1. List of urban areas by population – This is a list of contiguous urban areas of the world ordered according to population as of 2014/2015. The figures here have taken from Demographias World Urban Areas study. Demographia defines an area as a continuously built up land mass of urban development that is within a labor market. Except in Australia, the use a minimum urban density definition of 400 persons per square kilometer. Demographia uses maps, satellite photographs to estimate continuous urbanization, Demographia also uses small area population data, where available, to match population estimates to urbanized land area. National census authority data are presented in Australia, Canada, France, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, census of India urban agglomerations are not used in some cases because the geographical size of constituent units often includes large rural areas. Sources for population estimates and land area definitions are coded by letter in the Table below, a, National census authority data agglomeration data. B, Demographia land area based upon map or satellite photograph analysis. C, Demographia population estimate from lower order jurisdictions, including reduction for rural areas, D, Population estimate based upon the United Nations agglomeration estimate. E, Demographia population estimate from national census authority data, F, Other Demographia population estimate, such as from unofficial local reports. L, Demographia population estimate from local authority data, N, Combined urban area using national census authority data. W, Population estimate based upon the World Bank Urban Area 2015 estimate and this is evident, for example, in Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Seoul and Moscow, where the UN data are for political jurisdictions, rather than urban areas. In other cases, the UN data is for metropolitan area, finally, the United Nations data is incomplete, excluding some significant urban areas. Urban areas are confined to a nation, unless there is freedom of movement between the adjacent nations. Currently, this condition is met only between some continental nations of the European Union and Switzerland, thus, Detroit–Windsor in both the United States and Canada, and San Diego–Tijuana in both the United States and Mexico are not treated as single urban areas. According to the report, there are 875 identified urban areas in the world with 500,000 or more population as of 2013. Brinkhoff, The Principal Agglomerations of the World Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques insee. fr - Geopolis study of urban areas Gridded Population of the WorldList of urban areas by population – Population tables of world cities
2. Japan – Japan is a sovereign island nation in Eastern Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asia Mainland and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea, the kanji that make up Japans name mean sun origin. 日 can be read as ni and means sun while 本 can be read as hon, or pon, Japan is often referred to by the famous epithet Land of the Rising Sun in reference to its Japanese name. Japan is an archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands. The four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku, the country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions. Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one, the population of 127 million is the worlds tenth largest. Japanese people make up 98. 5% of Japans total population, approximately 9.1 million people live in the city of Tokyo, the capital of Japan. Archaeological research indicates that Japan was inhabited as early as the Upper Paleolithic period, the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD. Influence from other regions, mainly China, followed by periods of isolation, from the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shoguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a period of isolation in the early 17th century. The Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan is a member of the UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the country has the worlds third-largest economy by nominal GDP and the worlds fourth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It is also the worlds fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer, although Japan has officially renounced its right to declare war, it maintains a modern military with the worlds eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a country with a very high standard of living. Its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and the third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, in ancient China, Japan was called Wo 倭. It was mentioned in the third century Chinese historical text Records of the Three Kingdoms in the section for the Wei kingdom, Wa became disliked because it has the connotation of the character 矮, meaning dwarf. The 倭 kanji has been replaced with the homophone Wa, meaning harmony, the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, which is pronounced Nippon or Nihon and literally means the origin of the sun. The earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, at the start of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan introduced their country as NihonJapan – The Golden Hall and five-storey pagoda of Hōryū-ji, among the oldest wooden buildings in the world, National Treasures, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
3. Tokyo – Tokyo, officially Tokyo Metropolis, is the capital of Japan and one of its 47 prefectures. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous area in the world. It is the seat of the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese government, Tokyo is in the Kantō region on the southeastern side of the main island Honshu and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Formerly known as Edo, it has been the de facto seat of government since 1603 when Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu made the city his headquarters. It officially became the capital after Emperor Meiji moved his seat to the city from the old capital of Kyoto in 1868, Tokyo Metropolis was formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture and the city of Tokyo. The Tokyo metropolitan government administers the 23 Special Wards of Tokyo, the metropolitan government also administers 39 municipalities in the western part of the prefecture and the two outlying island chains. The population of the wards is over 9 million people. The prefecture is part of the worlds most populous metropolitan area with upwards of 37.8 million people, the city hosts 51 of the Fortune Global 500 companies, the highest number of any city in the world. Tokyo ranked third in the International Financial Centres Development IndexEdit, the city is also home to various television networks such as Fuji TV, Tokyo MX, TV Tokyo, TV Asahi, Nippon Television, NHK and the Tokyo Broadcasting System. Tokyo ranked first in the Global Economic Power Index and fourth in the Global Cities Index. The city is considered a world city – as listed by the GaWCs 2008 inventory – and in 2014. In 2015, Tokyo was named the Most Liveable City in the world by the magazine Monocle, the Michelin Guide has awarded Tokyo by far the most Michelin stars of any city in the world. Tokyo ranked first in the world in the Safe Cities Index, the 2016 edition of QS Best Student Cities ranked Tokyo as the 3rd-best city in the world to be a university student. Tokyo hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics, the 1979 G-7 summit, the 1986 G-7 summit, and the 1993 G-7 summit, and will host the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tokyo was originally known as Edo, which means estuary. During the early Meiji period, the city was also called Tōkei, some surviving official English documents use the spelling Tokei. However, this pronunciation is now obsolete, the name Tokyo was first suggested in 1813 in the book Kondō Hisaku, written by Satō Nobuhiro. When Ōkubo Toshimichi proposed the renaming to the government during the Meiji Restoration, according to Oda Kanshi, Tokyo was originally a small fishing village named Edo, in what was formerly part of the old Musashi Province. Edo was first fortified by the Edo clan, in the twelfth centuryTokyo – Clockwise from top: Nishi-Shinjuku, Rainbow Bridge, National Diet Building, Shibuya, Tokyo Skytree
4. Yokohama – Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan by population and most populous municipality of Japan. It is the city of Kanagawa Prefecture. It lies on Tokyo Bay, south of Tokyo, in the Kantō region of the island of Honshu. It is a commercial hub of the Greater Tokyo Area. Yokohamas population of 3.7 million makes it Japans largest city after the Special Wards of Tokyo, Yokohama was a small fishing village up to the end of the feudal Edo period, when Japan held a policy of national seclusion, having little contact with foreigners. It was initially agreed that one of the ports to be opened to ships would be the bustling town of Kanagawa-juku on the Tōkaidō. However, the Tokugawa shogunate decided that Kanagawa-juku was too close to the Tōkaidō for comfort, the Port of Yokohama was officially opened on June 2,1859. Yokohama quickly became the base of trade in Japan. Kannai, the trade and commercial district, was surrounded by a moat. To protect British commercial and diplomatic interests in Yokohama a military garrison was established in 1862, with the growth in trade increasing numbers of Chinese also came to settle in the city. Recreational sports introduced to Japan by foreign residents in Yokohama included European style horse racing in 1862, cricket in 1863, after the Meiji Restoration of 1868, the port was developed for trading silk, the main trading partner being Great Britain. In 1887, a British merchant, Samuel Cocking, built the citys first power plant, at first for his own use, this coal-burning plant became the basis for the Yokohama Cooperative Electric Light Company. The city was incorporated on April 1,1889. The early 20th century was marked by growth of industry. Entrepreneurs built factories along reclaimed land to the north of the city toward Kawasaki, much of Yokohama was destroyed on September 1,1923 by the Great Kantō earthquake. The Yokohama police reported casualties at 30,771 dead and 47,908 injured, fuelled by rumours of rebellion and sabotage, vigilante mobs thereupon murdered many Koreans in the Kojiki-yato slum. Many people believed that Koreans used black magic to cause the earthquake, martial law was in place until November 19. Rubble from the quake was used to land for parksYokohama – Landing of Commodore Perry, officers, and men of the squadron to meet the Imperial commissioners at Yokohama 14 July 1853. Lithograph by Sarony & Co., 1855, after Wilhelm Heine
5. Indonesia – Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a unitary sovereign state and transcontinental country located mainly in Southeast Asia with some territories in Oceania. Situated between the Indian and Pacific oceans, it is the worlds largest island country, with more than seventeen thousand islands. At 1,904,569 square kilometres, Indonesia is the worlds 14th-largest country in terms of area and worlds 7th-largest country in terms of combined sea. It has an population of over 260 million people and is the worlds fourth most populous country. The worlds most populous island, Java, contains more than half of the countrys population, Indonesias republican form of government includes an elected legislature and president. Indonesia has 34 provinces, of which five have Special Administrative status and its capital and countrys most populous city is Jakarta, which is also the most populous city in Southeast Asia and the second in Asia. The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, other neighbouring countries include Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines, Australia, Palau, and the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support the second highest level of biodiversity. The country has abundant natural resources like oil and natural gas, tin, copper, agriculture mainly produces rice, palm oil, tea, coffee, cacao, medicinal plants, spices and rubber. Indonesias major trading partners are Japan, United States, China, the Indonesian archipelago has been an important region for trade since at least the 7th century, when Srivijaya and then later Majapahit traded with China and India. Local rulers gradually absorbed foreign cultural, religious and political models from the early centuries CE, Indonesian history has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources. Indonesia consists of hundreds of native ethnic and linguistic groups. The largest – and politically dominant – ethnic group are the Javanese, a shared identity has developed, defined by a national language, ethnic diversity, religious pluralism within a Muslim-majority population, and a history of colonialism and rebellion against it. Indonesias national motto, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, articulates the diversity that shapes the country, Indonesias economy is the worlds 16th largest by nominal GDP and the 8th largest by GDP at PPP, the largest in Southeast Asia, and is considered an emerging market and newly industrialised country. Indonesia has been a member of the United Nations since 1950, Indonesia is a member of the G20 major economies and World Trade Organization. The name Indonesia derives from the Greek name of the Indós, the name dates to the 18th century, far predating the formation of independent Indonesia. In 1850, George Windsor Earl, an English ethnologist, proposed the terms Indunesians—and, his preference, in the same publication, one of his students, James Richardson Logan, used Indonesia as a synonym for Indian Archipelago. However, Dutch academics writing in East Indies publications were reluctant to use Indonesia, they preferred Malay Archipelago, the Netherlands East Indies, popularly Indië, the East, and InsulindeIndonesia – A Borobudur ship carved on Borobudur, c. 800 CE. Indonesian outrigger boats may have made trade voyages to the east coast of Africa as early as the 1st century CE.
6. Jakarta – Jakarta /dʒəˈkɑːrtə/, officially the Special Capital Region of Jakarta, is the capital and most populous city of the Republic of Indonesia. Located on the northwest coast of the worlds most populous island of Java, Jakarta is the economic, cultural and political centre. The official metropolitan area, known as Jabodetabek, is the second largest in the world, established in the fourth century, the city became an important trading port for the Kingdom of Sunda. It was the de facto capital of the Dutch East Indies, today, the city has continued as the capital of Indonesia since the countrys independence was declared in 1945. Jakarta is listed as a city in the 2012 Globalization and World Cities Study Group. Based on the global metro monitor by the Brookings Institution, in 2014, Jakarta has grown more rapidly than Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, and Bangkok. Jakarta has been home to multiple settlements along with their names, Sunda Kelapa, Jayakarta, Batavia, Djakarta. Its current name derives from the word Jayakarta, the origins of this word can be traced to the Old Javanese and ultimately to the Sanskrit language. Jayakarta translates as victorious deed, complete act, or complete victory, Jakarta is nicknamed the Big Durian, the thorny strongly-odored fruit native to the region, as the city is seen as the Indonesian equivalent of the US city of New York. In the colonial era, the city was known as Koningin van het Oosten, initially in the 17th century for the urban beauty of downtown Batavias canals, mansions. After expanding to the south in the 19th century, this came to be more associated with the suburbs, with their wide lanes, many green spaces. The area in and around modern Jakarta was part of the fourth century Sundanese kingdom of Tarumanagara, following the decline of Tarumanagara, its territories, including the Jakarta area, became part of the Hindu Kingdom of Sunda. From 7th to early 13th century port of Sunda was within the sphere of influence of the Srivijaya maritime empire. According to the Chinese source, Chu-fan-chi, written circa 1225, Chou Ju-kua reported in the early 13th century Srivijaya still ruled Sumatra, the source reports the port of Sunda as strategic and thriving, pepper from Sunda being among the best in quality. The people worked in agriculture and their houses were built on wooden piles, the harbour area became known as Sunda Kelapa and by the fourteenth century, it was a major trading port for Sunda kingdom. The first European fleet, four Portuguese ships from Malacca, arrived in 1513 when the Portuguese were looking for a route for spices, in 1527, Fatahillah, a Javanese general from Demak attacked and conquered Sunda Kelapa, driving out the Portuguese. Sunda Kelapa was renamed Jayakarta, and became a fiefdom of the Sultanate of Banten which became a major Southeast Asia trading centre, through the relationship with Prince Jayawikarta from the Sultanate of Banten, Dutch ships arrived in Jayakarta in 1596. In 1602, the English East India Companys first voyage, commanded by Sir James Lancaster, arrived in Aceh and this site became the centre of English trade in Indonesia until 1682Jakarta – (From top, left to right): Jakarta Old Town, Hotel Indonesia Roundabout, Jakarta Skyline, Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, Monumen Nasional, Merdeka Palace, Istiqlal Mosque
7. Jabodetabek – Jabodetabek is an official and administrative definition of the urban area or megacity surrounding the Indonesia capital city, Jakarta. Also included were the Kota independent municipalities of Bogor, Depok, Bekasi, Tangerang, the name of the region is taken from the first two letters of each citys name, Jabotabek from Jakarta, Bogor, Tangerang and Bekasi. The population share of Jabodetabek to national population was increased from 6. 1% in 1961 to 11. 26% in 2010, the region is the center of government, culture, education, and economy of Indonesia. It has pulled many people from throughout of Indonesia to come, live and its economic power makes Jabodetabek the countrys premier center for finance, manufacture and commerce. The region was established in 1976 through Presidential Instruction No.13 in response to the needs to sustain the population of capital city. Indonesias government established Jabotabek Cooperation Body of the joint secretariat of Government of DKI Jakarta, the generic term Greater Jakarta refers to the urban region surrounding Jakarta, it is not specific to any official or administrative designations. On the contrary, dependent on context, it may refer to the area around Jakarta. The population is increasing due to migration from other parts of Indonesia. The proportion of city population to the total population of metropolitan area also declined significantly. In 2010, the population of Jakarta only 35. 5% to the population of Jabodetabek area. However, there has been relative shifting of in migration destination from Jakarta city to cities in Jabodetabek area. Nowadays, about 20% of Indonesias urban population is concentrated in the Jabodetabek area, common names for Greater Jakarta, W. J. The region accounts for 25. 52% of total gross domestic product and 42. 8% to the total GDP of Java Island in 2010. There are three dominant sectors which have high contribution to the total Jabodetabeks GDP comprising, industrial sector, financial sector as well as trade, hotel, prime business and commercial centers is Golden Triangle in central Jakarta. There are countrys premier center, Sudirman Central Business District, Mega Kuningan, Rasuna Epicentrum as well as along Jenderal Sudirman, M. H Thamrin. Jakartas Golden Triangle also known to expatriates and local populates as a center of the metropolis. There are countless high end boutiques, fine restaurants, coffee shops, kelapa Gading is the newest business district, lifestyle center and residential areas, located in the north-eastern part of Jakarta city. It has several bars and entertainment places that open up until late night, the development of large scale residential areas and industrial parks in the Jabodetabek has been induced by infrastructure development, especially toll roads and railwaysJabodetabek – Jabodetabek on left in blue and magenta; Greater Bandung on right, Jakarta and 4 kotas in blue, 3 suburban regencies in magenta, green diagonals mark sprawl areas outside Jabodetabek: Serang and Karawang Regencies
8. India – India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country, and it is bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast. It shares land borders with Pakistan to the west, China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the northeast, in the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Indias Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a border with Thailand. The Indian subcontinent was home to the urban Indus Valley Civilisation of the 3rd millennium BCE, in the following millennium, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism began to be composed. Social stratification, based on caste, emerged in the first millennium BCE, early political consolidations took place under the Maurya and Gupta empires, the later peninsular Middle Kingdoms influenced cultures as far as southeast Asia. In the medieval era, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Islam arrived, much of the north fell to the Delhi sultanate, the south was united under the Vijayanagara Empire. The economy expanded in the 17th century in the Mughal empire, in the mid-18th century, the subcontinent came under British East India Company rule, and in the mid-19th under British crown rule. A nationalist movement emerged in the late 19th century, which later, under Mahatma Gandhi, was noted for nonviolent resistance, in 2015, the Indian economy was the worlds seventh largest by nominal GDP and third largest by purchasing power parity. Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India became one of the major economies and is considered a newly industrialised country. However, it continues to face the challenges of poverty, corruption, malnutrition, a nuclear weapons state and regional power, it has the third largest standing army in the world and ranks sixth in military expenditure among nations. India is a constitutional republic governed under a parliamentary system. It is a pluralistic, multilingual and multi-ethnic society and is home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats. The name India is derived from Indus, which originates from the Old Persian word Hindu, the latter term stems from the Sanskrit word Sindhu, which was the historical local appellation for the Indus River. The ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi, which translates as The people of the Indus, the geographical term Bharat, which is recognised by the Constitution of India as an official name for the country, is used by many Indian languages in its variations. Scholars believe it to be named after the Vedic tribe of Bharatas in the second millennium B. C. E and it is also traditionally associated with the rule of the legendary emperor Bharata. Gaṇarājya is the Sanskrit/Hindi term for republic dating back to the ancient times, hindustan is a Persian name for India dating back to the 3rd century B. C. E. It was introduced into India by the Mughals and widely used since then and its meaning varied, referring to a region that encompassed northern India and Pakistan or India in its entiretyIndia – Flag
9. Manila – Manila, officially City of Manila, is the capital of the Philippines. Founded on June 24,1571, by Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi and it is situated on the eastern shore of Manila Bay and is home to many landmarks, some of which date back to the 16th century. In 2012, the Globalization and World Cities Research Network listed Manila as a global city, the city proper is home to 1,780,148 people in 2015, forming the historic core of Metro Manila, the capital region of the Philippines. The metropolitan area, which includes the much larger Quezon City, Manila is also the most densely populated city proper in the world, with 41,515 people per square kilometer. The term Manila is commonly used to refer to either the whole area or the city proper. Manila is located on the shore of the Manila Bay on one of the finest harbors in the country. The city has six districts for the lower house of the Philippine Congress. Manila was once ruled by the Kingdom of Tondo before it became a province of the Majapahit Empire. During the Bruneian invasion of the Philippines, Sultan Bolkiah of Brunei captured Seludong and renamed it Maynilà, Maynilà became a vassal state of the Sultanate of Brunei, established to overpower Tondo. In 1571, conquistadors arrived from Mexico, across the Pacific Ocean, Spanish missionaries soon Christianized the city, incorporated Tondo and built some of the oldest churches in the country, including San Agustin Church. The conquistadors renamed the area Nuevo Reino de Castilla, Manila became the center of Spanish activity in the Far East and one end of the Manila–Acapulco galleon trade route linking Spanish America with Asia, one of the earliest examples of globalization. Because of its location on Pacific trade routes, Manila received the moniker Pearl of the Orient. Spanish rule of the Philippine archipelago lasted for more than three centuries, until 1898, order was usually quickly restored and the city returned to the business of trade. In the 19th century, Manila was one of the most modern cities in Asia, before the Spanish–American War, it saw the rise of the Philippine Revolution. After the war, the United States took control, switched the official language from Spanish to English, near the end of World War II, during the Battle of Manila, most of the city was flattened by intensive aerial bombardment by the United States Air Force. As a result, relatively little remains of Manilas prewar and colonial architecture, although there are ongoing projects, especially within the old walled city. Maynilà, the Filipino name for the city, originated from the word nilà, referring to a mangrove tree that grew on the delta of the Pasig River. The flowers were made into garlands that, according to folklore, were offered to statues on religious altars or in churchesManila
10. Metro Manila – These 5 provinces, plus Metro Manila and Pampanga, sum to 30.7 million residents as of the newly counted census of 2015. The region is the center of culture, economy, education, NCR is one of the 12 defined metropolitan areas in the Philippines according to the National Economic and Development Authority. Designated as a global city, NCR exerts a significant impact on commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education. It is the home to all the consulates and embassies in the Philippines and its economic power makes the region the countrys premier center for finance and commerce. NCR accounts for 37. 2% of the domestic product of the Philippines. The Province of Manila, the progenitor to the present-day Metro Manila, is one of the eight provinces that revolted against the Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines. The province was honored as one of the sun rays in the Flag of the Philippines, a historical province known as Manila encompasses the former pre-Hispanic kingdoms of Tondo and Maynila. It became the capital of the colonial Philippines, with Manila serving as the center of colonial power, in 1898, it included the City of Manila and 23 other municipalities. Mariquina also served as the capital from 1898-1899, just as when the sovereignty of the Philippines was transferred to the United States, the province was dissolved and most of it was incorporated to the newly created province of Rizal in 1901. Since the Spanish colonial period, Manila was considered as one of the global cities. Pasig serves as its provincial capital, in 1939, President Quezon established Quezon City with a goal to replace Manila as the capital city of the country. A masterplan for Quezon City was completed, the establishment of Quezon City meant demise of the grand Burnham Plan of Manila, with funds being diverted for the establishment of the new capital. World War II further resulted in the loss most of the developments in the Burnham Plan, but more importantly, later on, Quezon City eventually declared as the national capital from 1948-1976. The tile was re-designated back to Manila through Presidential Decree No.940 owing to its significance as the seat of government of the Philippines since the Spanish colonial period. During the war, President Manuel L. Jorge Vargas was appointed as its mayor, Mayors in the cities and municipalities included in the City of Greater Manila served as vice mayors in their town. This was in order to ensure Vargas, who was Quezons principal lieutenant for administrative matters, the City of Greater Manila was abolished by the Japanese with the formation of the Philippine Executive Commission to govern the occupied regions of the country. The City of Greater Manila served as a model for the present-day Metro Manila, on November 7,1975, Metro Manila was formally established through Presidential Decree No.824. The Metropolitan Manila Commission was also created to manage the region, on June 2,1978, through Presidential Decree NoMetro Manila
11. South Korea – South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea, is a sovereign state in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula. The earliest Korean pottery dates to 8000 BC, with three kingdoms flourishing in the 1st century BC and its rich and vibrant culture left 19 UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritages of Humanity, the third largest in the world, along with 12 World Heritage Sites. Annexed into Imperial Japan in 1910, Korea was divided after its surrender in 1945, peace has since mostly continued with the two agreeing to work peacefully for reunification and the South solidifying peace as a regional power with the worlds 10th largest defence budget. South Koreas tiger economy soared at an average of 10% for over 30 years in a period of rapid transformation called the Miracle on the Han River. A long legacy of openness and focus on innovation made it successful, today, it is the worlds fifth largest exporter with the G20s largest budget surplus and highest credit rating of any country in East Asia. It has free trade agreements with 75% of the economy and is the only G20 nation trading freely with China, the US. Since 1988, its constitution guarantees a liberal democracy with high government transparency, high personal freedoms led to the rise of a globally influential pop culture such as K-pop and K-drama, a phenomenon called the Korean Wave, known for its distinctive fashionable and trendy style. Home of the UN Green Climate Fund and GGGI, South Korea is a leader in low carbon growth, committed to helping developing countries as a major DAC. It is the third least ignorant country in the Index of Ignorance, ranking eighth highest for peaceful tolerance. It is the worlds largest spender on R&D per GDP, leading the OECD in graduates in science, the name Korea derives from the name Goryeo. The name Goryeo itself was first used by the ancient kingdom of Goguryeo in the 5th century as a form of its name. The 10th-century kingdom of Goryeo succeeded Goguryeo, and thus inherited its name, the modern spelling of Korea first appeared in the late 17th century in the travel writings of the Dutch East India Companys Hendrick Hamel. After Goryeo was replaced by Joseon in 1392, Joseon became the name for the entire territory. The new official name has its origin in the ancient country of Gojoseon, in 1897, the Joseon dynasty changed the official name of the country from Joseon to Daehan Jeguk. The name Daehan, which means great Han literally, derives from Samhan, however, the name Joseon was still widely used by Koreans to refer to their country, though it was no longer the official name. Under Japanese rule, the two names Han and Joseon coexisted, there were several groups who fought for independence, the most notable being the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea. Following the surrender of Japan, in 1945, the Republic of Korea was adopted as the name for the new country. Since the government only controlled the part of the Korean PeninsulaSouth Korea – Flag
12. Seoul – The Seoul Capital Area houses up to half of the countrys population of 50.22 million people with 678,102 international residents. Situated on the Han River, Seouls history stretches back more than two years when it was founded in 18 BCE by Baekje, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. It continued as the capital of Korea under the Joseon Dynasty, the Seoul Capital Area contains five UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Changdeok Palace, Hwaseong Fortress, Jongmyo Shrine, Namhansanseong and the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty. Seoul is surrounded by mountains, the tallest being Mt. Bukhan, in 2015, it was rated Asias most livable city with the second highest quality of life globally by Arcadis. In 2014, the citys GDP per capita of $39,786 was comparable to that of France and Finland. Ranked sixth in the Global Power City Index and Global Financial Centres Index, Seoul is the worlds most wired city and ranked first in technology readiness by PwCs Cities of Opportunity report. It is served by the KTX high-speed rail and the Seoul Subway, providing 4G LTE, WiFi, Seoul is connected via AREX to Incheon International Airport, rated the worlds best airport nine years in a row by Airports Council International. Lotte World Tower, a 556-metre supertall skyscraper with 123 floors, has built in Seoul and become the OECDs tallest in 2016. Its Lotte Cinema houses the worlds largest cinema screen, Seouls COEX Mall is the worlds largest underground shopping mall. Seoul hosted the 1986 Asian Games,1988 Summer Olympics,2002 FIFA World Cup, the Miss Universe 1980 pageant, a UNESCO City of Design, Seoul was named the 2010 World Design Capital. The city has known in the past by the names Wirye-seong, Hanju. During Japans annexation in Korea, Hanseong was renamed to Keijō by the Imperial authorities to prevent confusion with the hanja 漢, in reality, the ancient name of Seoul, Hanseong, originally had the meaning of big or vast. Its current name originated from the Korean word meaning city, which is believed to be derived from the word Seorabeol, which originally referred to Gyeongju. Unlike most place names in Korea, Seoul has no corresponding hanja, on January 18,2005, Seoul government officially changed its official Chinese language name to Shouer from the historic Hancheng, of which use is becoming less common. Settlement of the Han River area, where present-day Seoul is located, Seoul is first recorded as Wiryeseong, the capital of Baekje in the northeastern Seoul area. There are several city walls remaining in the area date from this time. Pungnaptoseong, a wall just outside Seoul, is widely believed to have been at the main Wiryeseong site. As the Three Kingdoms competed for this region, control passed from Baekje to Goguryeo in the 5th centurySeoul – Sights in Seoul (clockwise from top): Gwanghwamun Gate at Gyeongbokgung Palace; statue of Admiral Yi Sun-sin; statue at the War Memorial of Korea; food storage jars at Gyeonbokgung Palace; Jongmyo Shrine; Myeongdong Cathedral; statue of King Sejong the Great; and (center) N Seoul Tower.
