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List of former national capitals

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Title: List of former national capitals  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Lists of capitals, List of national capitals by population, List of national capitals in alphabetical order, Płock, Lists by country
Collection: Capitals of Former Nations, Former National Capitals, Lists of Capitals
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

List of former national capitals

Throughout the world there are many cities that were once national capitals but no longer have that status because the country ceased to exist, the capital was moved, or the capital city was renamed. This is a list of such cities, sorted by country and then by date.


  • Africa 1
  • Asia 2
    • Central and South-West Asia 2.1
    • Indian subcontinent 2.2
    • Southeast Asia 2.3
    • East Asia 2.4
  • Europe 3
    • Northern Europe 3.1
    • Southern Europe 3.2
    • Western Europe 3.3
    • Eastern Europe 3.4
    • Southeastern Europe 3.5
    • Central Europe 3.6
  • Oceania 4
  • North America 5
  • South America 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8


Old capital city Country, empire From Until Change, reason
Ribeira Grande (now Cidade Velha) Cape Verde 1462? 1770 moved to Praia
Grand-Bassam Ivory Coast 1893 1900 moved to Bingerville
Bingerville Ivory Coast 1900 1933 moved to Abidjan
Abidjan Ivory Coast 1933 1983 moved to Yamoussoukro
Walili Morocco (Idrisid dynasty) 789 808 Moved to Fes
Fes Morocco (Idrisid dynasty) 808 927 Moved to Hajar an-Nasar, to try and restore power base.
Marrakesh Morocco (Almoravid dynasty, Almohad dynasty) 1071 1244 Moved to Fes
Fes Morocco (Marinid dynasty, Idrisid interlude, Wattasid dynasty) 1244 1554 Moved to Marrakesh
Marrakesh Morocco (Saadi dynasty) 1554 1659 Moved to Fes
Fes Morocco (Dila'ite interlude, Alaouite dynasty) 1659 1672 Moved to Meknes
Meknes Morocco (under Ismail Ibn Sharif) 1672 1727 Moved to Fes
Fes Morocco (Alaouite dynasty) 1727 1912 Moved to Rabat
Fustat Egypt 641 750 Moved to Al-Askar
Al-Askar Egypt 905 969 Moved to Cairo
Thebes (The Ancient Greeks called the city Thebes, its native name was Waset) Ancient Egypt 2134 BCE 1292 BCE Moved to Pi-Ramesses
Memphis (The Ancient Greeks called the city Memphis, its native name was Inbu-Hedj) Ancient Egypt 3150 BCE 2160 BCE Moved to Henen-Nesut
Otjimbingwe German South-West Africa 1886 1892 moved to Windhoek
Cape Coast Ghana (Gold Coast) 1664 1877 moved to Accra
Bolama Guinea-Bissau 1879 1941 moved to Bissau
Boe Guinea-Bissau 1973 1974 moved back to Bissau
Njimi Kanem fl. 11th Century c. 1396 lost to Bulala invaders (eventually moved to Ngazargamu)
Ngazargamu Kanem-Bornu Empire c. 1472 1808 lost to Fulani invaders (eventually moved to Kukawa)
Kukawa Kanem-Bornu Empire 1814 1893 Kingdom ceased to exist
Lagos Nigeria 1914 1976 moved to Abuja
Igbo-Ukwu Kingdom of Nri 1043 1911 Nigeria
Aného Togo 1880s 1897 moved to Lomé
Zomba Malawi 1880s 1975 moved to Lilongwe
Dar es Salaam Tanzania 1961 1996 moved to Dodoma
Axum Ethiopia 50 ? city abandoned
Debre Berhan Ethiopia 1456 mid-1470s Emperor returned to custom of a moving capital
Gondar Ethiopia 1635 late 19th century moved to Addis Ababa


