These countries have more than one capital city

(CNN) — The wars, revolutions and fallen empires that remodeled the world map within the 20th century have a shocking beneficiary: capital cities.

By 2000, that quantity would develop to greater than 200, as new international locations emerged out of the collapse of the British and French empires, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.

Most international locations selected a single metropolis as their capital.

“It is a place the place politicians get collectively to go legal guidelines, the place the central administrative equipment of the nation are typically positioned,” says Gordon, a professor of city planning at Queen’s College at Kingston, Ontario. “There are very a lot synergies in finding these all collectively.”

However some international locations merely determined that on the subject of capital cities, extra is extra. From the shores of Benin to the Kingdom of eSwatini, there are nations throughout the globe with two or extra capital cities.

Their causes range. When international locations are fashioned from distinct areas, as within the case of the US or South Africa, Gordon notes that regional competitors for energy is usually a issue.

“None of them needs their rival to get the benefit of being the seat of presidency,” says Gordon. “There’s very advanced politics concerned with this type of factor.”

The USA resolved that battle by founding Washington, D.C., on a comparatively undeveloped stretch of the Potomac River. In distinction, South Africa opted for distributing the nationwide authorities between the cities of Cape City, Pretoria and Bloemfontein.

Typically, selecting a capital is less complicated mentioned than accomplished.

The sunset in Dar es Salaam,Tanzania, is lovely to see.

The sundown in Dar es Salaam,Tanzania, is beautiful to see.


In 1973, Tanzania declared {that a} new capital can be established in Dodoma, a whole bunch of miles inland from the colonial-era capital of Dar es Salaam.

“Empires had central administrative locations for every colony, which had been sometimes on the coast, so they’d good entry by sea again to the imperial capital,” says Gordon. “A pattern in decolonizing international locations is to maneuver the capital into the middle of the nation to make it extra accessible to all residents.”

However the cultural pull of historic capitals will be arduous to beat. Dar es Salaam nonetheless hosts many authorities capabilities, and it wasn’t till 2019 that the Tanzanian president moved his workplace to the “new” capital of Dodoma.

Tanzania is not the one nation the place leaders dithered over the place to place the capital.

“Canada took years and years to resolve on Ottawa,” says Gordon. “The capital used to maneuver each two years, as a result of the Federation couldn’t agree on the place the capital ought to go.”

As vacationers wait out the coronavirus pandemic, armchair touring and hopefully planning their subsequent adventures, contemplate which capital of those international locations to go to in future — both or maybe each?

Politics apart, Gordon sees an upside to his personal nation’s difficult geographical previous, and to a world map whose nations preserve a couple of capital metropolis: “It is nice for Trivial Pursuit.”

Benin: Porto-Novo and Cotonou

Porto-Novo is the official capital of Benin, where the Grand Mosque is located.

Porto-Novo is the official capital of Benin, the place the Grand Mosque is positioned.


The energetic port metropolis of Cotonou welcomes vacationers to Benin with colourful hustle and swinging rhythms, and it comes as no shock that the nation’s largest metropolis can also be the seat of presidency.

The official capital, although, is an hour away in Porto-Novo. Right here, the blare of big-city life provides strategy to tree-lined streets and historic structure.

A division of powers between the 2 cities has been in place since earlier than Benin achieved full independence from France in 1960.

Bolivia: La Paz and Sucre

Wrapped within the snowy peaks of the Andes Mountains, La Paz is a show-stopper of a capital metropolis.

Cable vehicles drift above a tangle of downtown streets, and an impartial populace fills historic squares throughout frequent protests. However whereas La Paz is the executive capital of Bolivia, the constitutional capital is a whole bunch of miles away within the metropolis of Sucre.

Within the early days of colonial rule, silver from the mines surrounding Sucre turned the mountain metropolis into an Andean powerhouse. A burgeoning tin trade helped make upstart La Paz a fierce rival for financial and political energy, and it stays the seat of Bolivian authorities to today.

Chile: Santiago and Valparaíso

The historic quarter of Valparaiso in Chile shines at night.

The historic quarter of Valparaiso in Chile shines at evening.


As members of Chile’s nationwide administrative and judicial our bodies watch snowstorm within the mountains round Santiago, the nationwide legislature can take pleasure in a colourful Pacific Ocean sundown from the town of Valparaíso.

The 2 spectacular cities are simply 72 miles away from one another by highway, however they are a world aside. In Santiago, the official capital, high-rise buildings glimmer a cool gray-blue in opposition to a backdrop of rocky summits.

Within the nationwide legislature’s seat of Valparaíso, the UNESCO-listed historic heart is a tumbledown gem with a rainbow palette and bohemian aptitude.

Côte D’Ivoire: Yamoussoukro and Abidjan

Holding onto the presidency for greater than three many years comes with some perks.

President Félix Houphouët-Boigny, who dominated Côte D’Ivoire from 1960 to 1993, took benefit of his time in workplace by making his boyhood residence of Yamoussoukro the nation’s second capital in 1983.

In contrast with the unique capital metropolis of Abidjan, nonetheless, Yamoussoukro stays sleepy. Abidjan is the de facto seat of presidency, the place smooth art work at Galerie Cécile Fakhoury meets modernist structure and colourful markets.

Czech Republic: Prague and Brno

The President of the Czech Republic is officially based in Prague Castle.

The President of the Czech Republic is formally primarily based in Prague Citadel.


Gothic spires and Baroque rooflines line the Vltava River in Prague, a charismatic metropolis that is a showpiece of Czech tradition and historical past.