13. Incheon – Incheon, officially the Incheon Metropolitan City, is a city located in northwestern South Korea, bordering Seoul and Gyeonggi to the east. Inhabited since the New Stone Age, Incheon was home to just 4,700 people when it became a port in 1883. Today, about 3 million people live in the city, making it Korea’s third most populous city after Seoul and Busan. The citys growth has been assured in modern times with the development of its due to its natural advantages as a coastal city. It is part of the Seoul Capital Area, along with Seoul itself and Gyeonggi Province, Incheon has since led the economic development of Korea by opening its port to the outside world, ushering in the modernization of Korea as a center of industrialization. In 2003, the city was designated as Korea’s first free economic zone, as an international city, Incheon has held numerous large scale international conferences, such as the Incheon Global Fair & Festival in 2009. The 17th Asian Games Incheon 2014 was also held in Incheon on 19 September 2014, Incheon has established itself as a major transportation hub in northeast Asia with the world-renowned Incheon International Airport and Incheon Port. The city is home to the Green Climate Fund, an international organization addressing environmental issues. The first historical record of the Incheon area dates back to 475 AD, during the reign of King Jangsu of Goguryeo, by the name of Michuhol, the area underwent several name changes with successive kingdoms and dynasties. In Goryeo era, Incheon was called Gyeongwon or Inju, the current name was turned to Incheon in 1413. Later, Incheon County became Incheon Metropolitan Prefecture, old Incheon consisted of todays southern Incheon and northern part of Siheung City. The city centre was Gwangyo-dong, where the office and the local academy were located. Another historical name of the city, Jemulpo, was not widely used until the opening of the port in 1883, after the opening of the Incheon port, the city centre moved from Gwangyo to Jemulpo. Today, either Jemulpo or Gwangyo-dong is considered Deep Incheon and it was renamed as Jinsen during Japanese rule in Korean peninsula. In 1914, the Japanese colonial government merged outer parts of old Incheon with Bupyeong County, through 1936 and 1940, some part of Bucheon County was recombined into Incheon City, by which some part of old Bupyeong was annexed into Incheon. Incheon was originally part of Gyeonggi Province, but was granted Directly Governed City status on July 1,1981, Incheon was known as Inchon prior to South Koreas adoption of a new Romanization system in 2000. The city was the site of the Battle of Chemulpo Bay, during the Korean War, Incheon was occupied by North Korean troops on 4 September 1950. Eleven days later, Incheon was the site of the Battle of Inchon, the result was a decisive UN victory and it was recaptured on 19 September 1950Incheon
14. Seoul Capital Area – The Seoul Capital Area is the metropolitan area centered on Seoul located in the north-west of South Korea. It is referred to as Sudogwon or Gyeonggi region in Korean, the Seoul Capital Area has a population of 24 million and is ranked as the fourth largest metropolitan area in the world. Its area is about 11,704 km2 and it forms the cultural, commercial, financial, industrial, and residential center of South Korea. The largest city is Seoul, with a population of approximately 10 million people, followed by Incheon, the Capital Area occupies a plain in the Han River valley. It contains some of the most fertile land on the Korean peninsula, the Gimpo Plain, one of the countrys larger expanses of level arable land, covers much of the area of the cities of Gimpo and Bucheon. The Capital Area has been home to a Korean capital for around 2,000 years and its central location and relatively gentle landscape have given it a central role in the countrys affairs. The first capital to be constructed in the region was that of Baekje, the countrys first capital was built in 19 BC and was named Wiryeseong. This is believed to have been constructed near the boundary of Seoul. However, Baekje was unable to hold territory, and surrendered the Han River valley to Goguryeo in the 5th century. The land was taken over by Silla in the 6th century. After the fall of Silla, Taejo of Goryeo established the capital of his kingdom in Kaesŏng, after the fall of Goryeo Dynasty in 1392, the newly founded Joeson Dynasty had its capital, less than 100 km south of the old dynastys capital, Kaesŏng. During the new rule, extensive road systems, administrative buildings, royal palaces. During the Korean Empire period, Hanseongs public transportation was improved with the installation of streetcars, horse carriage systems similar to the ones in Europe were also established. Following the Japanese annexation of Korea in 1910, Hanseong was renamed Keijo, upon Koreas liberation from Japan in 1945, the former colonial capital was renamed Seoul and became capital of South Korea. In the Korean War, the Capital Area became the focus of battles so destructive that most of Seoul, Seoul was especially hit hard, since it exchanged hands four times during the course of the war. During the latter half of the 20th century, the Capital Area began to develop as South Koreas economic wealth expanded. Population expanded fourfold since the Korean War, in 2001, the new Incheon International Airport took over all international flights to Seoul. Covering only about 12% of the area, the Seoul Capital Area is home to more than 48. 2% of the national populationSeoul Capital Area – Seoul Capital Area 수도권
15. China – China, officially the Peoples Republic of China, is a unitary sovereign state in East Asia and the worlds most populous country, with a population of over 1.381 billion. The state is governed by the Communist Party of China and its capital is Beijing, the countrys major urban areas include Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Tianjin and Hong Kong. China is a power and a major regional power within Asia. Chinas landscape is vast and diverse, ranging from forest steppes, the Himalaya, Karakoram, Pamir and Tian Shan mountain ranges separate China from much of South and Central Asia. The Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, the third and sixth longest in the world, respectively, Chinas coastline along the Pacific Ocean is 14,500 kilometers long and is bounded by the Bohai, Yellow, East China and South China seas. China emerged as one of the worlds earliest civilizations in the basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, Chinas political system was based on hereditary monarchies known as dynasties, in 1912, the Republic of China replaced the last dynasty and ruled the Chinese mainland until 1949, when it was defeated by the communist Peoples Liberation Army in the Chinese Civil War. The Communist Party established the Peoples Republic of China in Beijing on 1 October 1949, both the ROC and PRC continue to claim to be the legitimate government of all China, though the latter has more recognition in the world and controls more territory. China had the largest economy in the world for much of the last two years, during which it has seen cycles of prosperity and decline. Since the introduction of reforms in 1978, China has become one of the worlds fastest-growing major economies. As of 2016, it is the worlds second-largest economy by nominal GDP, China is also the worlds largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a nuclear weapons state and has the worlds largest standing army. The PRC is a member of the United Nations, as it replaced the ROC as a permanent member of the U. N. Security Council in 1971. China is also a member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the WTO, APEC, BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the BCIM, the English name China is first attested in Richard Edens 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa. The demonym, that is, the name for the people, Portuguese China is thought to derive from Persian Chīn, and perhaps ultimately from Sanskrit Cīna. Cīna was first used in early Hindu scripture, including the Mahābhārata, there are, however, other suggestions for the derivation of China. The official name of the state is the Peoples Republic of China. The shorter form is China Zhōngguó, from zhōng and guó and it was then applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and then to Chinas Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the QingChina – Yinxu, ruins of an ancient palace dating from the Shang Dynasty (14th century BCE)
16. Shanghai – Shanghai is the most populous city proper in the world, with a population of more than 24 million as of 2014. As one of the four direct-controlled municipalities of the Peoples Republic of China, it is a financial centre and transport hub. Located in the Yangtze River Delta in East China, Shanghai sits on the edge of the mouth of the Yangtze in the middle portion of the eastern Chinese coast. The municipality borders the provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang to the north, south and west, as a major administrative, shipping and trading city, Shanghai grew in importance in the 19th century due to trade and recognition of its favourable port location and economic potential. The city was one of five treaty ports forced open to foreign trade following the British victory over China in the First Opium War, the subsequent 1842 Treaty of Nanking and 1844 Treaty of Whampoa allowed the establishment of the Shanghai International Settlement and the French Concession. The city then flourished as a center of commerce between China and other parts of the world, and became the financial hub of the Asia-Pacific region in the 1930s. However, with the Communist Party takeover of the mainland in 1949, trade was limited to other socialist countries, and the citys global influence declined. In the 1990s, the reforms introduced by Deng Xiaoping resulted in an intense re-development of the city, aiding the return of finance. The two Chinese characters in the name are 上 and 海, together meaning Upon-the-Sea. The earliest occurrence of this dates from the 11th-century Song Dynasty, at which time there was already a river confluence. There are disputes as to exactly how the name should be understood, Shanghai is officially abbreviated 沪 in Chinese, a contraction of 沪渎, a 4th- or 5th-century Jin name for the mouth of Suzhou Creek when it was the main conduit into the ocean. This character appears on all motor vehicle license plates issued in the municipality today, another alternative name for Shanghai is Shēn or Shēnchéng, from Lord Chunshen, a third-century BC nobleman and prime minister of the state of Chu, whose fief included modern Shanghai. Sports teams and newspapers in Shanghai often use Shen in their names, such as Shanghai Shenhua F. C. Huating was another early name for Shanghai. In AD751, during the dynasty, Huating County was established at modern-day Songjiang. Today, Huating appears as the name of a hotel in the city. The city also has various nicknames in English, including Pearl of the Orient, during the Spring and Autumn period, the Shanghai area belonged to the Kingdom of Wu, which was conquered by the Kingdom of Yue, which in turn was conquered by the Kingdom of Chu. During the Warring States period, Shanghai was part of the fief of Lord Chunshen of Chu and he ordered the excavation of the Huangpu River. Its former or poetic name, the Chunshen River, gave Shanghai its nickname of Shen, two important events helped promote Shanghais development in the Ming dynastyShanghai – Clockwise from top: A view of the Pudong skyline, Yu Garden, China Pavilion along with the Expo Axis, neon signs on Nanjing Road, and The Bund
17. Karachi – Karachi is the capital of Sindh, and is the largest and most populous city in Pakistan, as well as the 7th largest in the world and the worlds second most populous city proper. Ranked as a world city, the city is Pakistans premier industrial and financial centre. Karachi is also Pakistans most cosmopolitan city, though the Karachi region has been inhabited for millennia, the city was founded as a village named Kolachi that was established as a fortified settlement in 1729. By the time of the Partition of British India, the city was the largest in Sindh with a population of 400,000. Immediately following the independence of Pakistan, the population increased dramatically with the arrival of hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees from India. The city experienced economic growth following independence, attracting migrants from throughout Pakistan. Karachi is now Pakistans premier industrial and financial centre, the city has a formal economy estimated to be worth $113 billion as of 2014. Karachi collects over a third of Pakistans tax revenue, and generates approximately 20% of Pakistans GDP, approximately 30% of Pakistani industrial output is from Karachi, while Karachis ports handle approximately 95% of Pakistans foreign trade. Approximately 90% of the corporations operating in Pakistan are headquartered in Karachi. Up to 70% of Karachis workforce is employed in the informal economy, Karachi is one of Pakistans most secular and socially liberal cities. It is also the most linguistically, ethnically, and religiously diverse city in Pakistan, Karachi is considered to be one of the worlds fastest growing cities, and has communities representing almost every ethnic group in Pakistan. Karachi is also home to over 2 million Bangladeshi migrants,1 million Afghans, the citys murder rate in 2015 had decreased by 75% compared to 2013, and kidnappings decreased by 90%, with the improved security environment triggering sharp increases in real-estate prices. Karachi was reputedly founded in 1729 as the settlement of Kolachi, the new settlement is said to have been named in honour of Mai Kolachi, whose son is said to have slayed a man-eating crocodile in the village after his elder brothers had already been killed by it. The citys inhabitants are referred to by the demonym Karachiite in English, the earliest inhabitants of the Karachi region are believed to have been hunter-gatherers, with ancient flint tools discovered at several sites. The Karachi region is believed to have known to the ancient Greeks. The region may be the site of Krokola, where Alexander the Great once camped to prepare a fleet for Babylonia, in 711 C. E. Muhammad bin Qasim conquered the Sindh and Indus Valley. The Karachi region is believed to have known to the Arabs as Debal. Under Mirza Ghazi Beg the Mughal administrator of Sindh, development of coastal Sindh, under his rule, fortifications in the region acted as a bulwark against Portuguese incursions into SindhKarachi – Clockwise from top: Karachi Skyline, KPT HQ, PRC Towers & PNSC, Karachi Market, Manora Lighthouse, Nagan Interchange and MA Jinnah Tomb.
18. Beijing – Beijing is the capital of the Peoples Republic of China and the worlds third most populous city proper. It is also one of the worlds most populous capital cities, the city, located in northern China, is governed as a direct-controlled municipality under the national government with 16 urban, suburban, and rural districts. Beijing is the second largest Chinese city by population after Shanghai and is the nations political, cultural. It is home to the headquarters of most of Chinas largest state-owned companies, and is a hub for the national highway, expressway, railway. The citys history dates back three millennia, as the last of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, Beijing has been the political centre of the country for much of the past eight centuries. Beijing was the largest city in the world by population for much of the second millennium A. D, the city is renowned for its opulent palaces, temples, parks, gardens, tombs, walls and gates. Its art treasures and universities have made it centre of culture, encyclopædia Britannica notes that few cities in the world have served for so long as the political headquarters and cultural centre of an area as immense as China. Siheyuans, the traditional housing style, and hutongs, the narrow alleys between siheyuans, are major tourist attractions and are common in urban Beijing. The city hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics and was chosen to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, many of Beijings 91 universities consistently rank among the best in China, of which Peking University and Tsinghua University are ranked in the top 60 universities in the world. Beijings Zhongguancun area is known as Chinas Silicon Valley and Chinas center of innovation. According to the 2016 InterNations Expat Insider Survey, Beijing ranked first in Asia in the subcategory Personal Finance Index, expats live primarily in urban districts such as Dongcheng and Chaoyang in the east, or in suburban districts such as Shunyi. Over the past 3,000 years, the city of Beijing has had other names. The name Beijing, which means Northern Capital, was applied to the city in 1403 during the Ming Dynasty to distinguish the city from Nanjing, the English spelling is based on the pinyin romanisation of the two characters as they are pronounced in Standard Mandarin. Those dialects preserve the Middle Chinese pronunciation of 京 as kjaeng, the single Chinese character abbreviation for Beijing is 京, which appears on automobile license plates in the city. The official Latin alphabet abbreviation for Beijing is BJ, the earliest traces of human habitation in the Beijing municipality were found in the caves of Dragon Bone Hill near the village of Zhoukoudian in Fangshan District, where Peking Man lived. Homo erectus fossils from the date to 230,000 to 250,000 years ago. Paleolithic Homo sapiens also lived more recently, about 27,000 years ago. Archaeologists have found neolithic settlements throughout the municipality, including in Wangfujing, the first walled city in Beijing was Ji, a city from the 11th to 7th century BCBeijing – Clockwise from top: Beijing CBD skyline, Tiananmen, Temple of Heaven, National Center for the Performing Arts, and Beijing National Stadium
19. United States – Forty-eight of the fifty states and the federal district are contiguous and located in North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east, the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean, the geography, climate and wildlife of the country are extremely diverse. At 3.8 million square miles and with over 324 million people, the United States is the worlds third- or fourth-largest country by area, third-largest by land area. It is one of the worlds most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, paleo-Indians migrated from Asia to the North American mainland at least 15,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century, the United States emerged from 13 British colonies along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the following the Seven Years War led to the American Revolution. On July 4,1776, during the course of the American Revolutionary War, the war ended in 1783 with recognition of the independence of the United States by Great Britain, representing the first successful war of independence against a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, after the Articles of Confederation, the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and designed to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties. During the second half of the 19th century, the American Civil War led to the end of slavery in the country. By the end of century, the United States extended into the Pacific Ocean. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the status as a global military power. The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the sole superpower. The U. S. is a member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States. The United States is a developed country, with the worlds largest economy by nominal GDP. It ranks highly in several measures of performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP. While the U. S. economy is considered post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge economy, the United States is a prominent political and cultural force internationally, and a leader in scientific research and technological innovations. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America after the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo VespucciUnited States – Native Americans meeting with Europeans, 1764
20. New York City – The City of New York, often called New York City or simply New York, is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2015 population of 8,550,405 distributed over an area of about 302.6 square miles. Located at the tip of the state of New York. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy and has described as the cultural and financial capital of the world. Situated on one of the worlds largest natural harbors, New York City consists of five boroughs, the five boroughs – Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, The Bronx, and Staten Island – were consolidated into a single city in 1898. In 2013, the MSA produced a gross metropolitan product of nearly US$1.39 trillion, in 2012, the CSA generated a GMP of over US$1.55 trillion. NYCs MSA and CSA GDP are higher than all but 11 and 12 countries, New York City traces its origin to its 1624 founding in Lower Manhattan as a trading post by colonists of the Dutch Republic and was named New Amsterdam in 1626. The city and its surroundings came under English control in 1664 and were renamed New York after King Charles II of England granted the lands to his brother, New York served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790. It has been the countrys largest city since 1790, the Statue of Liberty greeted millions of immigrants as they came to the Americas by ship in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and is a symbol of the United States and its democracy. In the 21st century, New York has emerged as a node of creativity and entrepreneurship, social tolerance. Several sources have ranked New York the most photographed city in the world, the names of many of the citys bridges, tapered skyscrapers, and parks are known around the world. Manhattans real estate market is among the most expensive in the world, Manhattans Chinatown incorporates the highest concentration of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere, with multiple signature Chinatowns developing across the city. Providing continuous 24/7 service, the New York City Subway is one of the most extensive metro systems worldwide, with 472 stations in operation. Over 120 colleges and universities are located in New York City, including Columbia University, New York University, and Rockefeller University, during the Wisconsinan glaciation, the New York City region was situated at the edge of a large ice sheet over 1,000 feet in depth. The ice sheet scraped away large amounts of soil, leaving the bedrock that serves as the foundation for much of New York City today. Later on, movement of the ice sheet would contribute to the separation of what are now Long Island and Staten Island. The first documented visit by a European was in 1524 by Giovanni da Verrazzano, a Florentine explorer in the service of the French crown and he claimed the area for France and named it Nouvelle Angoulême. Heavy ice kept him from further exploration, and he returned to Spain in August and he proceeded to sail up what the Dutch would name the North River, named first by Hudson as the Mauritius after Maurice, Prince of OrangeNew York City – Clockwise, from top: Midtown Manhattan, Times Square, the Unisphere in Queens, the Brooklyn Bridge, Lower Manhattan with One World Trade Center, Central Park, the headquarters of the United Nations, and the Statue of Liberty
21. Guangzhou – Guangzhou, traditionally romanised as Canton, is the capital and most populous city of the province of Guangdong in southern China. Guangzhou is currently, the third city in mainland China, behind Beijing and Shanghai, holds sub-provincial administrative status. In 2015 the citys area was estimated to have a population of 13,501,100. Some estimates place the population of the area of the Pearl River Delta Mega City as high as 44 million without the Hong Kong SAR and 54 million including it. Guangzhou is ranked as a Beta+ Global city, in recent years, there has been a rapidly increasing number of foreign residents and illegal immigrants from Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe, as well as from Africa. This has led to it being dubbed the Capital of the Third World, the migrant population from other provinces of China in Guangzhou was 40 percent of the citys total population in 2008. Long the only Chinese port accessible to foreign traders, the city fell to the British during the First Opium War. No longer enjoying a monopoly after the war, it lost trade to ports such as Hong Kong and Shanghai. In modern commerce, Guangzhou is best known for its annual Canton Fair, for the three consecutive years 2013–2015, Forbes ranked Guangzhou as the best commercial city on the Chinese mainland. Guǎngzhōu is the pinyin romanisation of the Chinese name 廣州, which was simplified in mainland China to 广州 in the 1950s, before acquiring its current name, the town was known as Panyu, a name still borne by one of Guangzhous districts. The origin of the name is uncertain, with 11 various explanations being offered. The city has sometimes been known as Guangzhou Fu or Guangfu after its status as the capital of a commandery. From this latter name, Guangzhou was known to medieval Persians such as Al-Masudi, under the Southern Han, the city was renamed Xingwang. Under the Qing, it was known to its inhabitants as simply The Provincial Capital. The Chinese abbreviation for Guangzhou is 穗, after its nickname Rice City, the former name City of the Immortals came from the same story. The more recent City of Flowers is usually taken as a reference to the areas greenery. The English name Canton derived from Portuguese Cantão or Cidade de Cantão, although it originally and chiefly applied to the walled city, it was also used in English in reference to Guangdong generally. It was adopted as the Postal Map Romanization of Guangzhou and remained in use until the gradual adoption of pinyinGuangzhou – From top: Tianhe CBD, the Canton Tower & Chigang Pagoda, Haizhu Bridge, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Statue of Five Goats, Zhenhai Tower in Yuexiu Park, and Sacred Heart Cathedral.
