View previous topic | View next topic

Vatican city

Page 1 of 2
Goto page 1, 2  Next

suze
863485.  Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:15 pm Reply with quote

Good point, and one possibly could. Nowhere in statute does it state that London is the capital city of the UK, and the Constitution de la Cinquième République does not declare Paris to be the capital city of France.

By way of contrast, the Canadian Constitution does declare that the capital is Ottawa "until the Queen otherwise directs". And since the Queen referred to there is Victoria, she probably isn't going to.

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs publishes a list of capital cities, and that list includes both London and Paris - but in the case of Nauru and also of Tokelau (a New Zealand colony in the South Pacific), it notes that there is none.

That list gives Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, even though it is not internationally recognized as being so. Indeed, there is a Security Council resolution in force which says that it isn't. (The US Congress voted in 1995 to recognize Jerusalem as the capital and to move the US Embassy there, but successive presidents have chosen to use a waiver provision within the law and not do so.)

That suggests to me that the capitals listed there are those named by each country on its application form - so the British and French governments must in some way identify London and Paris as their capitals, and Nauru and Tokelau must consider themselves not to have one.

 
Zebra57
863578.  Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:50 pm Reply with quote

Some texts cite Nukunonu as the capital of Tokelau. It is the largest settlement of the three atolls that make up the territory (although each atoll has its own administration centre).

Nauru is just an "Alice Through the Looking Glass" country which Bob Wilson commented would not be out of place in an Ealing Comedy.

 
Gooische Vrijgezel
863610.  Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:07 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Despite these two pairs of cities, you'll still hear people claim that the two closest capital cities are Bratislava and Vienna. It's actually 34 miles from one to the other, and takes about an hour by train (a bit longer by hydrofoil along the Danube, but worth doing at least one way!).


Since the original question was about a capital, not the capital (of a country):

Harlem is the capital of the Dutch province North-Holland. Another city in North-Holland is Amsterdam, the capital of the country (the government and queen are located in The Hague). The distance between Harlem and Amsterdam will be about 12 miles, centre to centre. Sorry, no hydrofoil. But the Fast Flying Ferry can be found in the area. It'll take about 16 minutes by train, again centre to centre, along the first railway track in the country.

It may not be the winner. It's just an example of a capital closer than 34 miles to yet another capital. The Haarlemmermeer is roughly located between Harlem and Amsterdam. I'm not sure if QI's use of the Haarlemmermeer in Series H is a true qibble, because mr. Fry added "according to some people" to the fact. That should be dead people, the fact is outdated.

A single city representing the most official types of capital perhaps is Brussels. Politics. That could mean the distance between buildings may start to play a role, as opposed to the distance between city centres. By the way, Congo-Kinshasa used to be a colony of Belgium. Maybe they like breaking such records.

 
Moosh
863662.  Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:49 am Reply with quote

Gooische Vrijgezel wrote:
A single city representing the most official types of capital perhaps is Brussels. Politics. That could mean the distance between buildings may start to play a role, as opposed to the distance between city centres.

Good thought. Brussels is the official capital of Belgium, Flanders, the Flemish Community of Belgium, the French Community of Belgium and Brussels Capital Region. (Although the last one doesn't really count since it's equivalent to saying that London is the capital of Greater London). So presumably the distance between any two of those capitals is zero.

What might be GI though is that Brussels is not the capital of the EU, at least not officially. In practice it acts as the capital but it doesn't have legal status as such.

 
Gooische Vrijgezel
863675.  Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:00 am Reply with quote

Moosh wrote:
Brussels is the official capital of Belgium, Flanders, the Flemish Community of Belgium, the French Community of Belgium and Brussels Capital Region.


I think the Brussels Capital Region isn't exactly the same as the Brussels Quarter of the former Duchy of Brabant, so it may also still be referred to as the capital of that distinct area of Brabant. Just like the city of Leuven still can be called the capital of (all Quarters of) Brabant. But I'll agree that depends on the definition of "official" and borders. It's still true, just based on history, but the Brussels Capital Region is the political successor of the Quarter.

 
Gooische Vrijgezel
863678.  Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:09 am Reply with quote

Moosh wrote:
Brussels is not the capital of the EU


Pars pro toto, just like England. "Brussels says ...". The city? The district? A part of Belgium? The EU? The NATO?

 
Gooische Vrijgezel
863693.  Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:52 am Reply with quote

Moosh wrote:
Brussels Capital Region. (Although the last one doesn't really count since it's equivalent to saying that London is the capital of Greater London).


