The World’s Strangest-Shaped Holy Trinity

If you ever happen to be in Uruguay you must not miss out on a visit to Trinidad. Noth the country but the 21,000-strong Trinidad.

To look at the town from above is to look down on a perfect square. Equal sided. Clearly demarcated. A square.

And yet it’s full name is Villa de la Santísima Trinidad or The Most Holy Trinity.

The founder of the town (in 1805), General José Gervasio Artigas, was a Pythagorean scholar. Indeed, in his book Tener mis bebés ahora, o Pyathgoras Artigas proved beyond doubt that triangulation of sunspots on a mountain 14,000 feet or higher will lead to excessive bleeding.

As a result, with some additional pelvic grouting, one can prove that a triangle is a square.

The famous equation PG/Tips=two-sides² is based on Artigas’ work and his founding of Trinidad.

Down on ground level, Trinidad is a rustic type of place with lots of half-timbered imitation Tudor-style accommodation. The homes are either triangular in shape, with special furniture available from the local Toblerone store, while other live in perfectly square homes, where local planning regulations mean square toilets. They take some getting used to.

The main square is of course triangular but no one sees that as being contradictory as triangle =square.

The bell above the main Holy Trinity Church is the exception that proves the rule and came from the Vatican in 1847. The inscription on the clapper from Pope Pius IX makes his views as clear as brass:

Get over it. ∆≠□. Pius.

Other town attractions include ice creams served in square “cones” and triangular road signs. Parking can be a nightmare unless you are lucky enough to find a square parking space.

A word of warning – don’t use any round coins. Exchange them to Trinidad currency when you arrive at Montevideo international airport.

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