22. Foshan – Foshan, formerly romanized as Fatshan, is a prefecture-level city in central Guangdong Province in southeastern China. The entire prefecture covers 3,848.49 km2 and has a population around 7.2 million. It forms part of the side of the Pearl River Delta Economic Zone. Foshan is regarded as the home of the Cantonese forms of Chinese opera, kung fu, lion dancing, fóshān is the pinyin romanization of the citys Chinese name 佛山, based on its Mandarin pronunciation. The Postal Map spelling Fatshan derives from the same names local Cantonese pronunciation, other romanizations include Fat-shan and Fat-shun. The town grew up around a monastery founded nearby that was destroyed in 1391, the towns nicknames include the Hometown of Cantonese Opera, of Lingnan Kung Fu, of Lingnan Lion Dancing, and of Lingnan Dragon Boat Racing. Foshan remained a settlement on the Fen River for most of Chinas history. It grew up around a Tang-era Buddhist monastery that was destroyed in 1391, the Foshan Ancestral Temple, a Taoist temple to the Northern God that was rebuilt in 1372, became the new focus of the community by the 15th century. By the early Ming, Foshan had grown one of the four great markets in China, primarily on the strength of its local ceramics. Under the Qing, its harbor on the Fen River was limited to ships of a thousand tons burden, by the 19th century, it was considered the Birmingham of China, with its steel industry responsible for the consumption of the majority of the provinces iron production. It was connected to Guangzhou and Sanshui by rail in the early 20th century, the Ancestral Temple was converted into the Foshan Municipal Museum upon the victory of the Communists in the Chinese Civil War in 1949. Foshan remained primarily focused on ceramic and steel production until the 1950s, on 26 June 1951 it left Nanhai County to become a separate county-level city and, in 1954, it was made the seat of the prefectural government. In 1983, Foshan was promoted to a city with its former core becoming the new Chancheng District. On 8 December 2002, Shunde and Nanhai joined its urban core as a full district, Shunde has gone on to obtain an unusual autonomous status in 2009, placing its oversight in the hands of the provincial government rather than the prefectural one. Foshan lies on the Fen River in the making up the west side of the Pearl River Delta. Guangzhou lies 25 kilometers to the northeast, Zhongshan to the southeast, Jiangmen to the south, Qingyuan to the west, Foshan experiences a humid subtropical climate. The prefecture-level city of Foshan administers five county-level divisions, all of which are districts, the five districts are, Chancheng, Nanhai, Sanshui, Gaoming and Shunde. These are further divided into 64 township-level divisions, including 37 towns and 27 subdistricts, Foshan is close to Guangzhou and considers its link with Guangzhou very importantFoshan – Clockwise from top right: Zumiao of Foshan, Qingyun Tower in Shunfengshan Park, Statue of Guanyin on top of Xiqiaoshan, & Downtown Foshan in Chancheng District
23. Brazil – Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. As the worlds fifth-largest country by area and population, it is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language. Its Amazon River basin includes a vast tropical forest, home to wildlife, a variety of ecological systems. This unique environmental heritage makes Brazil one of 17 megadiverse countries, Brazil was inhabited by numerous tribal nations prior to the landing in 1500 of explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, who claimed the area for the Portuguese Empire. Brazil remained a Portuguese colony until 1808, when the capital of the empire was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro, in 1815, the colony was elevated to the rank of kingdom upon the formation of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves. Independence was achieved in 1822 with the creation of the Empire of Brazil, a state governed under a constitutional monarchy. The ratification of the first constitution in 1824 led to the formation of a bicameral legislature, the country became a presidential republic in 1889 following a military coup détat. An authoritarian military junta came to power in 1964 and ruled until 1985, Brazils current constitution, formulated in 1988, defines it as a democratic federal republic. The federation is composed of the union of the Federal District, the 26 states, Brazils economy is the worlds ninth-largest by nominal GDP and seventh-largest by GDP as of 2015. A member of the BRICS group, Brazil until 2010 had one of the worlds fastest growing economies, with its economic reforms giving the country new international recognition. Brazils national development bank plays an important role for the economic growth. Brazil is a member of the United Nations, the G20, BRICS, Unasul, Mercosul, Organization of American States, Organization of Ibero-American States, CPLP. Brazil is a power in Latin America and a middle power in international affairs. One of the worlds major breadbaskets, Brazil has been the largest producer of coffee for the last 150 years and it is likely that the word Brazil comes from the Portuguese word for brazilwood, a tree that once grew plentifully along the Brazilian coast. In Portuguese, brazilwood is called pau-brasil, with the word brasil commonly given the etymology red like an ember, formed from Latin brasa and the suffix -il. As brazilwood produces a red dye, it was highly valued by the European cloth industry and was the earliest commercially exploited product from Brazil. The popular appellation eclipsed and eventually supplanted the official Portuguese name, early sailors sometimes also called it the Land of Parrots. In the Guarani language, a language of Paraguay, Brazil is called PindoramaBrazil – Megaliths in the Solstice Archaeological Park, in Amapá, erected between 500 and 2000 years ago, probably to carry out astronomical observations.
24. Mexico City – Mexico City, or City of Mexico, is the capital and most populous city of Mexico. As an alpha global city, Mexico City is one of the most important financial centers in the Americas and it is located in the Valley of Mexico, a large valley in the high plateaus at the center of Mexico, at an altitude of 2,240 metres. The city consists of sixteen municipalities, the 2009 estimated population for the city proper was approximately 8.84 million people, with a land area of 1,485 square kilometres. The Greater Mexico City has a domestic product of US$411 billion in 2011. The city was responsible for generating 15. 8% of Mexicos Gross Domestic Product, as a stand-alone country, in 2013, Mexico City would be the fifth-largest economy in Latin America—five times as large as Costa Ricas and about the same size as Perus. Mexico’s capital is both the oldest capital city in the Americas and one of two founded by Amerindians, the other being Quito. In 1524, the municipality of Mexico City was established, known as México Tenochtitlán, Mexico City served as the political, administrative and financial center of a major part of the Spanish colonial empire. After independence from Spain was achieved, the district was created in 1824. Ever since, the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution has controlled both of them, in recent years, the local government has passed a wave of liberal policies, such as abortion on request, a limited form of euthanasia, no-fault divorce, and same-sex marriage. On January 29,2016, it ceased to be called the Federal District and is now in transition to become the countrys 32nd federal entity, giving it a level of autonomy comparable to that of a state. Because of a clause in the Mexican Constitution, however, as the seat of the powers of the federation, it can never become a state, the city of Mexico-Tenochtitlan was founded by the Mexica people in 1325. According to legend, the Mexicas principal god, Huitzilopochtli indicated the site where they were to build their home by presenting an eagle perched on a cactus with a snake in its beak. Between 1325 and 1521, Tenochtitlan grew in size and strength, eventually dominating the other city-states around Lake Texcoco, when the Spaniards arrived, the Aztec Empire had reached much of Mesoamerica, touching both the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. After landing in Veracruz, Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés advanced upon Tenochtitlan with the aid of many of the native peoples. Cortés put Moctezuma under house arrest, hoping to rule through him, the Aztecs thought the Spaniards were permanently gone, and they elected a new king, Cuitláhuac, but he soon died, the next king was Cuauhtémoc. Cortés began a siege of Tenochtitlan in May 1521, for three months, the city suffered from the lack of food and water as well as the spread of smallpox brought by the Europeans. Cortés and his allies landed their forces in the south of the island, the Spaniards practically razed Tenochtitlan during the final siege of the conquest. Cortés first settled in Coyoacán, but decided to rebuild the Aztec site to erase all traces of the old order and he did not establish a territory under his own personal rule, but remained loyal to the Spanish crownMexico City – From above Torre Latinoamericana, Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral, Anillo Periférico, World Trade Center Mexico City, Angel of Independence, Chapultepec Castle, St. Regis Hotel Tower and Torre Mayor, Skyline of Paseo de la Reforma and Palacio de Bellas Artes.
25. Valley of Mexico – The Valley of Mexico is a highlands plateau in central Mexico roughly coterminous with the present-day Distrito Federal and the eastern half of the State of Mexico. Surrounded by mountains and volcanoes, the Valley of Mexico was a centre for several civilizations, including Teotihuacan, the Toltec. The ancient Aztec term Anahuac and the phrase Basin of Mexico are both used at times to refer to the Valley of Mexico, the Basin of Mexico became a well known site that epitomized the scene of early Classic Mesoamerican cultural development as well. The Valley of Mexico is located in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, the valley contains most of the Mexico City Metropolitan Area, as well as parts of the State of Mexico, Hidalgo, Tlaxcala and Puebla. The Valley of Mexico can be subdivided into four basins, but the largest and this section of the valley in particular is colloquially referred to as the Valley of Mexico. The valley has an altitude of 2,200 meters above sea level and is surrounded by mountains. It is a valley with no natural outlet for water to flow. Within this vulnerable watershed all the fishes were extinct by the end of the 20th century. Hydrologically, the valley has three features, the first feature is the lakebeds of five now-extinct lakes, which are located in the southernmost and largest of the four sub-basins. The other two features are piedmont, and the mountainsides that collect the precipitation that eventually flows to the lake area and these last two are found in all four of the sub-basins of the valley. Today, the Valley drains through a series of canals to the Tula River, and eventually the Pánuco River. Seismic activity is frequent here, and the valley is considered an earthquake prone zone, the valley has been inhabited for at least 12,000 years, attracting humans with its mild climate, abundant game and ability to support large-scale agriculture. Civilizations that have arisen in this include the Teotihuacan the Toltec Empire. When the Spaniards arrived in the Valley of Mexico, it had one of the highest population concentrations in the world with one million people. After the Conquest, the Spaniards rebuilt the largest and most dominant city here, Tenochtitlan, although violence and disease significantly lowered the population of the valley after the Conquest, by 1900 it was again over one million people. The 20th and 21st centuries have seen an explosion of population in the valley along with the growth of industry, since 1900, the population has doubled every fifteen years. Today, around 21 million people live in the Mexico City Metropolitan Area which extends throughout almost all of the valley into the states of Mexico, the growth of a major urban, industrial centre in an enclosed basin has created significant air and water quality issues for the valley. Wind patterns and thermal inversions trap contaminants in the valley, over-extraction of ground water has caused new flooding problems for the city as it sinks below the historic lake floorValley of Mexico – A 19th century painting of the Valley of Mexico.
26. Mumbai – Mumbai is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India and the ninth most populous agglomeration in the world, Mumbai lies on the west coast of India and has a deep natural harbour. In 2008, Mumbai was named a world city. It is also the wealthiest city in India, and has the highest GDP of any city in South, West, Mumbai has the highest number of billionaires and millionaires among all cities in India. The seven islands that came to constitute Mumbai were home to communities of fishing colonies, during the mid-18th century, Bombay was reshaped by the Hornby Vellard project, which undertook reclamation of the area between the seven islands from the sea. Along with construction of roads and railways, the reclamation project, completed in 1845. Bombay in the 19th century was characterised by economic and educational development, during the early 20th century it became a strong base for the Indian independence movement. Upon Indias independence in 1947 the city was incorporated into Bombay State, in 1960, following the Samyukta Maharashtra movement, a new state of Maharashtra was created with Bombay as the capital. Mumbai is the financial, commercial and entertainment capital of India and it is also home to some of Indias premier scientific and nuclear institutes like BARC, NPCL, IREL, TIFR, AERB, AECI, and the Department of Atomic Energy. The city also houses Indias Hindi and Marathi film and television industry, Mumbais business opportunities, as well as its potential to offer a higher standard of living, attract migrants from all over India, making the city a melting pot of many communities and cultures. The oldest known names for the city are Kakamuchee and Galajunkja, in 1508, Portuguese writer Gaspar Correia used the name Bombaim, in his Lendas da Índia. This name possibly originated as the Old Portuguese phrase bom baim, meaning good little bay, in 1516, Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa used the name Tana-Maiambu, Tana appears to refer to the adjoining town of Thane and Maiambu to Mumbadevi. Other variations recorded in the 16th and the 17th centuries include, Mombayn, Bombay, Bombain, Bombaym, Monbaym, Mombaim, Mombaym, Bambaye, Bombaiim, Bombeye, Boon Bay, and Bon Bahia. After the English gained possession of the city in the 17th century, Ali Muhammad Khan, imperial diwan or revenue minister of the Gujarat province, in the Mirat-i-Ahmedi referred to the city as Manbai. By the late 20th century, the city was referred to as Mumbai or Mambai in the Indian statewise official languages of Marathi, Konkani, Gujarati, Kannada and Sindhi, the Government of India officially changed the English name to Mumbai in November 1995. According to Slate magazine, they argued that Bombay was a corrupted English version of Mumbai, Slate also said The push to rename Bombay was part of a larger movement to strengthen Marathi identity in the Maharashtra region. A resident of Mumbai is called mumbaikar in the Marathi language, the term has been in use for quite some time but it gained popularity after the official name change to Mumbai. Mumbai is built on what was once an archipelago of seven islands, Bombay Island, Parel, Mazagaon, Mahim, Colaba, Worli and it is not exactly known when these islands were first inhabitedMumbai – Clockwise from top: Cuffe Parade skyline, Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Bandra–Worli Sea Link, and the Gateway of India.
