Discussion in 'World History' started by brachy-pride, Oct 31, 2005.
It's still famous, Marla_Singer is even from there, and everybody knows her on CFC!
I guess we should add to the list Konigsberg, capital of Prussia. It is now Kaliningrad, in a small 'Russian' enclave cut off from the rest of Russia by Lithuania.
Sukhothai. Was first capital of Thai kingdom. Now a small province. Even tourists don't paid much attention to it, most went to Ayutthaya, the second capital.
Nauplia, the first capital of independent Greece from 1830-1834. Today it's a lovely small town of 15,000 inhabitants and a popular tourist location.
Still around but nowhere near its former glory.
It even had it's own Great Wonder for Chrissakes!
And its Library should have been another one.
Capital of the Norman kingdom of Sicily in the Middle Ages.
A city of 250 churches and 300 mosques according to one Arab travel writer, with 150.000 inhabitants at a time when Paris, London, Cologne etc. big European cities were languishing around 30-50K.
Also the village of Asterix. It was once capital (and sole part) of independant Gaul. Now it has been diminished to the status of a theme park.
Oh yes Verbose, Palermo was quite a hotspot under King Roger.
Well, it's true that Versailles isn't the centre of the French Monarchy since it's been more than 200 centuries there's no more monarchy in France. But anyway, Versailles is today a suburb of Paris it's totally part of the city... it's just that it doesn't exist really anymore on its own, it's today more a district than a city properly. By the way Versailles has never been a big city in the past, it has always been a town beside Paris. Now that Paris has grown bigger, it's a suburb of Paris.
Alexandria is still today the largest city on the Mediterranean Sea.
Syracuse, SIcilly; used to be a magnifencent city but never recoved from when they resisted Rome.
Delos was one of the sacred capitals of the ancient greek world.
Also Melos (another island city) was among the biggest in the era, but declined after the "melian conflict" (Athens vs Melos).
Smyrna was briefly capital of a byzantine successor state, post 1204, before it was annexed by the empire of Nikaia.
speaking of which, Nikaia (Nicaea) was capital of the empire of Nikaia, from 1204 to 1263 iirc, and today probably is not important at all. It was also where the first panchristianic forums took place. Its loss to the seljuks triggered the first crusade.
Actually, Charlemagne had not only one capital but several and moved form one to another. Aachen is probably the most important, Tournai is the second one.
Liège was an important city during the middle-age. Between Xth and XIIIth centuries, Liège was called the Athens of the North because of its influence in philosophy, theology and technology. Liège never was conquered by Burgondy, Spain or Austria as neighbouring regions. It was an independant principalty from the IXth century to 1793.
BTW, Charlemagne's familly is from Herstal, a city next to Liège and now in its suburbs. Pepin of Herstal is Charles Martel's father, Pepin the Short's grandfather and Charlemagne's grand grandfather. He started the unification of Austasia and Neustrasia, the core of Charlemagn's Empire. Today, Stargate's P90 are still made in Herstal
Salem, Massachusetts was one of the 13 colonies' largest cities, and was the sixth largest city in the US in 1790 (which doesn't mean it was large by today's standards). It hasn't grown with the times, and now has about 40,000 people and is remembered mainly for witch trials.
Cambrai (France), Autun (France), Nancy (France), Bordeaux (France).
Évora in Portugal. In the XV-XVII century it was pretty much the winter capital of the country, stage of the great Royal Weddings with the spanish/austrian Habsburgs, full of monumental architecture (for which it is today a UNESCO world heritage site), and had the second oldest university of Portugal, from where professors and students were very active in the anti-spanish propaganda that ultimately led to the revolt and regaining of independence in 1640. Ironically, the new dinasty, the Braganças, had a huge palace in a small town not far away where they lived and spent long times after they became kings, and from then on the city never regained her importance, although the university remained important until today.
Also Reims, where the french kings used to be crowned and the home city of the legendary football club Stade Reims , now, like the city, in the bottom divisions.
Many of the cities where medieval universities were founded also fell a lot in importance. The early universities were built in small country towns (except Paris) because the Church felt that the temptations and novelties of urban busy life weren't apropriate for students (how damn right they were, I'm the living proof of that ). However, with time those cities earned a lot of importance, but then, after the mercantilistic and industrial revolutions, became smaller cities, living from tourism that come to visit the old architecture and the university, which normally never lost importance in the academic world. Some examples are Bologna, Padova, Salamanca, Louvain, Heidelberg, etc. Of course, others remained important, but typically cities that had political importance as well, like Paris, Köln, Vienna or Cracow.
@Ram: I already mentioned Cuzco.
Nippur. Once one of the greatest cities of Babylonia, now a little Iraqi village no-one cares about. Called Niffer in Arabic.
Visby. Once a leading trade centre in the Baltic Sea, now a little sleepy town mostly famous for having Sweden's only perserved medieval city wall.
Nara. Japan's first capital, now one city among many others.
How those cities have been more important in the past than they are currently ???
What about Newcastle (Australia), Adelaide (Australia), Darwin (Australia), Perth (Australia), Cairns (Australia), Rockhampton (Australia) ?
I've visited Visby, it's a wonderful island !
Marseilles (Massalia) probably was more importan in some past eras. Although in ancient times it was less important than the other main greek city in modern France, Emporion.
Btw Emporion means Trade
Separate names with a comma.