I'm afraid it's a bit more complicated than that. Perhaps they're still negotiating BHV (Brussel-Halle-Vilvoorde), and Baarle-Hertog was already discussed in QI Series E, episode 5.

The Brussels Capital Region has its own parliament, unlike Greater London. That's one of the 6 parliaments. The situation would be a bit more like Greater London if politicians pretended that Greater London wasn't a part of England. Brussels doesn't belong to Flanders nor Wallonia. It's, with a few known errors, like Dublin becoming a neutral member of the Irish Federation, so Northern Ireland can join Dublin without joining Ireland. It's the north vs. the south, it's rich against poor, it's Northwest Europe vs. the fine economy of Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and Greece. In a single, friendy city.

 
dr bartolo
863705.  Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:36 am Reply with quote

Zebra57 wrote:
Singapore has as its largest settlement the City of Singapore and smaller towns like Jurong and Punggol. Therefore the City of Singapore is the capital city of a larger territory. The Vatican City is a state in its own right. To distinguish between city and state (which in effect is the same) the state is usually referred to as the Holy See.

QI are the countries like Bolivia and Ivory Coast who have more than one capital city.


don't forget the many islands that surround singapore, like
sentosa (pulau blakang mati)
kusu island,
pulau ubin

 
suze
863732.  Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:06 pm Reply with quote

On the matter of Brussels, what do you reckon will happen when (and I think it is "when" rather than "if") Belgium divides into two countries?

There seem to be three options:

1. Split Brussels down the middle, with both countries having it as their capital.

2. Base the decision on geography and give Brussels to België-Vlaanderen, even though it is predominantly French speaking.

3. Base the decision on language and have it as an exclaved capital of Belgique-Wallonie. The capital of België-Vlaanderen would presumably then be established at Antwerpen. (NB Brussels and Antwerp are but 28 miles apart. Wien and Bratislava watch out ...)

And what would happen to Deutschsprachige Belgien? Would it be allowed to shuffle quietly off into Luxembourg?


Incidentally, while Brussels is the capital of Vlaams Gewest and of Brussels Hoofdstedelijk / Bruxelles-Capitale, it is not the capital of Wallonie. That is Namur, which does at least have the advantage of being half way between Brussels and Liège.

 
Gooische Vrijgezel
863788.  Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:18 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
On the matter of Brussels, what do you reckon will happen when (and I think it is "when" rather than "if") Belgium divides into two countries?


Answer moved to a country without native zebras.


Last edited by Gooische Vrijgezel on Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:06 pm; edited 4 times in total

 
Zebra57
863837.  Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:36 pm Reply with quote

Can we move some of these posts to Belgium?

 
Gooische Vrijgezel
864016.  Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:04 pm Reply with quote

Zebra57 wrote:
Can we move some of these posts to Belgium?


No, but I gave it a try. Turns out it's a country after all.

 
Gooische Vrijgezel
864383.  Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:03 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Despite these two pairs of cities, you'll still hear people claim that the two closest capital cities are Bratislava and Vienna.


I assume Buda and Pest don't count. Yet another category unrelated to the Vatican: towns with names of other towns or countries. For example the distance between England (Engeland, Oldebroek) and France (Frankrijk, Harderwijk): about 24.7 kilometres. Unrelated to the Vatican, so not to be continued here. Unless you think you are the Pope.

 
suze
864419.  Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:18 pm Reply with quote

Gooische Vrijgezel wrote:
I assume Buda and Pest don't count.


No, they don't. The three cities of Buda, Óbuda, and Pest became one city - Budapest - in 1873. And two of those places were never capital cities in any case - the capital of Hungary before 1873 was Buda.

GV wrote:
For example the distance between England (Engeland, Oldebroek) and France (Frankrijk, Harderwijk): about 24.7 kilometres.


Now that I like! It's 38 kilometers from Paris, Texas to Bogota, Texas, and only 13 kilometers from Kitchener, Ontario (formerly called Berlin) to Petersburg, Ontario. North America undoubtedly has plenty more comparable examples.

 
Gooische Vrijgezel
864436.  Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:38 pm Reply with quote

Le Tour de Angleterre. Grand Depart in France (Frankrijk), visiting the Netherlands (Nederland) before finally arriving in England (Engeland) 7 times, in 3 countries.

Possible prologue: Dorfstraße, Wilsum, Deutschland to the Dorpsstraat, Wilsum, Nederland (most likely not the shortest distance between a shared name of a town in 2 countries).

 

Page 1 of 2
Goto page 1, 2  Next

All times are GMT - 5 Hours


Display posts from previous:   

Search Search Forums

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group