27. Kobe – Kobe is the sixth-largest city in Japan and is the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture. It is located on the side of the main island of Honshū, on the north shore of Osaka Bay. With a population around 1.5 million, the city is part of the Keihanshin metropolitan area along with Osaka, the earliest written records regarding the region come from the Nihon Shoki, which describes the founding of the Ikuta Shrine by Empress Jingū in AD201. For most of its history, the area was never a political entity, even during the Tokugawa period. Kobe did not exist in its current form until its founding in 1889 and its name comes from kanbe, an archaic title for supporters of the citys Ikuta Shrine. Kobe became one of Japans 17 designated cities in 1956, Kobe was one of the cities to open for trade with the West following the 1853 end of the policy of seclusion and has since been known as a cosmopolitan port city. While the 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake diminished much of Kobes prominence as a port city, the city is the point of origin and namesake of Kobe beef, as well as the site of one of Japans most famous hot spring resorts, Arima Onsen. Media related to History of Kobe at Wikimedia Commons Tools found in western Kobe demonstrate the area was populated at least from the Jōmon period. The natural geography of the area, particularly of Wada Cape in Hyōgo-ku, led to the development of a port, some of the earliest written documents mentioning the region include the Nihon Shoki, which describes the founding of the Ikuta Shrine by Empress Jingū in AD201. During the Nara and Heian periods, the port was known by the name Ōwada Anchorage and was one of the ports from which imperial embassies to China were dispatched. The city was briefly the capital of Japan in 1180, when Taira no Kiyomori moved his grandson Emperor Antoku to Fukuhara in present-day Hyōgo-ku, the Emperor returned to Kyoto after about five months. Shortly thereafter in 1184, the Taira fortress in Hyōgo-ku and the nearby Ikuta Shrine became the sites of the Genpei War battle of Ichi-no-Tani between the Taira and Minamoto clans, the Minamoto prevailed, pushing the Taira further. As the port grew during the Kamakura period, it became an important hub for trade with China, in the 13th century, the city came to be known by the name Hyōgo Port. During this time, Hyōgo Port, along with northern Osaka and it was not until the abolition of the han system in 1871 and the establishment of the current prefecture system that the area became politically distinct. Hyōgo Port was opened to trade by the government of the Bakufu at the same time as Osaka on January 1,1868, just before the advent of the Boshin War. The region has since been identified with the West and many residences from the period remain in Kobes Kitano area. Kobe, as it is today, was founded on April 1,1889. The history of the city is tied to that of the Ikuta Shrine, and the name Kobe derives from kamubeKobe – From top left: Port of Kobe, Akashi Kaikyō Bridge, Kitano-chō, Kobe Chinatown, night view from Kikuseidai of Mt. Maya, Kobe Port Tower
28. Kyoto – Kyoto is a city located in the central part of the island of Honshu, Japan. It has a close to 1.5 million. Kyoto is also known as the thousand-year capital, in Japanese, the city has been called Kyō, Miyako, or Kyō no Miyako. In the 11th century, the city was renamed Kyoto, after the Chinese word for capital city, after the city of Edo was renamed Tokyo in 1868, and the seat of the Emperor was transferred there, Kyoto was known for a short time as Saikyō. Obsolete spellings for the name include Kioto, Miaco and Meaco. Another term commonly used to refer to the city in the period was Keishi. His last choice for the site was the village of Uda, the new city, Heian-kyō, a scaled replica of the then Tang capital Changan, became the seat of Japans imperial court in 794, beginning the Heian period of Japanese history. The city suffered destruction in the Ōnin War of 1467–1477. Battles between samurai factions spilled into the streets, and came to involve the court nobility and religious factions as well, nobles mansions were transformed into fortresses, deep trenches dug throughout the city for defense and as firebreaks, and numerous buildings burned. The city has not seen such widespread destruction since, Hideyoshi also built earthwork walls called odoi encircling the city. Teramachi Street in central Kyoto is a Buddhist temple quarter where Hideyoshi gathered temples in the city, throughout the Edo period, the economy of the city flourished as one of three major cities in Japan, the others being Osaka and Edo. The Hamaguri rebellion of 1864 burnt down 28,000 houses in the city, the modern city of Kyoto was formed on April 1,1889. The construction of Lake Biwa Canal in 1890 is one taken to revive the city. The population of the city exceeded one million in 1932, stimson, Secretary of War in the Roosevelt and Truman administrations, the city was removed from the list of targets and replaced by Nagasaki. The city was spared from conventional bombing as well, although small-scale air raids did result in casualties. As a result, the Imperial City of Kyoto is one of the few Japanese cities that still have an abundance of prewar buildings, however, modernization is continually breaking down the traditional Kyoto in favor of newer architecture, such as the Kyōto Station complex. Kyoto became a city designated by government ordinance on September 1,1956, in 1997, Kyoto hosted the conference that resulted in the protocol on greenhouse gas emissions that bears the citys name. Kyoto is located in a valley, part of the Yamashiro Basin, in the part of the mountainous region known as the Tamba highlandsKyoto – From top left: Tō-ji, Gion Matsuri in modern Kyoto, Fushimi Inari-taisha, Kyoto Imperial Palace, Kiyomizu-dera, Kinkaku-ji, Ponto-chō and Maiko, Ginkaku-ji, Cityscape from Higashiyama and Kyoto Tower
29. Keihanshin – Keihanshin is a metropolitan region in Japan encompassing the metropolitan areas of the cities of Kyoto in Kyoto Prefecture, Osaka in Osaka Prefecture and Kobe in Hyōgo Prefecture. The entire region has a population of 19,341,976 over an area of 13,033 km2 and it is the second-most-populated urban region in Japan, containing approximately 15% of Japans population. The GDP in Osaka is $671 billion as measured by PPP as of 2014, making it one of the worlds most-productive regions, masterCard Worldwide reported that Osaka is the 19th ranking city of the worlds leading global cities and has an instrumental role in driving the global economy. If Keihanshin was a country, it would be the 16th-largest economy in the world, the Japan Statistics Bureau defines the set of municipalities that are entirely or mostly within 50 kilometres of the Municipal Office of Osaka as one measure of the metropolitan area. As of 2010, the population for this region was 16,342,641, the Urban Employment Area is a metropolitan area definition developed at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Tokyo. This definition is comparable to the Metropolitan Statistical Area concept used to describe areas in the United States. The basic building blocks are municipalities, the core area is the set of municipalities that contain a densely inhabited district with a population of 10,000 or more. The Urban Employment Area is called Metropolitan Employment Area, when its area has 50,000 DID population or more. Otherwise, the area is called Micropolitan Employment Area, a DID is a group of census enumeration districts inhabited at densities of 4,000 or more persons per km². Outlying areas are those municipalities where 10% or more of the population work in the core area or in another outlying area. Overlaps are not allowed and an area is assigned to the core area where it has the highest commuter ratio. This definition assigns a Metropolitan Employment Area to the cities of the Keihanshin region, Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto, Himeji. The lists below indicate which cities belong to which metropolitan area, towns and villages are not listed. 5% of the resident population aged 15 and above commute to school or work in a designated city. If multiple designated cities are close enough to have overlapping outlying areas, in the 2010 census, the designated cities used to define the Keihanshin MMA were Osaka, Kobe, and Kyoto. Sakai has subsequently become a designated city, as of 2010, the entire Keihanshin region had a population of 19,341,976 over an area of 13,033 square kilometres. The core cities formed Keihanshin are government ordinance cities and these cities designated the three largest cities as special cities with Tokyo in 1889. Kobe designated the six largest cities as cities in 1922. Following the World War II, the six largest cities was replaced by the government designated city system in 1956, afterwards, Sakai became a government designated city in 2006Keihanshin – Kyoto
30. Russia – Russia, also officially the Russian Federation, is a country in Eurasia. The European western part of the country is more populated and urbanised than the eastern. Russias capital Moscow is one of the largest cities in the world, other urban centers include Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a range of environments. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk, the East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, in 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus ultimately disintegrated into a number of states, most of the Rus lands were overrun by the Mongol invasion. The Soviet Union played a role in the Allied victory in World War II. The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the worlds first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the second largest economy, largest standing military in the world. It is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic, the Russian economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2015. Russias extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the producers of oil. The country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. The name Russia is derived from Rus, a state populated mostly by the East Slavs. However, this name became more prominent in the later history, and the country typically was called by its inhabitants Русская Земля. In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus by modern historiography, an old Latin version of the name Rus was Ruthenia, mostly applied to the western and southern regions of Rus that were adjacent to Catholic Europe. The current name of the country, Россия, comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Kievan Rus, the standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is Russians in English and rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are translated into English as RussiansRussia – Kievan Rus' in the 11th century
31. Moscow – Moscow is the capital and most populous city of Russia, with 13.2 million residents within the city limits and 17.8 million within the urban area. Moscow has the status of a Russian federal city, Moscow is a major political, economic, cultural, and scientific center of Russia and Eastern Europe, as well as the largest city entirely on the European continent. Moscow is the northernmost and coldest megacity and metropolis on Earth and it is home to the Ostankino Tower, the tallest free standing structure in Europe, the Federation Tower, the tallest skyscraper in Europe, and the Moscow International Business Center. Moscow is situated on the Moskva River in the Central Federal District of European Russia, the city is well known for its architecture, particularly its historic buildings such as Saint Basils Cathedral with its brightly colored domes. Moscow is the seat of power of the Government of Russia, being the site of the Moscow Kremlin, the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square are also one of several World Heritage Sites in the city. Both chambers of the Russian parliament also sit in the city and it is recognized as one of the citys landmarks due to the rich architecture of its 200 stations. In old Russian the word also meant a church administrative district. The demonym for a Moscow resident is москвич for male or москвичка for female, the name of the city is thought to be derived from the name of the Moskva River. There have been proposed several theories of the origin of the name of the river and its cognates include Russian, музга, muzga pool, puddle, Lithuanian, mazgoti and Latvian, mazgāt to wash, Sanskrit, majjati to drown, Latin, mergō to dip, immerse. There exist as well similar place names in Poland like Mozgawa, the original Old Russian form of the name is reconstructed as *Москы, *Mosky, hence it was one of a few Slavic ū-stem nouns. From the latter forms came the modern Russian name Москва, Moskva, in a similar manner the Latin name Moscovia has been formed, later it became a colloquial name for Russia used in Western Europe in the 16th–17th centuries. From it as well came English Muscovy, various other theories, having little or no scientific ground, are now largely rejected by contemporary linguists. The surface similarity of the name Russia with Rosh, an obscure biblical tribe or country, the oldest evidence of humans on the territory of Moscow dates from the Neolithic. Within the modern bounds of the city other late evidence was discovered, on the territory of the Kremlin, Sparrow Hills, Setun River and Kuntsevskiy forest park, etc. The earliest East Slavic tribes recorded as having expanded to the upper Volga in the 9th to 10th centuries are the Vyatichi and Krivichi, the Moskva River was incorporated as part of Rostov-Suzdal into the Kievan Rus in the 11th century. By AD1100, a settlement had appeared on the mouth of the Neglinnaya River. The first known reference to Moscow dates from 1147 as a place of Yuri Dolgoruky. At the time it was a town on the western border of Vladimir-Suzdal PrincipalityMoscow – Left to right, top to bottom: Moscow State University, Spasskaya Clocktower, Cathedral of Christ the Saviour; Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow International Business Center; Red Square
32. Bangladesh – Bangladesh, officially the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It shares land borders with India and Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan and China are located near Bangladesh but do not share a border with it. The countrys maritime territory in the Bay of Bengal is roughly equal to the size of its land area, Bangladesh is the worlds eighth most populous country. Dhaka is its capital and largest city, followed by Chittagong which has the countrys largest port, Bangladesh forms the largest and eastern part of the Bengal region. Bangladeshis include people of different ethnic groups and religions, Bengalis, who speak the official Bengali, make up 98% of the population. The politically dominant Bengali Muslims make the nation the worlds third largest Muslim-majority country, most of Bangladesh is covered by the Bengal delta, the largest delta on Earth. The country has 700 rivers and 8,046 km of inland waterways, highlands with evergreen forests are found in the northeastern and southeastern regions of the country. Bangladesh has many islands and a coral reef and it is home to the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world. The countrys biodiversity includes a vast array of plant and wildlife, including critically endangered Bengal tigers, the Greeks and Romans identified the region as Gangaridai, a powerful kingdom of the historical subcontinent, in the 3rd century BCE. Archaeological research has unearthed several ancient cities in Bangladesh, which had trade links for millennia. The Bengal Sultanate and Mughal Bengal transformed the region into a cosmopolitan Islamic imperial power between the 14th and 18th centuries, the region was home to many principalities which had inland naval prowess. It was also a center of the worldwide muslin and silk trade. As part of British India, the region was influenced by the Bengali renaissance, the Partition of British India made East Bengal a part of the Dominion of Pakistan, and was renamed as East Pakistan. The region witnessed the Bengali Language Movement in 1952 and the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, after independence, a parliamentary republic was established. A presidential government was in place between 1975 and 1990, followed by a return to parliamentary democracy, the country has also been affected by poverty, natural disasters, hunger, dominant party systems and military coups. Bangladesh is a power and a major developing nation. Listed as one of the Next Eleven, it has the 46th largest economy and it is one of the largest textile exporters in the world. Its major trading partners are the European Union, the United States, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, with its strategically vital location between Southern, Eastern and Southeast Asia, Bangladesh is an important promoter of regional connectivity and cooperationBangladesh – Mahasthangarh is the oldest archaeological site in Bangladesh. It dates back to 700 BCE and was the ancient capital of the Pundra Kingdom
33. Dhaka – Dhaka is the capital and largest city of Bangladesh. It is one of the worlds most populated cities, with a population of 17 million people in the Greater Dhaka Area and it is also the 3rd most densely populated city in the world. Located in a district and division, it lies along the east bank of the Buriganga River in the heart of the Bengal delta. The city is a microcosm of the country, with diverse religious. Dhaka is the economic, cultural and political center of Bangladesh and its name was romanized as Dacca until the current spelling was adopted in 1983. It is the largest city in the Bengal region and it is also a major city of South Asia and among the OIC states. The old city of Dhaka was the Mughal capital of Bengal, the citys name was Jahangir Nagar in the 17th century. It was a commercial center and the hub of the worldwide muslin. The city hosted two important caravansaries of the subcontinent, the Bara Katra and Choto Katra, located on the riverfront of the Buriganga, the Mughals decorated the city with well-laid out gardens, tombs, mosques, palaces and forts. Dhaka became known as the City of Mosques in Bengal and it was also described as the Venice of the East. The old city was home to various Eurasian merchant groups, at the height of its medieval glory, Dhaka was regarded as one of the wealthiest and most prosperous cities in the world. It was central to the economy of Mughal Bengal, which generated 50% of Mughal GDP, modern Dhaka developed from the late 20th century under the administration of East Pakistan. Between 1905 and 1912, it was the capital of British Eastern Bengal, in 1947, after the region became known as Pakistan, it became the administrative capital of the eastern wing of Pakistan. It was declared as the capital of Pakistan in 1962. In 1971, it became the capital of an independent Bangladesh, the city has endured periods of famine, war and natural calamities. It continues to confront challenges faced by growing metropolises in developing countries, including poverty, Dhaka is home to thousands of Bangladeshi businesses and the offices of many international corporations. The Dhaka Stock Exchange is one of the largest in South Asia in terms of trading volume and it hosts several major arts festivals, including the annual Ekushey Book Fair, the Dhaka Literature Festival and the biannual Dhaka Art Summit. The city has the largest number of cycle rickshaws and is known as the Rickshaw Capital of the World, Dhakas highly popular cuisine features distinctive biryanis, kebabs and bakarkhanis as a legacy of its rule by the Mughals and the Nawabs of DhakaDhaka – 1. National Parliament 2. Motijheel financial district 3. Rose Garden 4. Khan Mohammad Mridha Mosque 5. Ramna 6. Supreme Court of Bangladesh 7. RAJUK Bhaban 8. Dhaka City Center
34. Egypt – Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba to the east, the Red Sea to the east and south, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, and across from the Sinai Peninsula lies Saudi Arabia, although Jordan and it is the worlds only contiguous Afrasian nation. Egypt has among the longest histories of any country, emerging as one of the worlds first nation states in the tenth millennium BC. Considered a cradle of civilisation, Ancient Egypt experienced some of the earliest developments of writing, agriculture, urbanisation, organised religion and central government. One of the earliest centres of Christianity, Egypt was Islamised in the century and remains a predominantly Muslim country. With over 92 million inhabitants, Egypt is the most populous country in North Africa and the Arab world, the third-most populous in Africa, and the fifteenth-most populous in the world. The great majority of its people live near the banks of the Nile River, an area of about 40,000 square kilometres, the large regions of the Sahara desert, which constitute most of Egypts territory, are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypts residents live in areas, with most spread across the densely populated centres of greater Cairo, Alexandria. Modern Egypt is considered to be a regional and middle power, with significant cultural, political, and military influence in North Africa, the Middle East and the Muslim world. Egypts economy is one of the largest and most diversified in the Middle East, Egypt is a member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Arab League, African Union, and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. Miṣr is the Classical Quranic Arabic and modern name of Egypt. The name is of Semitic origin, directly cognate with other Semitic words for Egypt such as the Hebrew מִצְרַיִם, the oldest attestation of this name for Egypt is the AkkadianEgypt – The Giza Necropolis is the oldest of the ancient Wonders and the only one still in existence.
35. Los Angeles – Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L. A. is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. With a census-estimated 2015 population of 3,971,883, it is the second-most populous city in the United States, Los Angeles is also the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated county in the United States. The citys inhabitants are referred to as Angelenos, historically home to the Chumash and Tongva, Los Angeles was claimed by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo for Spain in 1542 along with the rest of what would become Alta California. The city was founded on September 4,1781, by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve. It became a part of Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence, in 1848, at the end of the Mexican–American War, Los Angeles and the rest of California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, thereby becoming part of the United States. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4,1850, the discovery of oil in the 1890s brought rapid growth to the city. The completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, delivering water from Eastern California, nicknamed the City of Angels, Los Angeles is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, and sprawling metropolis. Los Angeles also has an economy in culture, media, fashion, science, sports, technology, education, medicine. A global city, it has been ranked 6th in the Global Cities Index, the city is home to renowned institutions covering a broad range of professional and cultural fields, and is one of the most substantial economic engines within the United States. The Los Angeles combined statistical area has a gross metropolitan product of $831 billion, making it the third-largest in the world, after the Greater Tokyo and New York metropolitan areas. The city has hosted the Summer Olympic Games in 1932 and 1984 and is bidding to host the 2024 Summer Olympics and thus become the second city after London to have hosted the Games three times. The Los Angeles area also hosted the 1994 FIFA mens World Cup final match as well as the 1999 FIFA womens World Cup final match, the mens event was watched on television by over 700 million people worldwide. The Los Angeles coastal area was first settled by the Tongva, a Gabrielino settlement in the area was called iyáangẚ, meaning poison oak place. Gaspar de Portolà and Franciscan missionary Juan Crespí, reached the present site of Los Angeles on August 2,1769, in 1771, Franciscan friar Junípero Serra directed the building of the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, the first mission in the area. The Queen of the Angels is an honorific of the Virgin Mary, two-thirds of the settlers were mestizo or mulatto with a mixture of African, indigenous and European ancestry. The settlement remained a small town for decades, but by 1820. Today, the pueblo is commemorated in the district of Los Angeles Pueblo Plaza and Olvera Street. New Spain achieved its independence from the Spanish Empire in 1821, during Mexican rule, Governor Pío Pico made Los Angeles Alta Californias regional capitalLos Angeles
36. Thailand – Thailand, officially the Kingdom of Thailand, formerly known as Siam, is a country at the centre of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia. With a total area of approximately 513,000 km2, Thailand is the worlds 51st-largest country and it is the 20th-most-populous country in the world, with around 66 million people. The capital and largest city is Bangkok, Thailand is a constitutional monarchy and has switched between parliamentary democracy and military junta for decades, the latest coup being in May 2014 by the National Council for Peace and Order. Its capital and most populous city is Bangkok and its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast, and Indonesia and India on the Andaman Sea to the southwest. The Thai economy is the worlds 20th largest by GDP at PPP and it became a newly industrialised country and a major exporter in the 1990s. Manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism are leading sectors of the economy and it is considered a middle power in the region and around the world. The country has always been called Mueang Thai by its citizens, by outsiders prior to 1949, it was usually known by the exonym Siam. The word Siam has been identified with the Sanskrit Śyāma, the names Shan and A-hom seem to be variants of the same word. The word Śyâma is possibly not its origin, but a learned, another theory is the name derives from Chinese, Ayutthaya emerged as a dominant centre in the late fourteenth century. The Chinese called this region Xian, which the Portuguese converted into Siam, the signature of King Mongkut reads SPPM Mongkut King of the Siamese, giving the name Siam official status until 24 June 1939 when it was changed to Thailand. Thailand was renamed Siam from 1945 to 11 May 1949, after which it reverted to Thailand. According to George Cœdès, the word Thai means free man in the Thai language, ratcha Anachak Thai means kingdom of Thailand or kingdom of Thai. Etymologically, its components are, ratcha, -ana- -chak, the Thai National Anthem, written by Luang Saranupraphan during the extremely patriotic 1930s, refers to the Thai nation as, prathet Thai. The first line of the anthem is, prathet thai ruam lueat nuea chat chuea thai, Thailand is the unity of Thai flesh. There is evidence of habitation in Thailand that has been dated at 40,000 years before the present. Similar to other regions in Southeast Asia, Thailand was heavily influenced by the culture and religions of India, Thailand in its earliest days was under the rule of the Khmer Empire, which had strong Hindu roots, and the influence among Thais remains even today. Voretzsch believes that Buddhism must have been flowing into Siam from India in the time of the Indian Emperor Ashoka of the Maurya Empire, later Thailand was influenced by the south Indian Pallava dynasty and north Indian Gupta Empire. The Menam Basin was originally populated by the Mons, and the location of Dvaravati in the 7th century, the History of the Yuan mentions an embassy from the kingdom of Sukhothai in 1282Thailand – The ruins of Wat Chaiwatthanaram at Ayutthaya.