Among the many most spectacular websites is Prague Castle, a part of the town’s UNESCO-listed historic heart. Based within the ninth century, the sprawling fortress stays the official workplace of the President of the Czech Republic.

However the Supreme Courtroom of the Czech Republic is within the nation’s less-known second capital, the energetic Moravian metropolis of Brno. Right here, college students fill trendy cafes, and adventurous guests can go underground into an maze-like ossuary that holds tens of hundreds of human skeletons.

Kingdom of eSwatini: Mbabane and Lobamba

Previously generally known as Swaziland, this landlocked nation packs a dramatically assorted panorama into lower than 7,000 sq. miles of territory. Within the mountainous west, escarpments break freed from inexperienced hills that plunge to scorching, dry grasslands simply above sea degree.

Perched within the coronary heart of the Dlangeni Hills, Mbabane is the executive capital. In case you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of absolutely the monarch of eSwatini, King Mswati III, you need to head to Lobamba, the royal capital.

That is the place the royal household resides within the Ludzidzini Royal Residence, one in all a number of royal residences throughout the nation.

eSwatini’s annual arts and music competition is only one cease on the African competition circuit

Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya

Putra Mosque in Putrajaya, Malaysia, is located at the edge of a manmade lake.

Putra Mosque in Putrajaya, Malaysia, is positioned on the fringe of a artifical lake.


A jumble of minarets, futuristic towers and road markets, Kuala Lumpur is a maximalist immersion in Malaysian life and tradition. Rooftop bars buzz via the evening right here, and rush hour brings site visitors at a standstill.

It is the nationwide capital, too, the seat of the legislature and the official residence of Malaysia’s monarch. However even governments want a break from big-city life.

In 1995, the federal government started setting up Putrajaya, a quieter metropolis that wraps round an enormous synthetic lake.

What the brand new capital lacks in heritage it makes up for in area. With loads of room to develop, outsized landmarks have blossomed in Putrajaya, together with the bubblegum-pink Putra Mosque, which has turn out to be a sightseeing touchstone.

Montenegro: Podgorica and Cetinje

Grand mansions and museums testify to Cetinije’s years as a seat of energy in Montenegro, and the President’s official residence remains to be within the metropolis’s Empire-style Blue Palace.

Now designated the Outdated Royal Capital, Cetinije misplaced prominence to the bigger metropolis of Podgorica — then referred to as Titograd — after the Second World Warfare.

Now, laid-back Podgorica is the place the official authorities is positioned. Generally known as Birziminum in Roman instances, the town morphed into Slavic Ribnica and Socialist Titograd earlier than changing into Podgorica in 1992 as Yugoslavia crumbled.

Netherlands: Amsterdam and The Hague

Traditional houses line canals in Amsterdam, the official capital of the Netherlands.

Conventional homes line canals in Amsterdam, the official capital of the Netherlands.


With historic canals, ultrahip locals and a repute as one in all Europe’s hottest social gathering spots, Amsterdam has loads of title recognition.

However despite the fact that the Netherlands’ structure designates the town because the nation’s capital, the true work of governing takes place in The Hague.

The Netherlands’ principal governing our bodies, together with the states common, govt department and supreme courtroom, have been positioned on this dignified metropolis for hundreds of years.

To see the town’s inside workings, be part of a guided tour of Het Binnenhof, a historic advanced of buildings clustered across the Gothic Knight’s Corridor, the place the King of the Netherlands nonetheless comes for his yearly speech from the throne.

South Africa: Pretoria:,Cape City and Bloemfontein

That is the one nation to have three capital cities, a singular association designed to share energy throughout areas.

With a spectacular location between the shoreline and Desk Mountain, Cape City was the capital of Britain’s Cape Colony and stays the legislative capital of South Africa.

By dividing the remaining branches of presidency between Pretoria and Bloemfontein, the rising Republic of South Africa helped distribute energy throughout the brand new nation.

Each has its charms: Pretoria is thought for the exuberant jacaranda blooms that seem every September, whereas Bloemfontein exudes laid-back hospitality.

Sri Lanka: Colombo and Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte

Beaches line the urban waterfront of Colombo, home to Sri Lanka's national and executive bodies of government.

Seashores line the city waterfront of Colombo, residence to Sri Lanka’s nationwide and govt our bodies of presidency.


Colombo sprawls maze-like alongside the Sri Lankan coast, reeling previous shiny bazaars, colonial-era landmarks and golden-sand seashores.

It is a metropolis with gutsy magnetism, a figurehead that is the place to begin for many vacationers exploring the island nation.

The nationwide and govt our bodies of presidency are in Colombo, too, however the official capital is in close by Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, typically referred to as Kotte. There, the fashionable Sri Lankan Parliament Constructing is positioned on a man-made island in the course of the artifical Diyawanna Lake.

Tanzania: Dar es Salaam and Dodoma

Typically transferring out takes years.

In 1973, the Tanzanian authorities introduced it was transferring from the coastal capital of Dar es Salaam, and recognized Dodoma as the proper central location for a brand new capital.

Regardless of a collection of grand buildings and huge streets in Dodoma, nonetheless, many key authorities capabilities stay in Dar es Salaam. Perhaps it is simply too arduous to stroll away from Dar es Salaam’s cultural variety and Indian Ocean breezes; there’s even a beautiful marine reserve simply off the coast right here.

However after almost half a century of a move-in-progress, Tanzania’s authorities would possibly lastly make the bounce to Dodoma. In October 2019, President John Magufuli moved his workplace there.

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