Traditionally, it is believed that the capital of the state should be the largest and certainly the most significant city. However, there are many examples when this rule does not work. For example, Washington is much smaller than New York.
Nevertheless, the capital is still usually a densely populated metropolis. Only is it possible for tiny states? In their case, the capitals are small, in size or in size. About such small, but important cities and will be discussed below.
This city is called the smallest capital in the world. True, this title of Male deserved by its modest size, and not by the size of the population. The capital of the Maldives Republic is less than 2 km². At the same time the city is elongated – it has a length of about 2 kilometers, and its width is less than a kilometer. Almost the entire capital is located on the island of the same name in the heart of the Maldives archipelago. Also one of the districts of the city was on the neighboring island of Vilingile. The town is so small that it does not have a place for the main municipal services providing it. So, on one of the islands the airport is located, on the other – a poultry farm, there is an island-prison and an island-storehouse of fuel. In the Maldives, Male is generally the only city and island. To increase its territory in general had to restore the land. Male is also a cultural, economic, and political center of the Republic. The city is called the city of Sultans, and the island is called the Royal city. Historically, it so happened that the royal dynasties ruled the Maldives just from here. The capital itself, despite its size, is densely populated. There are 65,000 permanent residents, as well as many tourists and foreign workers. This is almost a third of the total population of the republic. The capital is almost completely built up, however, by low houses. There is almost no free area in Male, but there are plenty of greenery on the streets. Now the city began to build up with modern and high buildings. An interesting feature of the city is the dry law. Alcohol here is allowed to drink only to tourists, and only in hotels. The same citizens for the use of alcohol will be severely punished.
And this capital of the tiny state of Pitcairn can be called the smallest by the number of people living here. The city is named after John Adams, an English sailor. He participated in the rebellion on the ship “Bounty”, and then settled on the island of Pitcairn and ran a local colony. In total, in the state, which is a protectorate of Great Britain, there are five islands. The inhabitant is Pitcairn, who sheltered the country’s only settlement. The capital is located on the central and northern part of the island. In total in Adamstown for 2011 lived 69 people, while the area of the city is 4.6 km². The population is a descendant of the rebels from the Bounty and several settlers from Tahiti. The city has its own square, church and bell tower. Although the island is remote from the whole world, there is television, telephony, and in the local school and the Internet. However, the main mode of communication is radio. Although the population is engaged in agriculture and fishing, the main income of the country’s economy is the production of postage stamps. On a remote island, tourists come, but they do not live in hotels (which simply do not exist), but with local residents. The main and only landmark of the capital is the house where Adams lived.
The Republic of Palau is located in the Philippine Sea. The capital of the island state is not even a city, but a village. It is located in the state of Melekeok on the island of Babeltup. It is the largest island in the country and the second largest in all of Micronesia. There are about 400 people in the whole state, 270 of them in the capital’s settlement. There, by the way, in 2006 the capital moved from the village of Milekok. By the way, it is not the only one on the island. Residents here, in addition to agriculture and fishing, are engaged in tourism business. After all, the island attracts visitors with its untouched nature, sandy beaches.In the sea – sharks, in the lake on the island – crocodiles, what is not paradise vacation?
Despite its tiny size, the city plays an important role in world life. After all, this state (it is the same city and capital) is the capital of the Catholic Church. The Vatican received its name from the name of the hill Mons Vaticanus, which means “a place of fortune telling”. Because of the small territory (0.44 km²), even the capitals of foreign countries are located in Rome. Surprisingly, it turned out that the Italian Embassy in the Vatican is located in the Italian capital. Once the Vatican was the center of the Papal State, but it disappeared, and the city in its present form exists since 1929. The population of the Vatican is 836 people. Virtually all Vatican residents are clergymen. These are the cardinals, the clergy, about a hundred Swiss guardsmen and about 40 laity. In this case, citizenship is not inherited and is not given by birth. To become a resident of the Vatican is possible only through the ministry of the Church. Ethnically, the Vatican’s population is almost entirely Italian, with the exception of the Swiss Guard. During the day about 3 thousand Romans come to work in the city. The Vatican has its own railway 700 meters long and a helipad. There is a radio station, newspapers. Thus, the city is very modern, owning even its own domain on the Internet.