37. Bangkok – Bangkok is the capital and most populous city of Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or simply Krung Thep. The city occupies 1,568.7 square kilometres in the Chao Phraya River delta in Central Thailand, over 14 million people live within the surrounding Bangkok Metropolitan Region, making Bangkok an extreme primate city, significantly dwarfing Thailands other urban centres in terms of importance. Bangkok was at the heart of the modernization of Siam—later renamed Thailand—during the late 19th century, the city grew rapidly during the 1960s through the 1980s and now exerts a significant impact on Thailands politics, economy, education, media and modern society. The Asian investment boom in the 1980s and 1990s led many multinational corporations to locate their headquarters in Bangkok. The city is now a regional force in finance and business. It is a hub for transport and health care, and has emerged as a regional centre for the arts, fashion. The city is known for its vibrant street life and cultural landmarks. The historic Grand Palace and Buddhist temples including Wat Arun and Wat Pho stand in contrast with other tourist attractions such as the scenes of Khaosan Road. Bangkok is among the top tourist destinations. It is named the most visited city in MasterCards Global Destination Cities Index, Bangkoks rapid growth amidst little urban planning and regulation has resulted in a haphazard cityscape and inadequate infrastructure systems. The city has turned to public transport in an attempt to solve this major problem. Five rapid transit lines are now in operation, with more systems under construction or planned by the national government and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. The history of Bangkok dates at least back to the early 15th century, because of its strategic location near the mouth of the river, the town gradually increased in importance. Bangkok initially served as a customs outpost with forts on both sides of the river, and became the site of a siege in 1688 in which the French were expelled from Siam. After the fall of Ayutthaya to the Burmese Empire in 1767, the newly declared King Taksin established his capital at the town, in 1782, King Phutthayotfa Chulalok succeeded Taksin, moved the capital to the eastern banks Rattanakosin Island, thus founding the Rattanakosin Kingdom. The City Pillar was erected on 21 April, which is regarded as the date of foundation of the present city, Bangkoks economy gradually expanded through busy international trade, first with China, then with Western merchants returning in the early-to-mid 19th century. As the capital, Bangkok was the centre of Siams modernization as it faced pressure from Western powers in the late 19th century, Bangkok became the centre stage for power struggles between the military and political elite as the country abolished absolute monarchy in 1932Bangkok – Clockwise from top: Wat Benchamabophit (Marble Temple), Giant Swing, Wat Arun, Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall, view over Lumpini Park area at night, and Wat Phra Kaeo
38. Kolkata – Kolkata /koʊlˈkɑːtɑː/ is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. In 2011, the city had a population of 4.5 million, while the population of the city and its suburbs was 14.1 million, making it the third-most populous metropolitan area in India. Recent estimates of Kolkata Metropolitan Areas economy have ranged from $60 to $150 billion making it third most-productive metropolitan area in India, after Mumbai, in the late 17th century, the three villages that predated Calcutta were ruled by the Nawab of Bengal under Mughal suzerainty. After the Nawab granted the East India Company a trading licence in 1690, Nawab Siraj ud-Daulah occupied Calcutta in 1756, and the East India Company retook it the following year. In 1793 the East India company was enough to abolish Nizamat. Calcutta was the centre for the Indian independence movement, it remains a hotbed of contemporary state politics, following Indian independence in 1947, Kolkata, which was once the centre of modern Indian education, science, culture, and politics, suffered several decades of economic stagnation. Many people from Kolkata—among them several Nobel laureates—have contributed to the arts, the sciences, Kolkata culture features idiosyncrasies that include distinctively close-knit neighbourhoods and freestyle intellectual exchanges. Though home to major cricketing venues and franchises, Kolkata differs from other Indian cities by giving importance to association football, there are several explanations about the etymology of this name, The term Kolikata is thought to be a variation of Kalikkhetrô, meaning Field of Kali. Similarly, it can be a variation of Kalikshetra, alternatively, the name may have been derived from the Bengali term kilkila, or flat area. The name may have its origin in the words khal meaning canal, followed by kaṭa, according to another theory, the area specialised in the production of quicklime or koli chun and coir or kata, hence, it was called Kolikata. The discovery and archaeological study of Chandraketugarh,35 kilometres north of Kolkata, Kolkatas recorded history began in 1690 with the arrival of the English East India Company, which was consolidating its trade business in Bengal. The area occupied by the city encompassed three villages, Kalikata, Gobindapur, and Sutanuti. Kalikata was a village, Sutanuti was a riverside weavers village. They were part of an estate belonging to the Mughal emperor and these rights were transferred to the East India Company in 1698. In 1712, the British completed the construction of Fort William, facing frequent skirmishes with French forces, the British began to upgrade their fortifications in 1756. The Nawab of Bengal, Siraj ud-Daulah, condemned the militarisation and his warning went unheeded, and the Nawab attacked, he captured Fort William which led to the killings of several East India company officials in the Black Hole of Calcutta. A force of Company soldiers and British troops led by Robert Clive recaptured the city the following year, declared a presidency city, Calcutta became the headquarters of the East India Company by 1772. In 1793, ruling power of the Nawabs were abolished and East India company took control of the cityKolkata – Clockwise from top: Victoria Memorial, St. Paul's Cathedral, central business district, Howrah Bridge, city tram line, Vidyasagar Bridge
39. Argentina – Argentina, officially the Argentine Republic, is a federal republic in the southern half of South America. With a mainland area of 2,780,400 km2, Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, the second largest in Latin America, and the largest Spanish-speaking one. The country is subdivided into provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires. The provinces and the capital have their own constitutions, but exist under a federal system, Argentina claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. The earliest recorded presence in the area of modern-day Argentina dates back to the Paleolithic period. The country has its roots in Spanish colonization of the region during the 16th century, Argentina rose as the successor state of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, a Spanish overseas viceroyalty founded in 1776. The country thereafter enjoyed relative peace and stability, with waves of European immigration radically reshaping its cultural. The almost-unparalleled increase in prosperity led to Argentina becoming the seventh wealthiest developed nation in the world by the early 20th century, Argentina retains its historic status as a middle power in international affairs, and is a prominent regional power in the Southern Cone and Latin America. Argentina has the second largest economy in South America, the third-largest in Latin America and is a member of the G-15 and it is the country with the second highest Human Development Index in Latin America with a rating of very high. Because of its stability, market size and growing high-tech sector, the description of the country by the word Argentina has to be found on a Venice map in 1536. In English the name Argentina probably comes from the Spanish language, however the naming itself is not Spanish, Argentina means in Italian of silver, silver coloured, probably borrowed from the Old French adjective argentine of silver > silver coloured already mentioned in the 12th century. The French word argentine is the form of argentin and derives of argent silver with the suffix -in. The Italian naming Argentina for the country implies Argentina Terra land of silver or Argentina costa coast of silver, in Italian, the adjective or the proper noun is often used in an autonomous way as a substantive and replaces it and it is said lArgentina. The name Argentina was probably first given by the Venitian and Genoese navigators, in Spanish and Portuguese, the words for silver are respectively plata and prata and of silver is said plateado and prateado. Argentina was first associated with the silver mountains legend, widespread among the first European explorers of the La Plata Basin. The first written use of the name in Spanish can be traced to La Argentina, a 1602 poem by Martín del Barco Centenera describing the region, the 1826 constitution included the first use of the name Argentine Republic in legal documents. The name Argentine Confederation was also used and was formalized in the Argentine Constitution of 1853. In 1860 a presidential decree settled the name as Argentine RepublicArgentina – The Cave of the Hands in Santa Cruz province, with indigenous artwork dating from 13,000–9,000 years ago
40. Greater Buenos Aires – Greater Buenos Aires is the urban agglomeration comprising the autonomous city of Buenos Aires and the adjacent 24 partidos over the Province of Buenos Aires. Thus, it does not constitute an administrative unit. The conurbation spreads south, west and north of Buenos Aires city, to the east, the River Plate serves as a natural boundary. The term is related to other expressions that are not necessarily well-defined, the Buenos Aires conurbation, the Greater Buenos Aires Agglomeration. The National Institute of Statistics and Censuses has defined Greater Buenos Aires, there are three main groups within the Buenos Aires Conurbation. The first two groups comprise the traditional conurbation, or the conurbation proper, the third group of six partidos is in process of becoming fully integrated with the rest. D. and Marcos, M. The social map of Greater Buenos Aires as empirical evidence of urban models, volume 11 Number 1, pp. 67–78, DOI10. 1353/lag.2012.0012 Keeling, D. Buenos Aires, Global Dreams, Local CrisisGreater Buenos Aires – Satellite image of Greater Buenos Aires at night
41. Iran – Iran, also known as Persia, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a sovereign state in Western Asia. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2, it is the second-largest country in the Middle East, with 82.8 million inhabitants, Iran is the worlds 17th-most-populous country. It is the country with both a Caspian Sea and an Indian Ocean coastline. The countrys central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, Tehran is the countrys capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center. Iran is the site of to one of the worlds oldest civilizations, the area was first unified by the Iranian Medes in 625 BC, who became the dominant cultural and political power in the region. The empire collapsed in 330 BC following the conquests of Alexander the Great, under the Sassanid Dynasty, Iran again became one of the leading powers in the world for the next four centuries. Beginning in 633 AD, Arabs conquered Iran and largely displaced the indigenous faiths of Manichaeism and Zoroastrianism by Islam, Iran became a major contributor to the Islamic Golden Age that followed, producing many influential scientists, scholars, artists, and thinkers. During the 18th century, Iran reached its greatest territorial extent since the Sassanid Empire, through the late 18th and 19th centuries, a series of conflicts with Russia led to significant territorial losses and the erosion of sovereignty. Popular unrest culminated in the Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1906, which established a monarchy and the countrys first legislative body. Following a coup instigated by the U. K. Growing dissent against foreign influence and political repression led to the 1979 Revolution, Irans rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 21 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the third-largest number in Asia and 11th-largest in the world. Iran is a member of the UN, ECO, NAM, OIC. Its political system is based on the 1979 Constitution which combines elements of a democracy with a theocracy governed by Islamic jurists under the concept of a Supreme Leadership. A multicultural country comprising numerous ethnic and linguistic groups, most inhabitants are Shia Muslims, the largest ethnic groups in Iran are the Persians, Azeris, Kurds and Lurs. Historically, Iran has been referred to as Persia by the West, due mainly to the writings of Greek historians who called Iran Persis, meaning land of the Persians. As the most extensive interactions the Ancient Greeks had with any outsider was with the Persians, however, Persis was originally referred to a region settled by Persians in the west shore of Lake Urmia, in the 9th century BC. The settlement was then shifted to the end of the Zagros Mountains. In 1935, Reza Shah requested the international community to refer to the country by its native name, opposition to the name change led to the reversal of the decision, and Professor Ehsan Yarshater, editor of Encyclopædia Iranica, propagated a move to use Persia and Iran interchangeablyIran – Cave painting in Doushe cave, Lorestan, Iran, 8th millennium BC
42. Turkey – Turkey, officially the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country in Eurasia, mainly in Anatolia in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. Turkey is a democratic, secular, unitary, parliamentary republic with a cultural heritage. The country is encircled by seas on three sides, the Aegean Sea is to the west, the Black Sea to the north, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. The Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles, Ankara is the capital while Istanbul is the countrys largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Approximately 70-80% of the countrys citizens identify themselves as ethnic Turks, other ethnic groups include legally recognised and unrecognised minorities. Kurds are the largest ethnic minority group, making up approximately 20% of the population, the area of Turkey has been inhabited since the Paleolithic by various ancient Anatolian civilisations, as well as Assyrians, Greeks, Thracians, Phrygians, Urartians and Armenians. After Alexander the Greats conquest, the area was Hellenized, a process continued under the Roman Empire. The Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm ruled Anatolia until the Mongol invasion in 1243, the empire reached the peak of its power in the 16th century, especially during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. During the war, the Ottoman government committed genocides against its Armenian, Assyrian, following the war, the conglomeration of territories and peoples that formerly comprised the Ottoman Empire was partitioned into several new states. Turkey is a member of the UN, an early member of NATO. Turkeys growing economy and diplomatic initiatives have led to its recognition as a regional power while her location has given it geopolitical, the name of Turkey is based on the ethnonym Türk. The first recorded use of the term Türk or Türük as an autonym is contained in the Old Turkic inscriptions of the Göktürks of Central Asia, the English name Turkey first appeared in the late 14th century and is derived from Medieval Latin Turchia. Similarly, the medieval Khazar Empire, a Turkic state on the shores of the Black. The medieval Arabs referred to the Mamluk Sultanate as al-Dawla al-Turkiyya, the Ottoman Empire was sometimes referred to as Turkey or the Turkish Empire among its European contemporaries. The Anatolian peninsula, comprising most of modern Turkey, is one of the oldest permanently settled regions in the world, various ancient Anatolian populations have lived in Anatolia, from at least the Neolithic period until the Hellenistic period. Many of these peoples spoke the Anatolian languages, a branch of the larger Indo-European language family, in fact, given the antiquity of the Indo-European Hittite and Luwian languages, some scholars have proposed Anatolia as the hypothetical centre from which the Indo-European languages radiated. The European part of Turkey, called Eastern Thrace, has also been inhabited since at least forty years ago. It is the largest and best-preserved Neolithic site found to date, the settlement of Troy started in the Neolithic Age and continued into the Iron AgeTurkey – Some henges at Göbekli Tepe were erected as far back as 12,000 BC, predating those of Stonehenge, England by almost ten millennia.
43. Istanbul – Istanbul, historically known as Constantinople and Byzantium, is the most populous city in Turkey and the countrys economic, cultural, and historic center. Istanbul is a city in Eurasia, straddling the Bosphorus strait between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. Its commercial and historical center lies on the European side and about a third of its population lives on the Asian side, the city is the administrative center of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, both hosting a population of around 14.7 million residents. Istanbul is one of the worlds most populous cities and ranks as the worlds 7th-largest city proper, founded under the name of Byzantion on the Sarayburnu promontory around 660 BCE, the city developed to become one of the most significant in history. After its reestablishment as Constantinople in 330 CE, it served as a capital for almost 16 centuries, during the Roman and Byzantine, the Latin. Overlooked for the new capital Ankara during the period, the city has since regained much of its prominence. The population of the city has increased tenfold since the 1950s, as migrants from across Anatolia have moved in, arts, music, film, and cultural festivals were established at the end of the 20th century and continue to be hosted by the city today. Infrastructure improvements have produced a complex transportation network, considered a global city, Istanbul has one of the fastest-growing metropolitan economies in the world. It hosts the headquarters of many Turkish companies and media outlets and accounts for more than a quarter of the gross domestic product. Hoping to capitalize on its revitalization and rapid expansion, Istanbul has bid for the Summer Olympics five times in twenty years, the first known name of the city is Byzantium, the name given to it at its foundation by Megarean colonists around 660 BCE. The name is thought to be derived from a personal name, ancient Greek tradition refers to a legendary king of that name as the leader of the Greek colonists. Modern scholars have hypothesized that the name of Byzas was of local Thracian or Illyrian origin. He also attempted to promote the name Nova Roma and its Greek version Νέα Ῥώμη Nea Romē, the use of Constantinople to refer to the city during the Ottoman period is now considered politically incorrect, even if not historically inaccurate, by Turks. By the 19th century, the city had acquired other names used by foreigners or Turks. Europeans used Constantinople to refer to the whole of the city, pera was used to describe the area between the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus, but Turks also used the name Beyoğlu. The name İstanbul is commonly held to derive from the Medieval Greek phrase εἰς τὴν Πόλιν and this reflected its status as the only major city in the vicinity. The importance of Constantinople in the Ottoman world was reflected by its Ottoman name Der Saadet meaning the gate to Prosperity in Ottoman. An alternative view is that the name evolved directly from the name Constantinople, with the first, a Turkish folk etymology traces the name to Islam bol plenty of Islam because the city was called Islambol or Islambul as the capital of the Islamic Ottoman EmpireIstanbul – Clockwise from top: View of Golden Horn between Galata and Seraglio Point including the historic areas; Maiden's Tower; a nostalgic tram on İstiklal Avenue; Levent business district with Dolmabahçe Palace; Ortaköy Mosque in front of the Bosphorus Bridge; and Hagia Sophia.
44. Lagos – Lagos /ˈleɪɡɒs/ is a city in the Nigerian state of Lagos. The city, with its conurbation, is the largest in Nigeria. It is one of the fastest growing in the world, Lagos is a major financial centre in Africa, the megacity has the highest GDP, and also houses one of the largest and busiest ports on the continent. Due to rapid urbanization, the city expanded to the west of the lagoon to include areas in the present day Lagos Mainland, Ajeromi-Ifelodun and Surulere. This led to the classification of Lagos into two main areas - the Island, which was the city of Lagos, before it expanded into the area known as the Mainland. Lagos, the capital of Nigeria since its amalgamation in 1914, however, the state capital was later moved to Ikeja in 1976, while the federal capital also moved to Abuja in 1991. This conurbation makes up 37% of Lagos States total land area, the exact population of Metropolitan Lagos is disputed, In the 2006 federal census data, the conurbation had a population of about 8 million people. However, the figure was disputed by the Lagos State Government, Lagos was originally inhabited by the Awori subgroup of the Yoruba people in the 15th century, who called it Oko. Under the leadership of the Oloye Olofin, the Awori moved to an island now called Iddo and then to the larger Lagos Island. In the 16th century, the Awori settlement was conquered by the Benin Empire and the became a Benin war-camp called Eko under Oba Orhogba. Eko is still the name for Lagos. Lagos, which means lakes, was a given to the settlement by the Portuguese. The present-day Lagos state has a percentage of Awori, who migrated to the area from Isheri along the Ogun river. Throughout history, it was home to a number of warring ethnic groups who had settled in the area. Following its early settlement by the Awori nobility, and its conquest by the Bini warlords of Benin, Portuguese explorer Rui de Sequeira visited the area in 1472, naming the area around the city Lago de Curamo. Another explanation is that Lagos was named for Lagos, Portugal—a maritime town which, in 1849, Britain appointed John Beecroft Consul of the Bights of Benin and Biafra, a position he held until his death in 1854. John Duncan was appointed Vice Consul and was located at Wydah, at the time of Beecrofts appointment, the Kingdom of Lagos was in the western part of the Consulate of the Bights of Benin and Biafra and was a key slave trading port. Oba Akitoye then signed the Treaty between Great Britain and Lagos abolishing slavery, the signing of the 1852 treaty ushered in the Consular Period in Lagos history wherein Britain provided military protection to LagosLagos – Clockwise from top: Victoria Island skyline from the Gulf of Guinea, Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge, Apapa Port, National Arts Theatre, Iganmu, The Ikeja City Mall, and The Lagos Island CBD.
45. Shenzhen – Shenzhen is a major city in Guangdong Province, China and one of the five largest and wealthiest cities of China. The city is located north of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and holds sub-provincial administrative status. Shenzhen was a town of 30,000 people on the route of the Kowloon–Canton Railway. That changed in 1979 when Shenzhen was promoted to city-status and in 1980 designated China’s first Special Economic Zone. According to the Government report for 2015, Shenzhen had transformed into a city with a population of 10,778,900, Shenzhen was one of the fastest-growing cities in the world during the 1990s and the 2000s. Shenzhen is a financial center in southern China. The city is home to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange as well as the headquarters of numerous high-tech companies, Shenzhen ranks 19th in the 2016 edition of the Global Financial Centres Index published by the Z/Yen Group and Qatar Financial Centre Authority. It also has one of the busiest container ports in the world, human habitation in Shenzhen dates back to ancient times. The earliest archaeological remains so far unearthed are shards from a site at Xiantouling on Dapeng Bay, from the Han dynasty onwards, the area around Shenzhen was a center of the salt monopoly, thus meriting special Imperial protection. Salt pans are still visible around the Pearl River area to the west of the city and are commemorated in the name of Yantian District, the settlement at Nantou was the political center of the area from early antiquity. In the year 331 AD, six counties covering most of modern southeastern Guangdong were merged into one province or “jun” named Dongguan with its center at Nantou. As well as being a center of the politically and fiscally critical salt trade, the main shipping route to India, Arabia and the Byzantine Empire started at Guangzhou. As early as the century, chronicles record the Nantou area as being a major commercial center. It was also as a defense center guarding the southern approaches to the Pearl River. Shenzhen was also involved in the surrounding the end of the Southern Song dynasty. The Imperial court, fleeing Kublai Khan’s forces, established itself in the Shenzhen area and he jumped off a cliff with Emperor Bing, aged 7, the last emperor of the Southern Song Dynasty strapped to his back, killing both. In the late 19th century the Chiu or Zhao clan in Hong Kong identified that Chiwan, the tomb, since restored, is still at the same location. Earliest known records that carried the name Shenzhen dates from 1410, local people called the drains in paddy fields “zhen”Shenzhen – Shenzhen 深圳市
46. Rio de Janeiro – Rio de Janeiro, or simply Rio, is the second-most populous municipality in Brazil and the sixth-most populous in the Americas. The metropolis is anchor to the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area, Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazils third-most populous state. Part of the city has designated as a World Heritage Site, named Rio de Janeiro. Founded in 1565 by the Portuguese, the city was initially the seat of the Captaincy of Rio de Janeiro, later, in 1763, it became the capital of the State of Brazil, a state of the Portuguese Empire. Rio stayed the capital of the pluricontinental Lusitanian monarchy until 1822 and this is one of the few instances in history that the capital of a colonising country officially shifted to a city in one of its colonies. Rio de Janeiro has the second largest municipal GDP in the country, the home of many universities and institutes, it is the second-largest center of research and development in Brazil, accounting for 17% of national scientific output according to 2005 data. The Maracanã Stadium held the finals of the 1950 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, the city is divided into 33 administrative regions. Europeans first encountered Guanabara Bay on 1 January 1502, by a Portuguese expedition under explorer Gaspar de Lemos captain of a ship in Pedro Álvares Cabrals fleet, allegedly the Florentine explorer Amerigo Vespucci participated as observer at the invitation of King Manuel I in the same expedition. The region of Rio was inhabited by the Tupi, Puri, Botocudo, in 1555, one of the islands of Guanabara Bay, now called Villegagnon Island, was occupied by 500 French colonists under the French admiral Nicolas Durand de Villegaignon. Consequently, Villegagnon built Fort Coligny on the island when attempting to establish the France Antarctique colony, Rio de Janeiro was the name of Guanabara Bay. Until early in the 18th century, the city was threatened or invaded by several, mostly French, pirates and buccaneers, such as Jean-François Duclerc, on 27 January 1763, the colonial administration in Portuguese America was moved from Salvador to Rio de Janeiro. The kingdoms capital was transferred to the city, which, thus, as there was no physical space or urban structure to accommodate hundreds of noblemen who arrived suddenly, many inhabitants were simply evicted from their homes. The first printed newspaper in Brazil, the Gazeta do Rio de Janeiro, from the colonial period until the first independent decades, Rio de Janeiro was a city of slaves. There was an influx of African slaves to Rio de Janeiro, in 1819. In 1840, the number of slaves reached 220,000 people, the Port of Rio de Janeiro was the largest port of slaves in America. As a political center of the country, Rio concentrated the political-partisan life of the Empire and it was the main stage of the abolitionist and republican movements in the last half of the 19th century. Rio continued as the capital of Brazil after 1889, when the monarchy was replaced by a republic, until the early years of the 20th century, the city was largely limited to the neighbourhood now known as the historic city centre, on the mouth of Guanabara Bay. Expansion of the city to the north and south was facilitated by the consolidation and electrification of Rios streetcar transit system after 1905, though many thought that it was just campaign rhetoric, Kubitschek managed to have Brasília built, at great cost, by 1960Rio de Janeiro – From the top, left to right: Christ the Redeemer, Botafogo's cove, Rio Downtown, Rio–Niterói bridge, Maracanã Stadium, and panoramic view of Barra da Tijuca from Pedra da Gávea
47. Democratic Republic of the Congo – The Democratic Republic of the Congo, also known as DR Congo, DRC, DROC, East Congo, Congo-Kinshasa, or simply the Congo is a country located in Central Africa. From 1971 to 1997 it was named, and is still called, Zaire. It is the second-largest country in Africa by area and eleventh largest in the world, the Congolese Civil Wars, which began in 1996, brought about the end of Mobutu Sese Sekos 32-year reign and devastated the country. These wars ultimately involved nine African nations, multiple groups of UN peacekeepers and twenty armed groups, besides the capital, Kinshasa, the other major cities, Lubumbashi and Mbuji-Mayi, are both mining communities. DR Congos largest export is raw minerals, with China accepting over 50% of DRCs exports in 2012, as of 2015, according to the Human Development Index, DR Congo has a low level of human development, ranking 176 out of 187 countries. The country was known officially as the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 1965 to 27 October 1971, in 1992, the Sovereign National Conference voted to change the name of the country to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but the change was not put into practice. The countrys name was restored by former president Laurent-Désiré Kabila following the fall of longtime dictator Mobutu Sese Seko in 1997, some historians think that Bantu peoples began settling in the extreme northwest of Central Africa at the beginning of the 5th century and then gradually started to expand southward. Their propagation was accelerated by the transition from Stone Age to Iron Age techniques, the people living in the south and southwest were mostly San Bushmen and hunter-gatherer groups, whose technology involved only minimal use of metal technologies. The development of tools during this time period revolutionized agriculture. This led to the displacement of the groups in the east and southeast. The 10th century marked the expansion of the Bantu in West-Central Africa. Rising populations soon made intricate local, regional and foreign commercial networks that traded mostly in salt, iron. Belgian exploration and administration took place from the 1870s until the 1920s and it was first led by Sir Henry Morton Stanley, who undertook his explorations under the sponsorship of King Leopold II of Belgium. The eastern regions of the precolonial Congo were heavily disrupted by constant slave raiding, mainly from Arab–Swahili slave traders such as the infamous Tippu Tip, Leopold had designs on what was to become the Congo as a colony. Leopold formally acquired rights to the Congo territory at the Conference of Berlin in 1885 and he named it the Congo Free State. Leopolds rėgime began various infrastructure projects, such as construction of the railway ran from the coast to the capital of Leopoldville. Nearly all such projects were aimed at making it easier to increase the assets which Leopold. In the Free State, colonists brutalized the local population into producing rubber, for which the spread of automobiles, rubber sales made a fortune for Leopold, who built several buildings in Brussels and Ostend to honor himself and his countryDemocratic Republic of the Congo – Village attacked by Arab-Swahili slavers near Nyangwe, end of 19th century
48. Kinshasa – Kinshasa is the capital and the largest city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is on the Congo River, once a site of fishing villages, Kinshasa is now an urban area with a 2014 population of over 11 million. It faces Brazzaville, the capital of the neighbouring Republic of the Congo, the city of Kinshasa is also one of the DRCs 26 provinces. Kinshasa is Africas third-largest urban area after Cairo and Lagos, Kinshasa hosted the 14th Francophonie Summit in October 2012. Residents of Kinshasa are known as Kinois or Kinshasans, the aboriginal people are called Humbu and Teke. The city was founded as a trading post by Henry Morton Stanley in 1881. It was named Léopoldville in honour of King Leopold II of Belgium, the post flourished as the first navigable port on the Congo River above Livingstone Falls, a series of rapids over 300 kilometres below Leopoldville. At first, all arriving by sea or being sent by sea had to be carried by porters between Léopoldville and Matadi, the port below the rapids and 150 km from the coast. The completion of the Matadi-Kinshasa portage railway, in 1898, provided a route around the rapids. In 1914, a pipeline was installed so that oil could be transported from Matadi to the upriver steamers in Leopoldville. By 1923, the city was elevated to capital of the Belgian Congo, the town, nicknamed Léo or Leopold, became a commercial centre and grew rapidly during the colonial period. In 1965, Joseph-Désiré Mobutu seized power in the Congo in his coup and initiated a policy of Africanizing the names of people. In 1966, Léopoldville was renamed Kinshasa, for a village named Kinchassa that once stood near the site, the city grew rapidly under Mobutu, drawing people from across the country who came in search of their fortunes or to escape ethnic strife elsewhere. This inevitably brought a change to the ethnic and linguistic composition. In the 1990s, an uprising began, which, by 1997, had brought down the regime of Mobutu. Kinshasa suffered greatly from Mobutus excesses, mass corruption, nepotism, nevertheless, it is still a major cultural and intellectual centre for Central Africa, with a flourishing community of musicians and artists. It is also the major industrial centre, processing many of the natural products brought from the interior. The city has recently had to fend off rioting soldiers, who were protesting the failure to pay themKinshasa – City Centre
49. France – France, officially the French Republic, is a country with territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The European, or metropolitan, area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, Overseas France include French Guiana on the South American continent and several island territories in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. France spans 643,801 square kilometres and had a population of almost 67 million people as of January 2017. It is a unitary republic with the capital in Paris. Other major urban centres include Marseille, Lyon, Lille, Nice, Toulouse, during the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by the Gauls, a Celtic people. The area was annexed in 51 BC by Rome, which held Gaul until 486, France emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages, with its victory in the Hundred Years War strengthening state-building and political centralisation. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a colonial empire was established. The 16th century was dominated by civil wars between Catholics and Protestants. France became Europes dominant cultural, political, and military power under Louis XIV, in the 19th century Napoleon took power and established the First French Empire, whose subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and later dissolved in the course of the Algerian War, the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, was formed in 1958 and remains to this day. Algeria and nearly all the colonies became independent in the 1960s with minimal controversy and typically retained close economic. France has long been a centre of art, science. It hosts Europes fourth-largest number of cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites and receives around 83 million foreign tourists annually, France is a developed country with the worlds sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, France remains a great power in the world, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a member state of the European Union and the Eurozone. It is also a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, originally applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name France comes from the Latin Francia, or country of the FranksFrance – One of the Lascaux paintings: a horse – Dordogne, approximately 18,000 BC
50. Paris – Paris is the capital and most populous city of France. It has an area of 105 square kilometres and a population of 2,229,621 in 2013 within its administrative limits, the agglomeration has grown well beyond the citys administrative limits. By the 17th century, Paris was one of Europes major centres of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts, and it retains that position still today. The aire urbaine de Paris, a measure of area, spans most of the Île-de-France region and has a population of 12,405,426. It is therefore the second largest metropolitan area in the European Union after London, the Metropole of Grand Paris was created in 2016, combining the commune and its nearest suburbs into a single area for economic and environmental co-operation. Grand Paris covers 814 square kilometres and has a population of 7 million persons, the Paris Region had a GDP of €624 billion in 2012, accounting for 30.0 percent of the GDP of France and ranking it as one of the wealthiest regions in Europe. The city is also a rail, highway, and air-transport hub served by two international airports, Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly. Opened in 1900, the subway system, the Paris Métro. It is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro, notably, Paris Gare du Nord is the busiest railway station in the world outside of Japan, with 262 millions passengers in 2015. In 2015, Paris received 22.2 million visitors, making it one of the top tourist destinations. The association football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français are based in Paris, the 80, 000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located just north of Paris in the neighbouring commune of Saint-Denis. Paris hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros, Paris hosted the 1900 and 1924 Summer Olympics and is bidding to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. The name Paris is derived from its inhabitants, the Celtic Parisii tribe. Thus, though written the same, the name is not related to the Paris of Greek mythology. In the 1860s, the boulevards and streets of Paris were illuminated by 56,000 gas lamps, since the late 19th century, Paris has also been known as Panam in French slang. Inhabitants are known in English as Parisians and in French as Parisiens and they are also pejoratively called Parigots. The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, inhabited the Paris area from around the middle of the 3rd century BC. One of the areas major north-south trade routes crossed the Seine on the île de la Cité, this place of land and water trade routes gradually became a townParis – In the 1860s Paris streets and monuments were illuminated by 56,000 gas lamps, making it literally "The City of Light."
