"A"mazing Capitals... Or Not? Quiz | World Capitals (2024)

Answer: At the time of writing, there are sixteen national capitals whose name begins with "A". Some of them are located in the same geographical area - as is the case of Asmara (Eritrea) and Addis Ababa (Ethiopia). These two cities in East Africa also have the distinction of being among the world's highest national capitals: in fact, Addis Ababa is the highest national capital outside South America, and Asmara the world's sixth-highest. Both cities were established in relatively recent times, in the late 19th century; most of central Asmara was built in the Modernist architectural style when Eritrea was still an Italian colony.

Abuja (Nigeria) and Accra (Ghana) are located in West Africa. Abuja is a planned city, built mostly in the 1980s in the centre of the country; it has been Nigeria's capital since 1991, replacing the overcrowded megacity of Lagos. Accra, on the other hand, lies on the southern coast of the Gulf of Guinea; its origins lie in the forts established by various European colonial powers for the trade of gold, ivory and slaves. It has been the capital of Ghana (formerly Gold Coast) since 1877.

Two more capitals on this list are located in Africa, though at opposite ends of the continent. Algiers (Algeria) lies in North Africa, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea; it was built in the 10th century AD on the ruins of the Phoenician city of Icosium. Antananarivo (formerly known as Tananarive) is the capital of the island of Madagascar, off the southeastern coast of Africa. Located in the island's Central Highlands, it was founded in the early 17th century to serve as the capital of the pre-colonial Merina Kingdom.

The European capitals of Athens (Greece) and Amsterdam (Netherlands) need no introduction. In addition to being the capitals and largest cities of their countries, they are both among the world's most popular tourist destinations, and in recent times have often been mentioned as examples of issues related to overtourism. One of the cradles of Western civilization, Athens was founded almost 3,500 years ago; Amsterdam was established in the Middle Ages, but blossomed into a major cultural and commercial centre in the 17th century.

Though Turkey is a transcontinental country, its capital, Ankara, lies on the Asian side, in central Anatolia. A city of ancient origin, it became the capital of Turkey in 1923, after the fall of the Ottoman Empire - replacing the storied city of Istanbul, which remains the country's largest city. Amman (Jordan) and Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) are separated by the vast, arid expanse of Saudi Arabia. While Amman is one of the world's oldest cities, also mentioned in the Bible, Abu Dhabi developed from a late 18th-century settlement on an island in the Persian Gulf. It is now a modern, futuristic city, and a major business centre.

Astana (Kazakhstan) and Ashgabat (Turkmenistan) both lie in the vast region of Central Asia that was formerly part of the Soviet Union. Astana is a mostly planned city that replaced Almaty as the capital of the world's largest landlocked country; it was named Nursultan between 2019 and 2022, but has since reverted to its original name. Ashgabat is also a relatively recent city, founded in 1881, and extensively rebuilt along monumental lines after a destructive earthquake in 1948. Astana is known for being one of the world's coldest national capitals.

The last two capitals on this list are also the only ones located in the Southern Hemisphere. Asunción, the capital of Paraguay, is one of the oldest cities in South America, having been founded in 1537; its long, rich history is reflected in its varied architecture. Apia is the capital and only city of the island country of Samoa, in the South Pacific Ocean. Founded in the 1850s, Apia grew from a small village (which is still part of the city) located on the central north coast of Upolu, Samoa's second-largest island. Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson spent the last few years of his life near Apia; his house, Vailima, is now a museum.

The only one of the officially recognized "A" capitals missing from this list is Andorra la Vella, the capital of the microstate of Andorra, located between Spain and France. A mention is also deserved by Abidjan, the former capital of Ivory Coast, where many government offices and foreign embassies are still located, and Aden, currently serving as the de facto capital of Yemen.

The ten cities listed as wrong answers are all major cities in their respective countries: Egypt (Alexandria), India (Agra), Morocco (Agadir), Syria (Aleppo), Iran (Ahvaz), Australia (Adelaide), New Zealand (Auckland), USA (Austin), Peru (Arequipa), and Belgium (Antwerp).

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor agony before going online.
Any errors found in FunTrivia content are routinely corrected through our feedback system.

"A"mazing Capitals... Or Not? Quiz | World Capitals (2024)


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