to it de Berrio decided to set up his headquaters in Trinidad, so that he may be as close as possible to the El Dorado. He also thought that he may be able obtain to some hidden answer to the El Dorado that was hidden in Trinidad.
After the request of the Spanish Court they made him Governor of Trinidad, he then forward his second-in-command, to find a good area for a town. It was then on the 15th of May, 1592, Domingo de Vera took hold of the site which he thought was best for the King’s possesion. He then decided to mark the site of the four buildings in which any Spanish was allowed to pass. The Casa Real, or Governments House, The Cabildo or Town Hall, a church, and a prison. The place was then christened after him as San Jose de Oruna.
Setting of First Capital Apartments
First Capital Apartments are located near the heart of the town of St. Joseph, the First Capital of The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. St. Joseph is a microcosm of the harmonious multiethnic, multicultural and cosmopolitan nation that is Trinidad and Tobago. Originally founded by Antonio de Berrío and named San José de Oruña, it served as the capital of SpanishTrinidad between 1592 and 1783. The town is situated in the foothills of the Northern Range at an elevation between 30M (100ft) and 65M (200ft) above sea level. Being located 11kM (7mi) or twenty minutes east of the present day capital city,Port-of-Spain,and allows for access to not only the main Business District but also to several Universities, Hospitals and Eco-Tourism Sites and Nature Trails which are highlighted in the map below.
The apartments have been designed to provide energy efficient, environmentally friendly and comfortable living spaces with long eaves and an insulated roof. Their unique location allows for views of both the Northern Range and the Central Plains.
Each self-catering apartment provides a smoke and alcohol free environment. The units include a three (3) bedroom and a (2) bedroom unit with private entrances and common living, dining and bathroom facilities for each unit. In addition there is a common Laundry area. The arrangement is ideal for both families/small groups and single occupancy with shared facilities. Group rates are available upon request in addition, airport pickup and drop off is offered free to guests.