51. Peru – Peru, officially the Republic of Peru, is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, and in the west by the Pacific Ocean. Peruvian territory was home to ancient cultures spanning from the Norte Chico civilization in Caral, one of the oldest in the world, to the Inca Empire, the largest state in Pre-Columbian America. The Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century and established a Viceroyalty with its capital in Lima, ideas of political autonomy later spread throughout Spanish America and Peru gained its independence, which was formally proclaimed in 1821. After the battle of Ayacucho, three years after proclamation, Peru ensured its independence, subsequently, the country has undergone changes in government from oligarchic to democratic systems. Peru has gone through periods of political unrest and internal conflict as well as periods of stability, Peru is a representative democratic republic divided into 25 regions. It is a country with a high Human Development Index score. Its main economic activities include mining, manufacturing, agriculture and fishing, the Peruvian population, estimated at 31.2 million in 2015, is multiethnic, including Amerindians, Europeans, Africans and Asians. The main spoken language is Spanish, although a significant number of Peruvians speak Quechua or other native languages and this mixture of cultural traditions has resulted in a wide diversity of expressions in fields such as art, cuisine, literature, and music. The name of the country may be derived from Birú, the name of a ruler who lived near the Bay of San Miguel, Panama. When his possessions were visited by Spanish explorers in 1522, they were the southernmost part of the New World yet known to Europeans, thus, when Francisco Pizarro explored the regions farther south, they came to be designated Birú or Perú. An alternative history is provided by the contemporary writer Inca Garcilasco de la Vega, son of an Inca princess, the Spanish Crown gave the name legal status with the 1529 Capitulación de Toledo, which designated the newly encountered Inca Empire as the province of Peru. Under Spanish rule, the country adopted the denomination Viceroyalty of Peru, the earliest evidences of human presence in Peruvian territory have been dated to approximately 9,000 BC. Andean societies were based on agriculture, using such as irrigation and terracing, camelid husbandry. Organization relied on reciprocity and redistribution because these societies had no notion of market or money, the oldest known complex society in Peru, the Norte Chico civilization, flourished along the coast of the Pacific Ocean between 3,000 and 1,800 BC. These early developments were followed by archaeological cultures that developed mostly around the coastal, the Cupisnique culture which flourished from around 1000 to 200 BC along what is now Perus Pacific Coast was an example of early pre-Incan culture. The Chavín culture that developed from 1500 to 300 BC was probably more of a religious than a political phenomenon, on the coast, these included the civilizations of the Paracas, Nazca, Wari, and the more outstanding Chimu and Mochica. Their capital was at Chan Chan outside of modern-day Trujillo, in the 15th century, the Incas emerged as a powerful state which, in the span of a century, formed the largest empire in pre-Columbian America with their capital in CuscoPeru – Sculpted Chavin head embedded in one of the walls of the temple of Chavín de Huantar
52. Lima – Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the coastal part of the country. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms an urban area known as the Lima Metropolitan Area. With a population of almost 10 million, Lima is the most populous area of Peru. Lima was founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro on January 18,1535 and it became the capital and most important city in the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru. Following the Peruvian War of Independence, it became the capital of the Republic of Peru, around one-third of the national population lives in the metropolitan area. Lima is home to one of the oldest higher-learning institutions in the New World, the National University of San Marcos, founded on May 12,1551 during the Spanish colonial regime, is the oldest continuously functioning university in the Americas. In October 2013 Lima was chosen to host the 2019 Pan American Games and it also hosted the December 2014 United Nations Climate Change Conference and the Miss Universe 1982 pageant. In October 2015 Lima hosted the 2015 Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group, according to early Spanish articles the Lima area was once called Itchyma, after its original inhabitants. However, even before the Inca occupation of the area in the 15th century and this oracle was eventually destroyed by the Spanish and replaced with a church, but the name persisted, the chronicles show Límac replacing Ychma as the common name for the area. Modern scholars speculate that the word Lima originated as the Spanish pronunciation of the native name Limaq, linguistic evidence seems to support this theory as spoken Spanish consistently rejects stop consonants in word-final position. Non-Peruvian Spanish speakers may mistakenly define the city name as the direct Spanish translation of lime, the city was founded in 1535 under the name City of the Kings because its foundation was decided on January 6, date of the feast of the Epiphany. This name quickly fell into disuse and Lima became the name of choice, on the oldest Spanish maps of Peru. The river that feeds Lima is called Rímac and many people assume that this is because its original Inca name is Talking River. However, the inhabitants of the valley were not Incas. This name is an innovation arising from an effort by the Cuzco nobility in colonial times to standardize the toponym so that it would conform to the phonology of Cuzco Quechua, later, as the original inhabitants died out and the local Quechua became extinct, the Cuzco pronunciation prevailed. Nowadays, Spanish-speaking locals do not see the connection between the name of their city and the name of the river runs through it. They often assume that the valley is named after the river, however, historically, the Flag of Lima has been known as the «Banner of Perus Kings City»Lima – Collage of Lima
53. Chengdu – Chengdu, formerly romanized as Chengtu, is a sub-provincial city which has served as capital of Chinas Sichuan province. It is one of the three most populous cities in Western China, as of 2014 the administrative area houses 14,427,500 inhabitants, with an urban population of 10,152,632. At the time of the 2010 census, Chengdu was the 5th-most populous agglomeration in China, with 10,484,996 inhabitants in the area including Xinjin County. The surrounding Chengdu Plain is also known as the Country of Heaven and its prehistoric settlers included the Sanxingdui culture. It was the capital of Liu Beis Shu during the Three Kingdoms Era, after the fall of Nanjing to the Japanese in 1937, Chengdu briefly served as the capital of China. It is now one of the most important economic, financial, commercial, cultural, transportation, Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is one of the 30 busiest airports in the world, and Chengdu Railway Station is one of the six biggest in China. Chengdu also hosts many international companies and more than 12 consulates, more than 260 Fortune 500 companies have established branches in Chengdu. In 2006, China Daily named it Chinas 4th-most-livable city, the name Chengdu is attested in sources going back to shortly after its founding. The present spelling is based on pinyin romanization, its Postal Map romanization was Chengtu and its former status as the seat of the Chengdu Prefecture prompted Marco Polos spellings Sindafu, Sin-din-fu, &c. and the Protestant missionaries romanization Ching-too Foo. Although the official name of the city has remained constant, the area has sometimes taken other names. The city logo adopted in 2011 is inspired by the Golden Sun Bird excavated from the Jinsha Ruins, archaeological discoveries at the Sanxingdui and Jinsha sites have established that the area surrounding Chengdu was inhabited over four thousand years ago. At the time of Chinas Xia, Shang, and Zhou dynasties, in the early 4th century BC, the ninth king of Shus Kaiming dynasty relocated from nearby Pi County, giving his new capital the name Chengdu. Shu was conquered by Qin in 316 BC and the settlement refounded by the Qin general Zhang Yi, under the Han, the brocade produced at Chengdu became fashionable and was exported throughout China. A Brocade Official was established to oversee its quality and supply, after the fall of the Eastern Han, Liu Bei ruled Shu, the southwestern of the Three Kingdoms, from Chengdu. His minister Zhuge Liang called the area the Land of Abundance, under the Tang, Chengdu was considered the second most prosperous city in China after Yangzhou. Both Li Bai and Du Fu lived in the city, Li Bai praised it as lying above the empyrean. The citys present Caotang was constructed in 1078 in honor of an earlier, more humble structure of that name erected by Du Fu in 760, the Taoist Qingyang Gong was built in the 9th century. Chengdu was the capital of Wang Jians Former Shu from 907 to 925, the Later Shu was founded by Meng Zhixiang in 934, with its capital at ChengduChengdu – Clockwise from top: Anshun Bridge, Jinli, Chengdu Panda Base, and Sichuan University.
54. United Kingdom – The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom or Britain, is a sovereign country in western Europe. Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, the United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland, with an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world and the 11th-largest in Europe. It is also the 21st-most populous country, with an estimated 65.1 million inhabitants, together, this makes it the fourth-most densely populated country in the European Union. The United Kingdom is a monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. The monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 6 February 1952, other major urban areas in the United Kingdom include the regions of Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester. The United Kingdom consists of four countries—England, Scotland, Wales, the last three have devolved administrations, each with varying powers, based in their capitals, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, respectively. The relationships among the countries of the UK have changed over time, Wales was annexed by the Kingdom of England under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. A treaty between England and Scotland resulted in 1707 in a unified Kingdom of Great Britain, which merged in 1801 with the Kingdom of Ireland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, there are fourteen British Overseas Territories. These are the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, British influence can be observed in the language, culture and legal systems of many of its former colonies. The United Kingdom is a country and has the worlds fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP. The UK is considered to have an economy and is categorised as very high in the Human Development Index. It was the worlds first industrialised country and the worlds foremost power during the 19th, the UK remains a great power with considerable economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence internationally. It is a nuclear weapons state and its military expenditure ranks fourth or fifth in the world. The UK has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946 and it has been a leading member state of the EU and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. However, on 23 June 2016, a referendum on the UKs membership of the EU resulted in a decision to leave. The Acts of Union 1800 united the Kingdom of Great Britain, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have devolved self-governmentUnited Kingdom – Stonehenge, in Wiltshire, was erected around 2500 BC.
55. Greater London Built-up Area – It is the largest urban area in the United Kingdom with a population of 9,787,426 in 2011. The Greater London Built-up or Urban Area had a population of 9,787,426, outside the regions administrative boundary, it includes contiguous suburban settlements and a few densely populated outliers connected to it by ribbon development. Its outer boundary is constrained by the Metropolitan Green Belt and it is much smaller than the wider metropolitan area of London. The built-up area of the Greater London region continues beyond the administrative boundary in some places. For this reason, the density of the Greater London Built-Up Area is 8. 3% higher than that of Greater London, all of both areas is drained ultimately by the River Thames. The area uses around 4 GigaWatts of electricity power, at the time of the 2011 Census, the Office for National Statistics defined the Greater London Urban Area as being made up of the following components. The Greater London region consists of 33 districts, the City of London, the 12 Inner London boroughs, the following areas were considered Built-up areas in the 2011 census but lay outside the Greater London Built-up Area although they lay inside Greater London. All of these areas had populations of less than a thousand except New Addington, however, the boundaries are not identical and outlying areas such as Biggin Hill in Bromley are omitted. List of urban areas in the United Kingdom London commuter beltGreater London Built-up Area – A labelled map of the Greater London Built-up Area
56. Nagoya – Nagoya is the largest city in the Chūbu region of Japan. It is Japans third-largest incorporated city and the fourth most populous urban area and it is located on the Pacific coast on central Honshu. It is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japans major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba and it is also the center of Japans third-largest metropolitan region, known as the Chūkyō Metropolitan Area. As of 2015,2.28 million people lived in the city, the citys name was historically written as 那古野 or 名護屋. One possible origin is the adjective nagoyaka, meaning peaceful, the name Chūkyō is also used to refer to Nagoya. Notable examples of the use of the name Chūkyō include the Chūkyō Industrial Area, Chūkyō Metropolitan Area, Chūkyō Television Broadcasting, Chukyo University, oda Nobunaga and his protégés Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu were powerful warlords based in the Nagoya area who gradually succeeded in unifying Japan. In 1610, Tokugawa Ieyasu moved the capital of Owari Province from Kiyosu, about seven kilometers away, during this period Nagoya Castle was constructed, built partly from materials taken from Kiyosu Castle. During the construction, the town around Kiyosu Castle, consisting of around 60,000 people. Around the same time, the nearby ancient Atsuta Shrine was designated as a waystation, called Miya, on the important Tōkaidō road, a town developed around the temple to support travelers. The castle and shrine towns formed the city, during the Meiji Restoration Japans provinces were restructured into prefectures and the government changed from family to bureaucratic rule. Nagoya was proclaimed a city on October 1,1889, and designated a city on September 1,1956, Nagoya became an industrial hub for the region. Its economic sphere included the famous pottery towns of Tokoname, Tajimi and Seto, as well as Okazaki, other industries included cotton and complex mechanical dolls called karakuri ningyō. Mitsubishi Aircraft Company was established in 1920 in Nagoya and became one of the largest aircraft manufacturers in Japan, the availability of space and the central location of the region and the well-established connectivity were some of the major factors that lead to the establishment of the aviation industry there. Nagoya was the target of US air raids during World War II, the population of Nagoya at this time was estimated to be 1.5 million, fourth among Japanese cities and one of the three largest centers of the Japanese aircraft industry. It was estimated that 25% of its workers were engaged in aircraft production, important Japanese aircraft targets were within the city itself, while others were to the north of Kagamigahara. It was estimated that produced between 40% and 50% of Japanese combat aircraft and engines, such as the vital Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter. The Nagoya area also produced machine tools, bearings, railway equipment, metal alloys, tanks, motor vehicles, the bombing continued through the spring of 1945, and included large-scale firebombing. Nagoya was the target of two of Bomber Command’s attacks and these incendiary attacks, one by day and one by night, devastated 15.3 square kilometresNagoya – The Great Atsuta Shrine, which dates back to c. 100 CE and houses the holy sword Kusanagi, one of the imperial regalia of Japan
57. Lahore – Lahore is the capital city of the Pakistani province of Punjab. It is the second most populous city in Pakistan and the 32nd most populous city in the world, the city is located in the north-eastern end of Pakistans Punjab province, near the border with the Indian state of Punjab. Lahore is ranked as a world city, and is one of Pakistans wealthiest cities with an estimated GDP of $58.14 billion as of 2014. Lahore is the cultural centre of the Punjab region, and is the largest Punjabi city in the world. The city has a history, and was once under the rule of the Hindu Shahis, Ghaznavids, Ghurids. Lahore reached the height of its splendour under the Mughal Empire, the city was captured by the forces of Persian Safavid Emperor Nader Shah during his invasion of the Mughal Empire. The city was contested between different powers before it became capital of the Sikh Empire, and then the capital of the Punjab under British rule. Following the independence of Pakistan in 1947, Lahore became the capital of Pakistans Punjab province, Lahore is one of Pakistans most liberal, and cosmopolitan cities. It exerts a strong influence over Pakistan. Lahore is a centre for Pakistans publishing industry, and remains the foremost centre of Pakistans literary scene. The city is also a centre of education in Pakistan. Lahore is also home to Pakistans film industry, Lollywood, and is a centre of Qawwali music. The city is much of Pakistans tourist industry, with major attractions including the old Walled City. Lahore is also home to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Lahore Fort, the etymology of Lahore is uncertain, but according to legend the city was once known as Lavapura, in honour of Prince Lava of the Hindu epic poem, the Ramayana. Lahore Fort also contains a vacant Lava temple, dedicated to the founder of the city. Lahore was called by different names throughout history, to date there is no conclusive evidence as to when it was founded. Lahore is described as a Hindu principality in the Rajput accounts, keneksen, the founder of Suryavansha, is believed to have migrated out from the city. The Solanki tribe, belonging to Amukhara Pattan, which included the Bhatti Rajputs of Jaisalmer, Lahore appears as the capital of the Punjab for the first time under Anandapala – the Hindu Shahi king who is referred to as the ruler of –after leaving the earlier capital of WaihindLahore – Clockwise from left: Lahore Fort, Minar e Pakistan, Wapda House Quaid-e-Azam Library and Badshahi Mosque
58. Chennai – Chennai /ˈtʃɛnnaɪ/, formerly known as Madras /məˈdrɑːs/ or /-ˈdræs/) is the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, it is one of the biggest cultural, economic, according to the 2011 Indian census, it is the sixth-largest city and fourth-most populous urban agglomeration in India. The city together with the adjoining regions constitute the Chennai Metropolitan Area, Chennai is among the most visited Indian cities by foreign tourists. It was ranked 43rd most visited city in the world for year 2015, the Quality of Living Survey rated Chennai as the safest city in India. Chennai attracts 45 percent of tourists visiting India, and 30 to 40 percent of domestic health tourists. As such, it is termed Indias health capital, as a growing metropolitan city in a developing country, Chennai confronts substantial pollution and other logistical and socio-economic problems. Chennai has the third-largest expatriate population in India at 35,000 in 2009,82,790 in 2011, tourism guide publisher Lonely Planet named Chennai as one of the top ten cities in the world to visit in 2015. Chennai is ranked as a city in the Global Cities Index and was ranked the best city in India by India Today in the 2014 annual Indian city survey. In 2015 Chennai was named the hottest city by the BBC, National Geographic ranked Chennais food as second best in the world, it was the only Indian city to feature in the list. Chennai was also named the ninth-best cosmopolitan city in the world by Lonely Planet, the Chennai Metropolitan Area is one of the largest city economies of India. Chennai is nicknamed The Detroit of India, with more than one-third of Indias automobile industry being based in the city, in January 2015, it was ranked third in terms of per capita GDP. Chennai has been selected as one of the 100 Indian cities to be developed as a city under PM Narendra Modis flagship Smart Cities Mission. The name Madras originated even before the British presence was established in India, the name Madras is said to have originated from a Portuguese phrase mae de Deus which means mother of god, due to Portuguese influence on the port city. According to some sources, Madras was derived from Madraspattinam, a north of Fort St George. However, it is whether the name was in use before the arrival of Europeans. The British military mapmakers believed Madras was originally Mundir-raj or Mundiraj, Madras might have also been derived from the word Madhuras meaning juice of honey or sugarcane in Sanskrit. The nativity of name Chennai, being of Telugu origin is clearly proved by the historians. The first official use of the name Chennai is said to be in a deed, dated 8 August 1639Chennai – Clockwise from top right: Chennai Central, Marina Beach, Madras High Court, TIDEL Park, Ripon Building, San Thome Basilica, Kapaleeshwarar Temple, Classical dance Bharata Natyam and Valluvar Kottam.
