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Príncipe is the smaller, northern major island of the country of São Tomé and Príncipe lying off the west coast of Africa. It has an area of 136 square kilometres (53 sq mi) and a population of approximately 5,000. The island is a heavily eroded volcano over three million years old, surrounded by smaller islands including Ilheu Bom Bom, Ilhéu Caroço, Tinhosa Grande and Tinhosa Pequena. Part of the Cameroon Line archipelago, Príncipe rises in the south to 948 metres at Pico de Príncipe, in a thickly forested area forming part of the Obo National Park. The north and centre of the island were formerly plantations, most of them formed by Portuguese colonialists using slave labour. These concentrated initially on producing sugar and later on cocoa, becoming the world's greatest cocoa producer. Since independence these plantations have since largely reverted to forest.
Príncipe was the site where Einstein's Theory of Relativity was experimentally proved successful by Arthur Stanley Eddington and his team during the total solar eclipse of May 29, 1919.
The island is part of Pagué District, the only district of Príncipe Province.
Príncipe has one town, Santo António, and an airport (IATA code: PCP, ICAO: FPPR), as well as some villages including Bela Vista, Bombom, Futuro, Neves Ferreira, Paciencia, Ponta Fonte, Ribeira Ize, Santo António de Ureca and Vila Rosa. Few of them are connected to the small road network.
Besides the official language of Portuguese, a local tongue called Principense or Lunguyê and, in some scale, Forro are also spoken.
Twin towns – Sister cities
Príncipe is twinned with:
- ^ Pinnock, D & Pinnock, G (2012) Chocolate Island. Africa Geographic. February 2012
- ^ "Geminações de Cidades e Vilas". Associação Nacional de Municípios Portugueses (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2013-07-20.