Banknotes and Coins

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Cultural Symbols

The Broken Trident

The broken trident is a prominent feature of Barbados’ national flag and a symbol of the nation’s independence from Britain. It is derived from Neptune’s trident, which was featured on the Seal of the Colony (which has now been replaced by the Barbados’ Coat of Arms). At independence, the shaft of the trident was broken to symbolise the nation’s historical and constitutional break from the Britain.

 

South Point Lighthouse

The South Point Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in Barbados. It was brought to Barbados in 1852, one year after being shown at London’s Great Exhibition, and reassembled on the southernmost point of the island.

Although still listed as active, the lighthouse is now considered to be more of a national landmark and tourist attraction, with its grounds (but not tower) being made open to the public.

In 2005, the South Point Lighthouse was repainted and restored.

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The Tern

Also called the swallow of the sea, the tern is one of the numerous seabirds that can be found in Barbados.

Although not indigenous to the island, several species of the bird, including the Whiskered Tern, White-winged Black Tern and the European Black Tern can be found at a number of Barbados’ nature reserves.

Barbados was the first country in the Americas in which the Whiskered Tern was seen.

 

Morgan Lewis Windmill

The Morgan Lewis Windmill is one of only two functional windmills in the Caribbean. Built in 1727 and in operation until 1945, the mill was used to grind sugar cane and could deliver up to 1,500 gallons of cane juice to the boiling house daily.

After 1945, when the mill stopped operating, it fell into disrepair and was at one time listed among the world’s most endangered heritage sites. In 1996, the Barbados National Trust embarked on a restoration project and returned the mill to its original working specifications.

Grinding is done at Morgan Lewis every second Sunday between the months of January and April, and the mill and its grounds are open for tours.

 

The Flying Fish

The flying fish is the national fish of Barbados.

Although famous for their ability to fly, flying fish actually glide. They swim rapidly close the surface of the water before leaping above it and spreading their fins. They use these fins and the lower portion of their tail to propel themselves at speeds in excess of 55 kilometres per hour for distances as great as 100 metres.

Flying fish were once extremely plentiful in Barbados, but as a result of migration and stock depletion, the numbers have declined. However, they still account for a significant percentage of the annual fish catch, and continue to be enjoyed as a Barbadian delicacy, including as part of Barbados’ national dish: flying fish and cou cou.

 

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