50 Fascinating Facts about Capital Cities From Around the World

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26 Pyongyang Central Zoo

Pyongyang Central Zoo

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

27. 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.

28. 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.

29. 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.

30. 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.

31 Tallinn transportation

Tallinn transportation

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

32. 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.

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

34. The area in Riyadh Saudi Arabia where people are publicly beheaded is known locally as “Chop Chop Square.”

35. 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.

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36 July 9 Avenue

July 9 Avenue

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.

37. 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.

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

39. 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.

40. 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.

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41 Manila forum

Manila forum

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.

42. 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.

43. The capital of Tajikistan is named Dushanbe, which literally translates to “Monday.” It was also briefly named Stalinabad (“Stalin’s Paradise”) during the reign of the USSR.

44. The residents of Sarajevo remembered those lost in the Bosnian War by filling in the scars in the concrete caused by mortar/rocket shells with red resin. These haunting memorials are called Sarajevo Roses.

45. Nicosia, Cyprus is the only capital city that has two time zones. Owing to the Turkish invasion and occupation of Northern Cyprus in 1974, the city has been split in half for over 40 years. Nicosia is also one of the very few capital cities in the world not served by an active airport.

15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History

46 Reykjavík


The volcanic activity provides Reykjavík, Iceland with geothermal heating systems for both residential and industrial districts. In 2008, natural hot water was used to heat roughly 90% of all buildings in Iceland.

47. The citizens of Monaco are prohibited from entering the gaming rooms of Monte Carlo Casino. Identity is checked at the door to certify that all gamblers are foreigners.

48. The air quality in New Delhi in November 2016 was so bad that the city had to declare an emergency, shut down schools and take drastic industrial precautions. This was termed as the “Great Smog of Delhi.”

49. A building known as Blok P in Nuuk contained 1% of Greenland’s population which was demolished in 2012. It had the largest flag of Greenland on its side made from discarded clothing.

50. Abu Dhabi has a hospital devoted only to falcons. They see over 11000 patients per year.

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