This European principality is very well known. After all, there is a casino of Monte Carlo, the stage of Formula-1 is held. Few people know, but the principality is divided into 10 districts. One of them, Monaco-Ville, is considered the official capital of the country. The area of this place, the old town on a rocky cape, is 184,750 m², and the population is only 1034 people. The main sights of the capital are the Cathedral of St. Nicholas and the Oceanographic Museum. The latter was established in 1910 and at one time it was headed by Jacques-Yves Cousteau himself. Also tourists visit the Chapel of Mercy, this building was built in 1639. Monaco-Ville is the residence of the princes of a small state, and also a tourist object.
The capital of the Falkland Islands is also known under the names of Port Stanley and Puerto Argentino. This is the only city in the archipelago. It is located on the East Folkland. The 2006 census showed that 2115 people live there. Originally the capital was Port Louis, located just north. However, the authorities decided to build a new city, giving him administrative functions. The construction of Port Stanley began in 1843, the relocation of state institutions took place in a couple of years. The name was given to the new capital in honor of Lord Stanley, who was the Secretary of State of the colonies. The city is interesting not only for residences, but also for the museum of the Falkland Islands, there is also an Anglican cathedral.
This dwarfish state in Southern Europe is one of the oldest in the continent, it was founded in 301 by Saint Marino. The Christian and the former stonemason found shelter from persecution. Today the population of the country is 32 thousand people, of which 4,600 live in the capital, the city of San Marino. Its area is about 7 km². The capital is located on the terraces of Monte Titano. There are also the government of the country, and government agencies, printing houses, newspaper offices. Schools and medicine in the city are free. From San Marino to Italian Rimini lies a railway, half of it is located under the mountain Monte Titano. The main tourist attractions of the capital have accumulated in its historical center – the ancient towers, the basilica, the Public Palace and the State Museum.
In the Pacific Ocean there is a small island state of Funafuti. Its capital is officially the whole funafuti atoll. He sheltered 5070 people, being the most populated in the country. There are 4 settlements, one of which, Vaiaku, is the government.In the capital, in addition to houses in the traditional style, with palm leaves, there are modern concrete buildings. On Funafuti there was a place for the airport and the runway. The main local attraction is the Church of Tuvalu. Another interesting object is the remains of an American plane crashed here. The fact is that the atoll was used by the Americans in the year of World War II as an airfield.
This city is the capital of the Principality of Liechtenstein, and the national parliament is immediately located. According to the latest data, the population of Vaduz was about 5300 people. Surprisingly, in a country with a population of 36 thousand people, the capital is not the largest city. In neighboring Shana lives as much as 700 people more. And the first mention of Vaduz refers to the XIII century. With the formation of the principality of Liechtenstein, the city of Vaduz near the prince’s castle of the same name, and received the status of the capital. Now the castle became a tourist attraction, it can be seen from anywhere in the city. Vaduz is also interesting for its cathedral, town hall and government house. These buildings show how urban architecture has changed throughout history. In Vaduz there are also several interesting museums, it is generally a developed tourist center. True, the city is one of the few capitals where there is neither an airport nor a railway station. But here there is a bus transport.
Who said that there should be one capital in the country? The country of Swaziland, located in South Africa, refutes stereotypes. There are as many as two capitals – Mbabane is official, and Lobamba is parliamentary and royal. If the first city is quite large, it has up to 100 thousand people, then the second one is a tiny one. The population of Lobamba is only 5,800 people. Between the two capitals the distance is only 16 kilometers. Lobamba has several unique sights. This is the Royal Palace, and the National Museum. In the cultural village, tourists can see how the local inhabitants lived in the hive settlement. In honor of the Queen Mother in the capital, in August and September, a holiday is held, Dance of reeds.
The capital of Malta is often simply called Valletta. The city is in the north-east of the island. The climate here is mild, Mediterranean. It is interesting that there are no rivers in the city, as well as on the island. Therefore, for their needs, the population collects rainwater and uses desalination. The capital of the country is home to about 7 thousand people. They are descendants of the Phoenicians, who had colonized the island in ancient times. The settlement on the place of the capital appeared about 3 thousand years ago. The island itself passed from hand to hand. The history of Valletta originates from the moment when the local knights led by Jean de La Valletta repulsed the attack of numerous Turks. Then it was decided to build a fortified city, which will help to resist future attacks. March 28, 1566 Valletta was laid, it was built quickly, thanks to numerous Christian donations. When the island of Malta became independent in 1974, Valletta became its official capital. Today there are many historical sights and museums. Thus, the building of the Auberge de Provence was built in 1574, once the whole city life was boiling. In Valletta works and the only university in Malta, founded in 1769.