59. Bangalore – Bangalore /bæŋɡəˈlɔːr/, officially known as Bengaluru, is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka. It has a population of about 8.42 million and a population of about 8.52 million, making it the third most populous city. It is located in southern India on the Deccan Plateau and its elevation is over 900 m above sea level, the highest of Indias major cities. In 1638, the Marāthās conquered and ruled Bangalore for almost 50 years, after which the Mughals captured and it was captured by the British after victory in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War, who returned administrative control of the city to the Maharaja of Mysore. The old city developed in the dominions of the Maharaja of Mysore and was capital of the Princely State of Mysore. In 1809, the British shifted their cantonment to Bangalore, outside the old city, and a grew up around it. Following Indias independence in 1947, Bangalore became the capital of Mysore State, the two urban settlements of Bangalore – city and cantonment – which had developed as independent entities merged into a single urban centre in 1949. The existing Kannada name, Bengalūru, was declared the name of the city in 2006. Bangalore is sometimes referred to as the Silicon Valley of India because of its role as the leading information technology exporter. Indian technological organisations ISRO, Infosys, Wipro and HAL are headquartered in the city, a demographically diverse city, Bangalore is the second fastest-growing major metropolis in India. Numerous state-owned aerospace and defence organisations, such as Bharat Electronics, Hindustan Aeronautics, the city also houses the Kannada film industry. The name Bangalore represents a version of the Kannada language name. It is the name of a village near kodegehalli and was copied by Kempegowda to the city of Bangalore, Bangalore was built on a venue earlier called as Shivanasamudram in the 16th century. The earliest reference to the name Bengalūru was found in a ninth-century Western Ganga Dynasty stone inscription on a vīra gallu, in this inscription found in Begur, Bengalūrū is referred to as a place in which a battle was fought in 890 CE. It states that the place was part of the Ganga Kingdom until 1004 and was known as Bengaval-uru, an apocryphal story recounts that the 12th century Hoysala king Veera Ballala II, while on a hunting expedition, lost his way in the forest. Tired and hungry, he came across an old woman who served him boiled beans. The grateful king named the place benda-kaal-uru, which evolved into Bengalūru. On 11 December 2005, the Government of Karnataka announced that it had accepted a proposal by Jnanpith Award winner U. R. Ananthamurthy to rename Bangalore to Bengalūru, on 27 September 2006, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike passed a resolution to implement the proposed name changeBangalore – Clockwise from top: UB City, Infosys, Glass house at Lal Bagh, Vidhana Soudha, Shiva statue, Bagmane Tech Park ii
60. Chicago – Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the third-most populous city in the United States. With over 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the state of Illinois, and it is the county seat of Cook County. In 2012, Chicago was listed as a global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Chicago has the third-largest gross metropolitan product in the United States—about $640 billion according to 2015 estimates, the city has one of the worlds largest and most diversified economies with no single industry employing more than 14% of the workforce. In 2016, Chicago hosted over 54 million domestic and international visitors, landmarks in the city include Millennium Park, Navy Pier, the Magnificent Mile, Art Institute of Chicago, Museum Campus, the Willis Tower, Museum of Science and Industry, and Lincoln Park Zoo. Chicagos culture includes the arts, novels, film, theater, especially improvisational comedy. Chicago also has sports teams in each of the major professional leagues. The city has many nicknames, the best-known being the Windy City, the name Chicago is derived from a French rendering of the Native American word shikaakwa, known to botanists as Allium tricoccum, from the Miami-Illinois language. The first known reference to the site of the current city of Chicago as Checagou was by Robert de LaSalle around 1679 in a memoir, henri Joutel, in his journal of 1688, noted that the wild garlic, called chicagoua, grew abundantly in the area. In the mid-18th century, the area was inhabited by a Native American tribe known as the Potawatomi, the first known non-indigenous permanent settler in Chicago was Jean Baptiste Point du Sable. Du Sable was of African and French descent and arrived in the 1780s and he is commonly known as the Founder of Chicago. In 1803, the United States Army built Fort Dearborn, which was destroyed in 1812 in the Battle of Fort Dearborn, the Ottawa, Ojibwe, and Potawatomi tribes had ceded additional land to the United States in the 1816 Treaty of St. Louis. The Potawatomi were forcibly removed from their land after the Treaty of Chicago in 1833, on August 12,1833, the Town of Chicago was organized with a population of about 200. Within seven years it grew to more than 4,000 people, on June 15,1835, the first public land sales began with Edmund Dick Taylor as U. S. The City of Chicago was incorporated on Saturday, March 4,1837, as the site of the Chicago Portage, the city became an important transportation hub between the eastern and western United States. Chicagos first railway, Galena and Chicago Union Railroad, and the Illinois, the canal allowed steamboats and sailing ships on the Great Lakes to connect to the Mississippi River. A flourishing economy brought residents from rural communities and immigrants from abroad, manufacturing and retail and finance sectors became dominant, influencing the American economy. The Chicago Board of Trade listed the first ever standardized exchange traded forward contracts and these issues also helped propel another Illinoisan, Abraham Lincoln, to the national stageChicago – Clockwise from top: Downtown Chicago, the Chicago Theatre, the 'L', Navy Pier, Millennium Park, the Field Museum, and the Willis Tower.
61. Colombia – Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia, is a transcontinental country largely situated in the northwest of South America, with territories in Central America. Colombia shares a border to the northwest with Panama, to the east with Venezuela and Brazil and to the south with Ecuador and it shares its maritime limits with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It is a unitary, constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments, the territory of what is now Colombia was originally inhabited by indigenous peoples including the Muisca, the Quimbaya and the Tairona. The Spanish arrived in 1499 and initiated a period of conquest and colonization ultimately creating the Viceroyalty of New Granada, independence from Spain was won in 1819, but by 1830 the Gran Colombia Federation was dissolved. What is now Colombia and Panama emerged as the Republic of New Granada, the new nation experimented with federalism as the Granadine Confederation, and then the United States of Colombia, before the Republic of Colombia was finally declared in 1886. Since the 1960s the country has suffered from an asymmetric low-intensity armed conflict, Colombia is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse countries in the world, and thereby possesses a rich cultural heritage. Cultural diversity has also influenced by Colombias varied geography. The urban centres are located in the highlands of the Andes mountains. Colombian territory also encompasses Amazon rainforest, tropical grassland and both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, ecologically, it is one of the worlds 17 megadiverse countries, and the most densely biodiverse of these per square kilometer. Colombia is a power and a regional actor with the fourth-largest economy in Latin America, is part of the CIVETS group of six leading emerging markets and is an accessing member to the OECD. Colombia has an economy with macroeconomic stability and favorable growth prospects in the long run. The name Colombia is derived from the last name of Christopher Columbus and it was conceived by the Venezuelan revolutionary Francisco de Miranda as a reference to all the New World, but especially to those portions under Spanish and Portuguese rule. The name was adopted by the Republic of Colombia of 1819. When Venezuela, Ecuador and Cundinamarca came to exist as independent states, New Granada officially changed its name in 1858 to the Granadine Confederation. In 1863 the name was changed, this time to United States of Colombia. To refer to country, the Colombian government uses the terms Colombia. Owing to its location, the present territory of Colombia was a corridor of early human migration from Mesoamerica, the oldest archaeological finds are from the Pubenza and El Totumo sites in the Magdalena Valley 100 km southwest of Bogotá. These sites date from the Paleoindian period, at Puerto Hormiga and other sites, traces from the Archaic Period have been foundColombia – San Agustín Archaeological Park
62. Vietnam – Vietnam, officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. With an estimated 92.7 million inhabitants as of 2016, it is the worlds 14th-most-populous country, and its capital city has been Hanoi since the reunification of North and South Vietnam in 1976, with Ho Chi Minh City as a historical city as well. The northern part of Vietnam was part of Imperial China for over a millennium, an independent Vietnamese state was formed in 939, following a Vietnamese victory in the Battle of Bạch Đằng River. Following a Japanese occupation in the 1940s, the Vietnamese fought French rule in the First Indochina War, thereafter, Vietnam was divided politically into two rival states, North Vietnam, and South Vietnam. Conflict between the two sides intensified in what is known as the Vietnam War, the war ended with a North Vietnamese victory in 1975. Vietnam was then unified under a communist government but remained impoverished, in 1986, the government initiated a series of economic and political reforms which began Vietnams path towards integration into the world economy. By 2000, it had established relations with all nations. Since 2000, Vietnams economic growth rate has been among the highest in the world and its successful economic reforms resulted in its joining the World Trade Organization in 2007. It is also a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, Vietnam remains one of the worlds four remaining one-party socialist states officially espousing communism. The name Việt Nam is a variation of Nam Việt, a name that can be traced back to the Triệu Dynasty of the 2nd century BC. The word Việt originated as a form of Bách Việt. The form Vietnam is first recorded in the 16th-century oracular poem Sấm Trạng Trình, the name has also been found on 12 steles carved in the 16th and 17th centuries, including one at Bao Lam Pagoda in Haiphong that dates to 1558. Then, as recorded, rewarded Yuenan/Vietnam as their nations name, to also show that they are below the region of Baiyue/Bach Viet. Between 1804 and 1813, the name was used officially by Emperor Gia Long and it was revived in the early 20th century by Phan Bội Châus History of the Loss of Vietnam, and later by the Vietnamese Nationalist Party. The country was usually called Annam until 1945, when both the government in Huế and the Viet Minh government in Hanoi adopted Việt Nam. Archaeological excavations have revealed the existence of humans in what is now Vietnam as early as the Paleolithic age, Homo erectus fossils dating to around 500,000 BC have been found in caves in Lạng Sơn and Nghệ An provinces in northern Vietnam. The oldest Homo sapiens fossils from mainland Southeast Asia are of Middle Pleistocene provenance, teeth attributed to Homo sapiens from the Late Pleistocene have also been found at Dong Can, and from the Early Holocene at Mai Da Dieu, Lang Gao and Lang Cuom. The Hồng Bàng dynasty of the Hùng kings is considered the first Vietnamese state, in 257 BC, the last Hùng king was defeated by Thục Phán, who consolidated the Lạc Việt and Âu Việt tribes to form the Âu Lạc, proclaiming himself An Dương VươngVietnam – A Đông Sơn bronze drum, c.800 BC.
63. Ho Chi Minh City – Ho Chi Minh City, formerly named and still often known as Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam by population. It was once known as Prey Nokor prior to annexation by the Vietnamese in the 17th century, under the name Saigon, it was the capital of the French colony of Cochinchina and later of the independent republic of South Vietnam 1955–75. On 2 July 1976, Saigon merged with the surrounding Gia Định Province and was officially renamed Ho Chi Minh City after revolutionary leader Hồ Chí Minh, the citys population is expected to grow to 13.9 million by 2025. Ho Chi Minh City has gone by different names during its history, reflecting settlement by different ethnic. In the 1690s, Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh, a Vietnamese noble, was sent by the Nguyễn rulers of Huế to establish Vietnamese administrative structures in the Mekong Delta and its surroundings. Control of the city and the passed to the Vietnamese. Immediately after the communist takeover of South Vietnam in 1975, a provisional government renamed the city after Hồ Chí Minh, even today, however, the informal name of Sài Gòn/Saigon remains in daily speech both domestically and internationally, especially among the Vietnamese diaspora. In particular, Sài Gòn is still used to refer to District 1. This name may refer to the many plants that the Khmer people had planted around Prey Nokor. It may also refer to the dense and tall forest that existed around the city. Other proposed etymologies draw parallels from Tai-Ngon, the Cantonese name of Cholon, which means embankment, and Vietnamese Sai Côn, a translation of the Khmer Prey Nokor. Prey means forest or jungle, and nokor is a Khmer word of Sanskrit origin meaning city or kingdom, the current official name, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, adopted in 1976 and abbreviated Tp. HCM, is translated as Ho Chi Minh City, abbreviated HCMC, the name commemorates Hồ Chí Minh, the first leader of North Vietnam. This name, though not his name, was one he favored throughout his later years. It combines a common Vietnamese surname with a name meaning enlightened will, in essence. Ho Chi Minh City began as a fishing village likely known as Prey Nokor, Forest City, or perhaps Preah Reach Nokor which. The area that the city now occupies was originally swampland, and was inhabited by Khmer people for centuries before the arrival of the Vietnamese. In 1623, King Chey Chettha II of Cambodia allowed Vietnamese refugees fleeing the Trịnh–Nguyễn civil war in Vietnam to settle in the area of Prey Nokor and to set up a custom house thereHo Chi Minh City – Sài Gòn may refer to the kapok (bông gòn) trees that are common around the city.
64. Hyderabad – Hyderabad is the capital of the southern Indian state of Telangana and de jure capital of Andhra Pradesh. At an average altitude of 542 metres, much of Hyderabad is situated on hilly terrain around artificial lakes, established in 1591 by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, Hyderabad remained under the rule of the Qutb Shahi dynasty for nearly a century before the Mughals captured the region. In 1724, Mughal viceroy Asif Jah I declared his sovereignty and created his own dynasty, the Nizams dominions became a princely state during the British Raj, and remained so for 150 years, with the city serving as its capital. The city continued as the capital of Hyderabad State after it was brought into the Indian Union in 1948, since 1956, Rashtrapati Nilayam in the city has been the winter office of the President of India. In 2014, the formed state of Telangana split from Andhra Pradesh. Relics of Qutb Shahi and Nizam rule remain visible today, the Charminar—commissioned by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah—has come to symbolise Hyderabad, Golconda fort is another major landmark. The influence of Mughlai culture is evident in the regions distinctive cuisine. The Qutb Shahis and Nizams established Hyderabad as a cultural hub, the Telugu film industry based in the city is the countrys second-largest producer of motion pictures. Hyderabad was historically known as a pearl and diamond trading centre, many of the citys traditional bazaars remain open, including Laad Bazaar, Begum Bazaar and Sultan Bazaar. Special economic zones dedicated to technology have encouraged companies from India. The emergence of pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries in the 1990s led to the naming as Indias Genome Valley. With an output of US$74 billion, Hyderabad is the fifth-largest contributor to Indias overall gross domestic product, according to John Everett-Heath, the author of Oxford Concise Dictionary of World Place Names, Hyderabad means Haydars city or lion city, from haydar and ābād. It was named to honour the Caliph Ali Ibn Abi Talib, andrew Petersen, a scholar of Islamic architecture, says the city was originally called Baghnagar. One popular theory suggests that Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, the founder of the city, named it Bhagyanagar or Bhāgnagar after Bhagmati and she converted to Islam and adopted the title Hyder Mahal. The city was renamed Hyderabad in her honour, French traveller Jean de Thévenot visited the Deccan region in 1666–1667 refers to the city in his book Travels in India as Bagnagar and Aiderabad. Archaeologists excavating near the city have unearthed Iron Age sites that may date from 500 BCE, the region comprising modern Hyderabad and its surroundings was known as Golkonda, and was ruled by the Chalukya dynasty from 624 CE to 1075 CE. The Kakatiya dynasty was reduced to a vassal of the Khilji dynasty in 1310 after its defeat by Sultan Alauddin Khilji of the Delhi Sultanate and this lasted until 1321, when the Kakatiya dynasty was annexed by Malik Kafur, Allaudin Khiljis general. During this period, Alauddin Khilji took the Koh-i-Noor diamond, which is said to have mined from the Kollur Mines of GolkondaHyderabad – Clockwise from top left: Charminar, modern skyline, Hussain Sagar, Golconda Fort, Chowmahalla Palace and Birla Mandir
65. Dongguan – Dongguan is a prefecture-level city in central Guangdong province, China. It is part of the Pearl River Delta megacity with more than 44.78 million inhabitants at the 2010 census spread over nine municipalities across an area of 17,573 square kilometres, Dongguans city administration is considered especially progressive in seeking foreign direct investment. Dongguan ranks behind only Shenzhen, Shanghai and Suzhou in exports among Chinese cities and it is also home to one of the worlds largest, though largely empty, shopping malls, the New South China Mall. The majority of the population speak Mandarin due to migrants from parts of the country. Although the earliest traces of habitation in the area stretch back 5,000 years. In 1839, at the outset of the First Opium War, large quantities of seized opium were destroyed in Humen, several of the major battles of the war were fought in this area. During the Second World War, the city served as the base for resistance against the Japanese occupation. Dongguan earned city status in 1985, and was upgraded to city status three years later. During this period the city changed its focus from a town into a manufacturing hub. The city ranked 13th in Forbes Chinas listing of the most innovative mainland cities, geographically, the city is mostly hilly to the east and flat in the west, with 115.98 kilometres of shoreline. It is positioned in the middle of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen economic corridor, of Dongguans total area, 27% is water, 25% forest land, and 13% arable land, while 35% of its land area has been fully developed. Dongguan had an estimated 6,949,800 inhabitants at the end of 2008, at the 2010 Census the population had expanded to 8,220,237. The number reached 8.29 million by the end of 2012, Dongguan is the hometown for many overseas Chinese, the family origin of over 700,000 people in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau and over 200,000 nationals living abroad. Dongguan has no county level but instead is divided into 32 towns, Dongguan has a humid subtropical climate, with abundant sunshine. It lies just south of the Tropic of Cancer, the average temperature is 23.3 °C throughout the year with average rainfall of 2,042.6 millimetres. Many foreign travellers to Dongguan fly into Hong Kong, which gives visa on arrival to citizens of over 170 countries, after landing, visitors must apply for a visa to enter mainland China. One can travel from Hong Kong to Dongguan by bus, ferry, Dongguan serves as one of the regional railway hubs in Guangdong, where the Guangzhou-Kowloon Railway, Guangzhou-Meizhou-Shantou Railway and the Beijing-Kowloon Railway converge. Rail services in and out of the city call at Dongguan railway station there are direct train services to Guangzhou East railway station in GuangzhouDongguan – From top left, clockwise: Guanyin mountain, Humen Bridge, Keyuan, Dongguan Avenue
66. South Africa – South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa, is the southernmost country in Africa. South Africa is the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and it is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different Bantu languages, the remaining population consists of Africas largest communities of European, Asian, and multiracial ancestry. South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a variety of cultures, languages. Its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the recognition of 11 official languages. The country is one of the few in Africa never to have had a coup détat, however, the vast majority of black South Africans were not enfranchised until 1994. During the 20th century, the black majority sought to recover its rights from the dominant white minority, with this struggle playing a role in the countrys recent history. The National Party imposed apartheid in 1948, institutionalising previous racial segregation, since 1994, all ethnic and linguistic groups have held political representation in the countrys democracy, which comprises a parliamentary republic and nine provinces. South Africa is often referred to as the Rainbow Nation to describe the multicultural diversity. The World Bank classifies South Africa as an economy. Its economy is the second-largest in Africa, and the 34th-largest in the world, in terms of purchasing power parity, South Africa has the seventh-highest per capita income in Africa. However, poverty and inequality remain widespread, with about a quarter of the population unemployed, nevertheless, South Africa has been identified as a middle power in international affairs, and maintains significant regional influence. The name South Africa is derived from the geographic location at the southern tip of Africa. Upon formation the country was named the Union of South Africa in English, since 1961 the long form name in English has been the Republic of South Africa. In Dutch the country was named Republiek van Zuid-Afrika, replaced in 1983 by the Afrikaans Republiek van Suid-Afrika, since 1994 the Republic has had an official name in each of its 11 official languages. Mzansi, derived from the Xhosa noun umzantsi meaning south, is a name for South Africa. South Africa contains some of the oldest archaeological and human fossil sites in the world, extensive fossil remains have been recovered from a series of caves in Gauteng Province. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has termed the Cradle of HumankindSouth Africa – Mapungubwe Hill, the site of the former capital of the Kingdom of Mapungubwe
67. Greater Johannesburg – The Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Area is the area surrounding the city of Johannesburg, South Africa. It includes Johannesburg and the municipalities of Ekurhuleni and West Rand and it is often referred to as the Witwatersrand, or Rand, after a low mountain range that runs through the area. The municipal citys land area is large, listed as 1,645 km2. It is by far the largest city in Africa in terms of physical size, Greater Johannesburgs growth was largely based initially on the discovery of gold, and the urban area runs the length of the gold-bearing reef from east to west. In the past 30 years, there has been considerable growth to the north, sandton, created as a separate municipal area north of Johannesburg in 1969, is where much of the new business growth has taken place. The urban area is described as having an inner urban core. The Ekurhuleni and Soweto campuses of the former Vista University are incorporated into the University of Johannesburg, OR Tambo International Airport, which serves Johannesburg, is located in. Residents from both Ekurhuleni and the West Rand often work in Johannesburg, the areas are not only strongly linked economically, but existing transport axes have also created strong functional links between Johannesburg and its hinterland. The JMPD and EMPD sometimes carry out joint operations, transport routes between Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and West Rand share the same metropolitan route numbering system. Over the years, Johannesburg and Pretoria have also been growing together, questions have been raised as to whether they are beginning to function as one, and if this constitutes an extension of the metropolitan area to include Pretoria. Research suggests, however, that Pretoria is an area in its own right. Johannesburg is listed as having an area population of almost 8 million. The new stretch of freeway will be tolled, the University of the Witwatersrand, as well as the University of Johannesburg, that serve the residents of the whole area, are located in JohannesburgGreater Johannesburg – Map of the Greater Johannesburg area
68. Wuhan – Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province, China, and is the most populous city in Central China. It lies in the eastern Jianghan Plain at the intersection of the reaches of the Yangtze. Because of its key role in transportation, Wuhan was sometimes referred to as the Chicago of China by foreign sources. Holding sub-provincial status, Wuhan is recognized as the political, economic, financial, cultural, educational, the city of Wuhan, first termed as such in 1927, has a population of 10,607,700 people as of 2015. In the 1920s, Wuhan was the capital of a leftist Kuomintang government led by Wang Jingwei in opposition to Chiang Kai-shek. At the 2010 census, its built-up area made of 8 out of 10 urban districts was home to 8,821,658 inhabitants, with a 3, 500-year-long history, Wuhan is one of the most ancient and civilized metropolitan cities in China. During the Han dynasty, Hanyang became a busy port. Around that time, walls were built to protect Hanyang and Wuchang, the latter event marks the foundation of Wuhan. In AD223, the Yellow Crane Tower was constructed on the Wuchang side of the Yangtze River, cui Hao, a celebrated poet of the Tang dynasty, visited the building in the early 8th century, his poem made it the most celebrated building in southern China. The city has long been renowned as a center for the arts, under the Mongol rulers, Wuchang was promoted to the status of provincial capital, by the dawn of the 18th century, Hankou had become one of Chinas top four most important towns of trade. In the late 19th century, railroads were extended on an axis through the city. Also during this period foreign powers extracted mercantile concessions, with the riverfront of Hankou being divided up into foreign-controlled merchant districts and these districts contained trading firm offices, warehouses, and docking facilities. On October 10,1911, Sun Yat-sens followers launched the Wuchang Uprising, Wuhan was the capital of a leftist Kuomintang government led by Wang Jingwei, in opposition to Chiang Kai-shek during the 1920s. S. As the battle raged on through 1938, Wuhan and the region had become the site of the Battle of Wuhan. After being taken by the Japanese in late 1938, Wuhan became a major Japanese logistics center for operations in southern China, in December 1944, the city was largely destroyed by U. S. firebombing raids conducted by the Fourteenth Air Force. In 1967, civil strife struck the city in the Wuhan Incident as a result of tensions arising out of the Cultural Revolution. The city has been subject to devastating floods, which are now supposed to be controlled by the ambitious Three Gorges Dam, a project which was completed in 2008. In December 1858, James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin, High Commissioner to China, and in the spring of 1861, Counselor Harry Parkes and Admiral Herbert were sent to Wuhan to open a trading portWuhan – From top: Wuhan and the Yangtze River, Yellow Crane Tower, Wuhan Custom House, and Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge
