São Nicolau, Cape Verde
|Native name: Sanic’lau
Nickname: Ilha de Chiquinho (island of Chiquinho)
|Area||388 km2 (150 sq mi)|
|Length||45 km (28 mi)|
|Width||20 km (12 mi)|
|Highest elevation||1,340 m (4,400 ft)|
|Highest point||Monte Gordo|
|Concelhos (Municipalities)||Ribeira Brava, Tarrafal de São Nicolau|
|Largest settlement||Ribeira Brava|
|Pop. density||32.9 /km2 (85.2 /sq mi)|
São Nicolau (Portuguese meaning Saint Nicholas) is one of the Barlavento (Windward) islands of Cape Verde. It is located between the islands of Santa Luzia and Sal. Its population is 12,769, with an area of 388 km². Its economy consists mainly of agriculture as well as fishing and tourism near its beaches. Much of the population is rural. Preguiça Airport is located to the south between Vila da Ribeira Brava and Campo.
First inhabited in the sixteenth century, its first settlers came from Madeira and Portugal, it is known for its mountains and for its main town, Ribeira Brava, long the seat of the Cape Verde diocese. Its other town is the ferry and the fishing port of Tarrafal. In 1818 a fort would be built at Preguiça to defend from pirate attacks. The seminary was first opened in 1866, the oldest in West Africa. A famine affected the entire island in the 1940s which led to emigration, mainly to São Tomé and Príncipe and the neighbouring island of Sal especially to Espargos where the airport and town would be created.
The mountainous island is mostly agricultural but is subject to droughts. The flat areas and hills dominate most of the coastline and the central part. A peninsula covers the eastern part of the island. The highest point on the island is Monte Gordo (1,312 m). Other mountains include Monte Bissau in the central part and Pico do Alberto to the east.
The island is divided in two municipalities, which are subdivided into civil parishes:
- Ribeira Brava
- Tarrafal de São Nicolau
Before 2005, the island was administrated as one municipality: São Nicolau.
As of 1832, São Nicolau had an estimated population of 5,000.
In around 2000, the island's population are now less than the island of Sal's.
The road network is 108.76 km, 92.73 km are national and has seven roads and 16.03 km are municipal and has nine municipal roads.
São Nicolau is twinned with:
- Braga, Portugal
- Amandio Cabral (b. 1934) - singer
- Teofilo Chantre (b. 1964) - musician
- Antonio Gominho - a Capeverdean writer
- Baltasar Lopes da Silva (April 23, 1907 - May 28, 1989 in Mindelo)
- José Lopes da Silva (pseudonym: Gabrial Mariano, (1928–2003), poet and an essayist
- António Maria de Bettencourt Rodrigues (1854-1933), politician and the Portuguese minister plenipotentiary (now ambassador) to France
- Paulino Vieira- singer, songwriter, composer, poet
- Portal do Instituto Nacional de Estatística: INE - CENSO 2010
- Roberts, Edmund (1837). Embassy to the Eastern Courts of Cochin-China, Siam, and Muscat. New York: Harper & Brothers. p. 17.
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