31 Indispensable Facts About World’s Capital Cities

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11916 Dublin Rising

1916 Dublin Rising

During 1916 Rising in Dublin, the British and Irish Troops fighting at St. Stephen's Green held daily ceasefires to allow the park-keeper to feed the ducks that lived there.

2. At the Tehran Conference, Joseph Stalin proposed shooting 50,000-100,000 captured German officers. Churchill stormed out in disgust, and Stalin followed him into the hall and said he was just joking. FDR joked, "maybe 49,000 would be enough."

3. By 1991, the air in Mexico City had become so contaminated with fecal dust from humans that it was possible to contract hepatitis by simply breathing outdoors.

4. In an attempt to reduce the cleaning cost, Amsterdam Schiphol airport installed a picture of a fly in the urinals so men could aim at it and avoid splashing the urine outside. It worked.

5. The oldest discovered wheel was found in Slovenia's Ljubljana Marshes in 2002 and it's approximately 5,150 years old.

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6Kinshasa robots

Kinshasa robots

In Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, humanoid robots are used to direct traffic. The giant robots are solar-powered, have chests that rotate, and are equipped with cameras that send real-time information back to the police station.

7. The "Tower of the Winds" (in Athens) is considered to be the first-ever meteorological station. It features eight sundials, a water clock, and a wind vane.

8. More than 85% of Warsaw's historic center was reduced to ruins in the second world war. The city was then reconstructed from the 18th-century cityscapes of the Venetian painter Bernardo Bellotto.

9. The Pyongyang Central Zoo has a parrot that can squawk "Long live the Great Leader, Comrade Kim Il-sung" in English.

10. The Taipei 101 skyscraper uses a 728-ton steel tuned mass damper (basically a giant pendulum) to counter motion of the building since it is so close to a fault line.

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Jakarta is sinking 25 cm (10 inches) per year, in part due to excessive use of groundwater and lack of piped water. It is expected that the city will be completely submerged in the next 30 years.

12. In Monrovia, Liberia, a man with a 'blackboard blog' brings up-to-date information to people. For over 10 years, he has used a public bulletin board and painstakingly written out the day’s news for all to see, all at no charge. He has an audience of over 10,000 readers.

13. There is a small district of Vilnius, Lithuania that has declared itself an independent republic. It has its own flag, currency, president, cabinet, and an army of 11 men.

14. In Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, public transportation is free for its residents.

15. In Prague, there is a street named Vinarna Certovka which so narrow it has traffic lights for pedestrians. Once a German tourist got stuck and had to be soaped up in order to slide out.

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161755 Lisbon earthquake

1755 Lisbon earthquake

During the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, 85% of the city’s buildings and churches were destroyed. Its red-light district suffered only minor damage.

17. The area in Riyadh Saudi Arabia where people are publicly beheaded is known locally as "Chop Chop Square."

18. Luanda, Angola has the highest cost of living out of any city in the world. A half-liter tub of ice cream costs $31 for an expatriate.

19. July 9 Avenue in Buenos Aires is the world's widest street. One full city block in width, it has 14 lanes plus two parallel streets of two lanes each. All intersections have traffic lights and pedestrians need two or three green lights to cross the avenue.

20. Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan is considered the only capital in the world without traffic lights. Some years ago, they did install traffic lights but the people hated them so much that the government had to remove them and put a traffic policeman instead.



The Jordan city of Amman was known as Philadelphia back in the 2nd century C.E. when it was occupied by Romans.

22. In 2003, the smoke from large bushfires in Canberra, Australia formed a Cumulonimbus Flammagenitus. Essentially the fire created its own supercell storm, complete with lighting and forming an F3-rated fire tornado. The tornado and the associated fire killed 4 people and injured 492 others.

23. There is an ultra-modern hotel in Khartoum, Sudan nicknamed "Gaddafi's Egg", as he contributed 80 million Euros to its construction through the Libyan government and took 14 years to build.

24. While attending a forum in Manila in 1996, Bill Clinton had his motorcade rerouted in order to avoid crossing a bridge that had been rigged with explosives, a plot masterminded by Osama Bin Laden.

25. Ashgabat (capital of Turkmenistan) holds the Guinness World Records for having the highest concentration of white marble buildings than any other city in the world with 543 new buildings clad and a total of 4.5 million cubic meters of white marble.


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