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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Cities and Countries that You May Not Recognize by Their Original Names

Many places easily recognize today were known as a different name other than that which we know today. In some cases the names of these places have changed more than once.

One of the best known cases is that of the modern city of Istanbul, born as the Thracian city of ancient Greece and Byzantium and was renamed Constantinople in 330 by the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. It remained known as Constantinople for 16 centuries until 1930, when it took on the name of Istanbul.

Istanbul, Turkey

And there are more cases ...

  • This settlement was called New Amsterdam and established as a Dutch trading colony. The name of the settlement would eventually become New York in 1664, when the British took control of the colonies.
Manhattan, New York City

  • Colombia was once known as New Granada until Simon Bolivar suggested its current name be derived from Christopher Columbus in 1818. Thus it became Colombia.
Cartagena, Colombia

  • The capital of Norway recovered its original name after many centuries. She was known as Oslo until 1624 when a huge fire destroyed much of the medieval city. The then King Christian IV of Denmark and Norway, decided rename the rebuilt city Christiania and later Kristiania. But three centuries later, the original name of Oslo was recovered by law of 11 July 1924, to be effective from January 1, 1925.
Oslo, Norway

  • Edo, which means "estuary" was the original name for Tokyo until 1868 when it became the imperial capital.

Tokyo, Japan

  • Founded as Tenochtitlan by the Aztecs in 1325. Hernán Cortés realized the strategic and symbolic importance of the Aztec capital and founded the Spanish capital of Mexico City on the site, and in particular rebuilt the Aztec ceremonial and political center as the main square.
Mexico City

  • In 1644 the Dutch navigator Abel Tasman named this huge island in the middle of the Pacific New Holland. It was the English explorer Matthew Flinders who made the suggestion of the name we use today. Today we call it Australia.

  • Formerly called the Republic of Upper Volta, the country was renamed and we know this country today as "Burkina Faso".
Burkina Faso

  • And here, the opposite case. You know what city now bears the name Tshwane? Possibly you're more familiar with its former name which was founded as the capital of the South African Republic . We speak of Pretoria.

Tshwane (Formally Pretoria)

The vicissitudes of wars, invasions, agreements, conflicts and border treaties have moved on. These vicissitudes of history have led to appointments and reappointments of territories around the globe.

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