The surprising former names of famous places

The surprising former names of famous places

A deal aimed at ending a 28-year row between Greece and the Republic of Macedonia could see the name of the latter changed to the Republic of North Macedonia.

The two countries have been at loggerheads ever since Macedonia declared independence in 1991, with many in Greece saying the moniker suggests a claim on the Greek province of the same name. There were violent protests at the weekend by those who reject the deal, which would see Greece end opposition to Macedonia joining Nato and the European Union.

Macedonia would certainly not be the first place to adopt a new name.

Among last summer’s World Cup venues was Volgograd. The Russian city was previously called Stalingrad, and was the site of the largest and bloodiest battle in the history of warfare, but the name was ditched in 1961 as part of Khrushchev’s policy of de-Stalinization. 

Kaliningrad, another World Cup host city, was previously called Königsberg, while the Polish port of Gdansk was once Danzig.

Istanbul was Constantinople, Staines added the suffix “on Thames”, and last year the King of Swaziland announced that the tiny African country would now be known as The Kingdom of eSwatini.

Which other cities and countries have been called something completely different? Take our test to find out. 

Once you’re done, you might want to try our other deviously difficult quizzes. We’ve looked at island outlines, the myths of air travel, Britain’s seaside resorts, obscure capitals, cities from above, and the world’s most famous paintings, to name a few.

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