69. Taiwan – Taiwan, officially the Republic of China, is a state in East Asia. Neighbours include China to the west, Japan to the northeast, Taiwan is the most populous state that is not a member of the United Nations, and the one with the largest economy. The island of Taiwan, also known as Formosa, was inhabited by Taiwanese aborigines before the 17th century. After a brief rule by the Kingdom of Tungning, the island was annexed by the Qing dynasty, the Qing ceded Taiwan to Japan in 1895 after the Sino-Japanese War. While Taiwan was under Japanese rule, the Republic of China was established on the mainland in 1912 after the fall of the Qing dynasty, following the Japanese surrender to the Allies in 1945, the ROC took control of Taiwan. However, the resumption of the Chinese Civil War led to the ROCs loss of the mainland to the Communists, and the flight of the ROC government to Taiwan in 1949. As a founding member of the United Nations, the ROC continued to represent China at the United Nations until 1971, in the early 1960s, Taiwan entered a period of rapid economic growth and industrialization, creating a stable industrial economy. In the 1980s and early 1990s, it changed from a one-party military dictatorship dominated by the Kuomintang to a multi-party democracy with universal suffrage, Taiwan is the 22nd-largest economy in the world, and its high-tech industry plays a key role in the global economy. It is ranked highly in terms of freedom of the press, health care, public education, economic freedom, the PRC has consistently claimed sovereignty over Taiwan and asserted the ROC is no longer in legitimate existence. Under its One-China Policy the PRC refused diplomatic relations with any country that recognizes the ROC, the PRC has threatened the use of military force in response to any formal declaration of independence by Taiwan or if PRC leaders decide that peaceful unification is no longer possible. There are various names for the island of Taiwan in use today, the former name Formosa dates from 1542, when Portuguese sailors sighted the main island of Taiwan and named it Ilha Formosa, which means beautiful island. The name Formosa eventually replaced all others in European literature and was in use in English in the early 20th century. This name was adopted into the Chinese vernacular as the name of the sandbar. The modern word Taiwan is derived from this usage, which is seen in forms in Chinese historical records. Use of the current Chinese name was formalized as early as 1684 with the establishment of Taiwan Prefecture, through its rapid development, the entire Formosan mainland eventually became known as Taiwan. The official name of the state is the Republic of China and it was a member of the United Nations representing China until 1971, when it lost its seat to the Peoples Republic of China. Over subsequent decades, the Republic of China has become known as Taiwan. In some contexts, especially ones from the ROC governmentTaiwan – A young Tsou man
70. Taipei – Taipei, officially known as Taipei City, is the capital city and a special municipality of the Republic of China. Sitting at the tip of the island, Taipei City is an enclave of the municipality of New Taipei City. It is about 25 km southwest of the port city Keelung. Since 1949, Taipei has been the capital of the ROC after losing the mainland to the Communists in the Chinese Civil War, the name Taipei can refer either to the whole metropolitan area or the city proper. Taipei is the political, economic, educational, and cultural center of Taiwan, considered to be a global city, Taipei is part of a major high-tech industrial area. Railways, high-speed rail, highways, airports, and bus lines connect Taipei with all parts of the island, the city is served by two airports – Taipei Songshan and Taiwan Taoyuan. Its natural features such as Maokong, Yangmingshan, and hot springs are also known to international visitors. As the capital city, Taipei is sometimes used as a synecdoche for Taiwan, prior to the significant influx of Han Chinese immigrants, the region of Taipei Basin was mainly inhabited by the Ketagalan plains aborigines. The number of Han immigrants gradually increased in the early 18th century under Qing Dynasty rule after the government began permitting development in the area, in 1875, the northern part of the island was incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture. The Qing dynasty of China made Taipeh the temporary capital of Fujian-Taiwan Province in 1886 when Taiwan was separated from Fujian Province, Taipeh was formally made the provincial capital in 1894. Japan acquired Taiwan in 1895 under the Treaty of Shimonoseki after the First Sino-Japanese War, Taiwan became a colony of Imperial Japan with Taihoku as its capital, in which the city was administered under Taihoku Prefecture. Taiwans Japanese rulers embarked on a program of advanced urban planning that featured extensive railroad links. A number of Taipei landmarks and cultural institutions date from this period, following the Japanese surrender of 1945, control of Taiwan was handed to the Republic of China. In 1990 Taipei provided the backdrop for the Wild Lily student rallies that moved Taiwanese society from one-party rule to multi-party democracy, the city is today home to Taiwans democratically elected national government. The region known as the Taipei Basin was home to Ketagalan tribes before the eighteenth century, Han Chinese mainly from Fujian Province of Qing dynasty China began to settle in the Taipei Basin in 1709. In 1875, the part of Taiwan was separated from Taiwan Prefecture. From 1875 until the beginning of Japanese rule in 1895, Taipei was part of Tamsui County of Taipeh Prefecture, in 1885, work commenced to create an independent Taiwan Province, and Taipei City was temporarily made the provincial capital. Taipei officially became the capital of Taiwan in 1894, all that remains from the Qing era is the north gateTaipei – Clockwise from top: Taipei skyline, Grand Hotel, Far Eastern Plaza, National Palace Museum, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Jiantan Station
71. Taoyuan, Taiwan – Taoyuan, is a special municipality in northwestern Republic of China, neighboring New Taipei City, Hsinchu County, and Yilan County. Taoyuan District is the seat of the government and that which, along with Zhongli District. Taoyuan developed from a city of Taipei metropolitan area to be the fourth-largest metropolitan area. Since commuting to the Taipei metropolitan area is easy, Taoyuan has seen the fastest population growth of all cities in Taiwan, Taoyuan means peach garden, since the area used to have many peach trees. The city is home to industrial parks and tech company headquarters. Taipei Taoyuan International Airport, which serves the capital, Taipei, the city of Taoyuan has been elevated to special municipality status since 2014 from the original Taoyuan County. At the same time, the former county-controlled city of Taoyuan was also promoted to Taoyuan District within the new municipality, in ancient times, the Taoyuan plateau was the home of the Taiwanese plains aborigines. In prehistory, the Ketagalan people settled in Nankan, in the early years of Dutch colonization, Spanish colonization, and Zheng He of the Ming Dynasty, there were no large-scale cultivation or industrial activities. During the Qing era, a number of people from Fujian Province and Guangdong province began to immigrate into present-day Taoyuan to develop and they planted peach trees, which, when fully bloomed in spring, were so beautiful that the people named the land Toahong. In November 1901, under Japanese rule, an administrative office. In 1909, the number of cho were reduced and the unit was renamed Tōen Chō. In 1920, the Tōen area was incorporated into Shinchiku Prefecture, during the Japanese era, the staged migration policy caused Taoyuan to develop into a city with a variety of cultures. For example, temples and worship paths symbolized cultural systems, butokuden were used to represent military systems, and the old Taoyuan City Office signified political systems. In 1950, Taoyuan County was established by the Republic of China government, on 21 April 1971, Taoyuan City was made the capital of Taoyuan County. At the edge of the Greater Taipei region, this caused some structural, trade prosperity in recent years and the proliferation of job opportunities helped Taoyuan develop into a major economic district in northern Taiwan and the population has increased ever since. On December 25,2014, Taoyuan County was reorganized from a county to become a municipality named Taoyuan City. Taoyuan is located approximately 40 km southwest of Taipei, in northern Taiwan and it is made up of low-lying plains, interconnected mountains and plateaus. Its shape has a long and narrow southeast-to-northwest trend, with the southeast in the Xueshan Range, there are many irrigation ponds at Taoyuan Plateau, which caused Taoyuan to earn the nickname Thousand-pond TownshipTaoyuan, Taiwan – Taoyuan Station during Japanese occupation Era.
72. Hangzhou – Hangzhou, formerly romanized as Hangchow, is the capital and most populous city of Zhejiang Province in east China. It sits at the head of Hangzhou Bay, which separates Shanghai, the citys West Lake is its best-known attraction. Hangzhou is classified as a city and forms the core of the Hangzhou metropolitan area. During the 2010 Chinese census, the area held 21.102 million people over an area of 34,585 km2. Hangzhou prefecture had a population of 9,018,000 in 2015. In September 2015, Hangzhou was awarded the 2022 Asian Games and it will be the third Chinese city to play host to the Asian Games after Beijing 1990 and Guangzhou 2010. Hangzhou, a technology hub and home to the e-commerce giant Alibaba. The celebrated neolithic culture of Hemudu is known to have inhabited Yuyao,100 km south-east of Hangzhou and it was during this time that rice was first cultivated in southeast China. Excavations have established that the jade-carving Liangzhu culture inhabited the area immediately around the present city around five years ago. The first of Hangzhous present neighborhoods to appear in records was Yuhang. Hangzhou was made the seat of the zhou of Hang in AD589, by a longstanding convention also seen in other cities like Guangzhou and Fuzhou, the city took on the name of the area it administered and became known as Hangzhou. Hangzhou was at the end of Chinas Grand Canal which extends to Beijing. The canal evolved over centuries but reached its full length by 609, in the Tang dynasty, Bai Juyi was appointed governor of Hangzhou. Already an accomplished and famous poet, his deeds at Hangzhou have led to his being praised as a great governor. He ordered the construction of a stronger and taller dyke, with a dam to control the flow of water, thus providing water for irrigation, the livelihood of local people of Hangzhou improved over the following years. Bai Juyi used his time to enjoy the beauty of West Lake. He also ordered the construction of a causeway connecting Broken Bridge with Solitary Hill to allow walking and he then had willows and other trees planted along the dyke, making it a beautiful landmark. This causeway was later named Bai Causeway, in his honor and it is listed as one of the Seven Ancient Capitals of ChinaHangzhou – Top: View of the "Three Ponds Mirroring the Moon" at West Lake, Middle left: Liuhe Pagoda, Middle upper right: Su Causeway at West Lake, Middle lower right: Hu Xueyan Residence Garden, Bottom: Huxin Pavilion on West Lake
73. Hong Kong – Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the Peoples Republic of China, is an autonomous territory on the Pearl River Delta of East Asia. Macau lies across the delta to the west, and the Chinese province of Guangdong borders the territory to the north. With a total area of 1,106 square kilometres. Hong Kong was later occupied by Japan during World War II until British control resumed in 1945, under the principle of one country, two systems, Hong Kong maintains a separate political and economic system from China. Except in military defence and foreign affairs, Hong Kong maintains its independent executive, legislative, in addition, Hong Kong develops relations directly with foreign states and international organisations in a broad range of appropriate fields. Hong Kong is one of the worlds most significant financial centres, with the highest Financial Development Index score and consistently ranks as the worlds most competitive and freest economic entity. As the worlds 8th largest trading entity, its legal tender, Hong Kongs tertiary sector dominated economy is characterised by simple taxation with a competitive level of corporate tax and supported by its independent judiciary system. However, while Hong Kong has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world and it has a very high Human Development Index ranking and the worlds longest life expectancy. Over 90% of the population use of well-developed public transportation. Seasonal air pollution with origins from neighbouring areas of Mainland China. Hong Kong was officially recorded in the 1842 Treaty of Nanking to encompass the entirety of the island, before 1842, the name referred to a small inlet—now Aberdeen Harbour —between Aberdeen Island and the southern coast of Hong Kong Island. Aberdeen was a point of contact between British sailors and local fishermen. Detailed and accurate romanisation systems for Cantonese were available and in use at the time, fragrance may refer to the sweet taste of the harbours fresh water estuarine influx of the Pearl River or to the incense from factories lining the coast of northern Kowloon. The incense was stored near Aberdeen Harbour for export before Hong Kong developed Victoria Harbour, the name had often been written as the single word Hongkong until the government adopted the current form in 1926. Nevertheless, a number of century-old institutions still retain the form, such as the Hongkong Post, Hongkong Electric. As of 1997, its name is the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the Peoples Republic of China. This is the title as mentioned in the Hong Kong Basic Law. Hong Kong has carried many nicknames, the most famous among those is the Pearl of the Orient, which reflected the impressive nightscape of the citys light decorations on the skyscrapers along both sides of the Victoria HarbourHong Kong – The Cenotaph in Hong Kong commemorates those who died in service in WWI and WWII.
74. Chongqing – Chongqing, formerly transliterated as Chungking, is a major city in Southwest China and one of the Five national central cities in China. Administratively, it is one of Chinas four direct-controlled municipalities, the municipality was created on 14 March 1997, succeeding the sub-provincial city administration that was part of Sichuan Province. Chongqings population as of 2015 is just over 30 million with a population of 18.38 million. The official abbreviation of the city, Yu, was approved by the State Council on 18 April 1997 and this abbreviation is derived from the old name of a part of the Jialing River that runs through Chongqing and feeds into the Yangtze River. Chongqing was also a Sichuan province municipality during the Republic of China administration, Chongqing has a significant history and culture and serves as the economic centre of the upstream Yangtze basin. It is a manufacturing centre and transportation hub, a July 2012 report by the Economist Intelligence Unit described it as one of Chinas 13 emerging megacities. Tradition associates Chongqing with the State of Ba, the Ba people supposedly established Chongqing during the Spring and Autumn period after moving from their first capital Yicheng in Hubei under pressure from Chu. This new capital was first named Jiangzhou, in 316 BC, however, the state of Ba was conquered by the State of Qin. Jiangzhou subsequently remained under Qin Shi Huangs rule during the Qin Dynasty, the successor of the Qin State, and under the control of Han Dynasty emperors. Jiangzhou was subsequently renamed during the Southern and Northern Dynasties to Chu Prefecture, then in 581 AD to Yu Prefecture, the name Yu however survives to this day as an abbreviation for Chongqing, and the city centre where the old town stood is also called Yuzhong. It received its current name in 1189, after Prince Zhao Dun of the Southern Song Dynasty described his crowning as king, in his honour, Yu Prefecture was therefore renamed Chongqing subprefecture marking the occasion of his enthronement. In 1362, Ming Yuzhen, a peasant rebelling leader, established the Daxia Kingdom at Chongqing for a short time, in 1621, another short-lived kingdom of Daliang was established by She Chongming with Chongqing as its capital. The Manchus later conquered the province, and during the Qing Dynasty, immigration to Chongqing, in 1890, the British Consulate General was opened in Chongqing. The following year, the city became the first inland commerce port open to foreigners, the French, German, US and Japanese consulates were opened in Chongqing in 1896–1904. During the Second Sino-Japanese War, it was Generalissimo Chiang Kai-sheks provisional capital, the city was also visited by Lord Louis Mountbatten, the Supreme Commander of SEAC which was itself headquartered in Ceylon, modern day Sri Lanka. Chiang Kai Shek as Supreme Commander in China worked closely with Stilwell, the Japanese Air Force heavily bombed it. Due to its mountainous environment, many people were saved from the bombing, due to the bravery, contributions and sacrifices made by the local people during World War II, Chongqing became known as the City of Heroes. Many factories and universities were relocated from eastern China to Chongqing during the war, in late November 1949 the Nationalist KMT government fled the cityChongqing – Clockwise from top: Jiefangbei CBD Skyline, The Temple of the White Emperor, E'gongyan Bridge, Qutang Gorge, and the Great Hall of the People.
75. Ahmedabad – Ahmedabad is the largest city and former capital of Gujarat, which is a state in India. It is the headquarters of the Ahmedabad district and the seat of the Gujarat High Court. With a population of more than 6.3 million and a population of 7.8 million, it is the sixth largest city. Ahmedabad is located on the banks of the Sabarmati River,30 km from the state capital Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad has emerged as an important economic and industrial hub in India. It is the second largest producer of cotton in India, Cricket is a popular sport in Ahmedabad, which houses the 54, 000-seat Sardar Patel Stadium. The effects of liberalisation of the Indian economy have energised the citys economy towards tertiary sector such as commerce. Ahmedabads increasing population has resulted in an increase in the construction, in 2010, it was ranked third in Forbess list of fastest growing cities of the decade. In 2012, The Times of India chose Ahmedabad as Indias best city to live in, as of 2014, Ahmedabads estimated gross domestic product was $119 billion. Ahmedabad has been selected as one of the hundred Indian cities to be developed as a city under PM Narendra Modis flagship Smart Cities Mission. The area around Ahmedabad has been inhabited since the 15th century, at that time, Karna, the Chaulukya ruler of Anhilwara, waged a successful war against the Bhil king of Ashaval, and established a city called Karnavati on the banks of the Sabarmati. Solanki rule lasted until the 13th century, when Gujarat came under the control of the Vaghela dynasty of Dholka, Gujarat subsequently came under the control of the Delhi Sultanate in the 14th century. This area finally came under the control of his grandson Sultan Ahmed Shah in 1411 A. D, according to other sources, he named it after himself. Ahmed Shah I laid the foundation of the city on 26 February 1411 at Manek Burj and he chose it as the new capital on 4 March 1411. In 1487, Mahmud Begada, the grandson of Ahmed Shah, fortified the city with an outer wall 10 km in circumference and consisting of twelve gates,189 bastions and over 6,000 battlements. In 1535 Humayun briefly occupied Ahmedabad after capturing Champaner when the ruler of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah, Ahmedabad was then reoccupied by the Muzaffarid dynasty until 1573 when Gujarat was conquered by the Mughal emperor Akbar. During the Mughal reign, Ahmedabad became one of the Empires thriving centres of trade, mainly in textiles, the Mughal ruler Shahjahan spent the prime of his life in the city, sponsoring the construction of the Moti Shahi Mahal in Shahibaug. The Deccan Famine of 1630–32 affected the city, as did famines in 1650 and 1686, Ahmedabad remained the provincial headquarters of the Mughals until 1758, when they surrendered the city to the Marathas. During the period of Maratha Empire governance, the city became the centre of a conflict between two Maratha clans, the Peshwa of Poona and the Gaekwad of BarodaAhmedabad – Clockwise from topː Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalay at Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad Railway Station, CEPT University, Kankaria Lake and the Kirti Stambh at Hutheesing Temple
76. Malaysia – Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy located in Southeast Asia. Peninsular Malaysia shares a land and maritime border with Thailand and maritime borders with Singapore, Vietnam, East Malaysia shares land and maritime borders with Brunei and Indonesia and a maritime border with the Philippines and Vietnam. The capital city is Kuala Lumpur, while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government, with a population of over 30 million, Malaysia is the 44th most populous country. The southernmost point of continental Eurasia, Tanjung Piai, is in Malaysia, located in the tropics, Malaysia is one of 17 megadiverse countries on earth, with large numbers of endemic species. Malaysia has its origins in the Malay kingdoms present in the area which, from the 18th century, the first British territories were known as the Straits Settlements, whose establishment was followed by the Malay kingdoms becoming British protectorates. The territories on Peninsular Malaysia were first unified as the Malayan Union in 1946, Malaya was restructured as the Federation of Malaya in 1948, and achieved independence on 31 August 1957. Malaya united with North Borneo, Sarawak, and Singapore on 16 September 1963 to become Malaysia, less than two years later in 1965, Singapore was expelled from the federation. The country is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural, which plays a role in politics. About half the population is ethnically Malay, with minorities of Malaysian Chinese, Malaysian Indians. The constitution declares Islam the state religion while allowing freedom of religion for non-Muslims, the government system is closely modelled on the Westminster parliamentary system and the legal system is based on common law. The head of state is the king, known as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and he is an elected monarch chosen from the hereditary rulers of the nine Malay states every five years. The head of government is the prime minister, since its independence, Malaysia has had one of the best economic records in Asia, with its GDP growing at an average of 6. 5% per annum for almost 50 years. The economy has traditionally been fuelled by its resources, but is expanding in the sectors of science, tourism, commerce. Today, Malaysia has a newly industrialised market economy, ranked third largest in Southeast Asia, the name Malaysia is a combination of the word Malay and the Latin-Greek suffix -sia/-σία. The word melayu in Malay may derive from the Tamil words malai and ur meaning mountain and city, land, malayadvipa was the word used by ancient Indian traders when referring to the Malay Peninsula. Whether or not it originated from these roots, the word melayu or mlayu may have used in early Malay/Javanese to mean to steadily accelerate or run. This term was applied to describe the current of the river Melayu in Sumatra. The name was adopted by the Melayu Kingdom that existed in the seventh century on SumatraMalaysia – "Malaysia" used as a label for the Malay Archipelago on a 1914 map from a United States atlas
77. Kuala Lumpur – Kuala Lumpur, officially the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, or more commonly called KL is the national capital of Malaysia as well as its largest city. Being rated as an Alpha world city, Kuala Lumpur is the global city in Malaysia which covers an area of 243 km2 and has an estimated population of 1.73 million as of 2016. Greater Kuala Lumpur, also known as the Klang Valley, is an agglomeration of 7.25 million people as of 2017. It is among the fastest growing regions in South-East Asia, in terms of population. Kuala Lumpur is the seat of the Parliament of Malaysia, the city was once home to the executive and judicial branches of the federal government, but they were moved to Putrajaya in early 1999. Some sections of the judiciary still remain in the city of Kuala Lumpur. The official residence of the Malaysian King, the Istana Negara, is situated in Kuala Lumpur. Kuala Lumpur is the cultural, financial and economic centre of Malaysia due to its position as the capital as well as being a key city. Kuala Lumpur is one of three Federal Territories of Malaysia, enclaved within the state of Selangor, on the central west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Since the 1990s, the city has played host to international sporting, political and cultural events including the 1998 Commonwealth Games. Kuala Lumpur has undergone rapid development in recent decades and it is home to the tallest twin buildings in the world, the Petronas Twin Towers, which have become an iconic symbol of Malaysias futuristic development. Kuala Lumpur means muddy confluence, kuala is the point where two rivers join together or an estuary, and lumpur means mud. One suggestion is that it was named after Sungai Lumpur, it was recorded in 1824 that Sungei Lumpoor was the most important tin-producing settlement up the Klang River. It has also proposed that Kuala Lumpur was originally named Pengkalan Lumpur in the same way that Klang was once called Pengkalan Batu. Another suggestion is that it was initially a Cantonese word lam-pa meaning flooded jungle or decayed jungle, there is however no firm contemporary evidence for these suggestions other than anecdotes. It is also possible that the name is a form of an earlier. It is unknown who founded or named the settlement called Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur was originally a small hamlet of just a few houses and shops at the confluence of Sungai Gombak and Sungai Klang before it grew into a town. The miners landed at Kuala Lumpur and continued their journey on foot to Ampang where the first mine was openedKuala Lumpur – Clockwise from top left: Petronas Twin Towers, Petaling Street, Masjid Jamek and Gombak / Klang river confluence, National Monument, National Mosque, skyline of KL. Centre: KL Tower