Central and South-West Asia

Old capital city Country, empire From Until Change, reason
Kandahar Afghanistan 1748 1772 moved to Kabul
Ashur Assyria fl. 2600 BCE 9th century BCE moved to Calah
Calah Assyria 13th Century BCE 710 BCE Moved to Nineveh
Nineveh Assyria 1800 BCE 600 BCE Destroyed by Babylonians
Babylon Babylonia 24th Century BCE 141 BCE Conquered by Assyrians, Persians, Parthians, Alexander the Great, later abandoned completely
Mtskheta Iberia, Kingdom of 3rd century BCE 5th century Capital moved to Tbilisi by Dachi of Iberia
Susa, Anshan Iran (Proto-Elamite, Elam) 3200 BCE 850 BCE Conquered by Mannaeans
Zirta (Izirtu) Iran (Mannaeans) 850 BCE 728 BCE Conquered by Median Empire
Ecbatana Iran (Median Empire) 728 BCE 550 BCE captured by Cyrus the Great
Pasargadae Iran (Persian Empire) 559 BCE 538 BCE Capital moved to Susa by Cambyses II
Susa Iran (Persian Empire) 538 BCE 515 BCE Capital moved to Persepolis by Darius
Persepolis Iran (Persian Empire) 515 BCE 331 BCE captured by Alexander the Great and incorporated into Macedonian Empire
Seleucia Iran (Seleucid Empire) 305 BCE 240 BCE moved to Antioch
Antioch Iran (Seleucid Empire) 240 BCE 64 BCE conquered by Parthia
Ctesiphon, Hecatompylos, Mithridatkird-Nisa, Asaak Iran (Parthian Empire) 240 BCE 224 conquered by Sassanid Empire
Firouzabad, Ctesiphon, Damghan Iran (Sassanid Empire) 224 637 fell in Islamic conquest of Persia
Nishapur Iran (Tahirid dynasty) 821 873 conquered by Saffarid dynasty
Zaranj, Amol Iran (Saffarid dynasty, Alavids) 861 900 conquered by Samanid
Bukhara, Balkh, Samarkand, Herat Iran (Samanid dynasty) 875 999 conquered by Ghaznavids
Ghazni Iran (Ghaznavids, Ghurids) 963 1212 conquered by Seljuq dynasty
Nishapur, Rey, Konye-Urgench Iran (Seljuq dynasty, Khwarezmid dynasty) 1037 1231 conquered by Ilkhanate
Maragheh, Soltaniyeh, Tabriz, Samarkand, Herat Iran (Ilkhanate, Timurid dynasty) 1231 1506 conquered by Safavid dynasty
Tabriz Iran (Safavid dynasty) 1501 1548 moved to Qazvin
Qazvin Iran (Safavid dynasty) 1548 1598 moved to Isfahan
Isfahan Iran (Safavid dynasty) 1598 1736 moved to Mashhad
Mashhad Iran (Afsharid dynasty) 1736 1750 moved to Shiraz
Shiraz Iran (Zand dynasty) 1750 1782 moved to Sari
Sari Iran (Qajar dynasty) 1782 1795 moved to Tehran
Gibeah Israel, Kingdom of c. 1030 BCE c. 1010 BCE moved to Mahanaim
Mahanaim Israel, Kingdom of c. 1010 BCE c. 1007 BCE moved to Hebron
Hebron Israel, Kingdom of c. 1007 BCE c. 1000 BCE moved to Jerusalem when the kingdom was reunited under King David
Jerusalem Israel, Kingdom of c. 1000 BCE c. 930 BCE country split in two
Shechem Israel, Kingdom of (northern part) c. 930 BCE c. 930 BCE moved to Penuel
Penuel Israel, Kingdom of (northern part) c. 930 BCE c. 909 BCE moved to Tirzah
Tirzah Israel, Kingdom of (northern part) c. 909 BCE c. 880 BCE moved to Samaria
Samaria Israel, Kingdom of (northern part) c. 880 BCE c. 720 BCE Kingdom ceased to exist
Tel Aviv Israel, State of May 6, 1948 December 30, 1948 interim de facto capital, moved to Jerusalem after captured from Jordanian forces in 1948 Arab–Israeli War
Jerusalem Jerusalem, Kingdom of 1099 1187 moved to Acre (Jerusalem captured by Saladin)
Acre Jerusalem, Kingdom of 1187 1291 Kingdom ceased to exist
Jerusalem Judah, Kingdom of c. 930 BCE 586 BCE Kingdom ceased to exist
Semey Kazakhstan (Alash Orda) 1917 1920 Entity named Kyrgyz ASSR established, capital moved to Orenburg
Orenburg Kazakhstan (Kyrgyz ASSR) 1920 1925 moved to Qyzylorda
Qyzylorda Kazakhstan (Kazakh ASSR) 1926 1929 moved to Alma-Ata
Almaty (Alma-Ata) Kazakhstan (Kazakh ASSR, Kazakh SSR, independent Kazakhstan) 1929 1998 moved to Astana
Salalah Oman 1932 1970 moved to Musqat
Omsk Russia (White Movement) 1918 1920 White Movement defeated by Reds
Diriyah Saudi Arabia 1744 1818 moved to Riyadh after the Turks destroyed the city.
Aden South Yemen 1967 1990 San'a, country ceased to exist after unification of Yemen
Samarkand Uzbekistan (SSR) 1925 1930 moved to Tashkent

Indian subcontinent

Old capital city Country, empire From Until Change, reason
Daulatabad Tughlaq dynasty 1327 1329 Forcibly moved the entire population of Delhi to Daulatabad for a more centrally located capital . The decision was revoked and was moved back to Delhi within two years, due to lack of water.
Agra Mughal Empire 1504 1653 moved to Aurangabad, was moved to Delhi during the reign of Shah Jahan and to Fatehpur Sikri during 1571-1585, during part of Akbar's reign.
Fatehpur Sikri Mughal Empire 1571 1585 moved to Agra
Pune Maratha Empire 1679 1818 British captured the city and controlled from Calcutta
Calcutta (now Kolkata) India 1772 1911 moved to New Delhi
Simla India fl. 1850 1947 Summer capital
Mysore Kingdom of Mysore 1524 1947 Moved to New Delhi, Kingdom of Mysore dissolved- the capital of the state was moved temporarily to Bangalore 1831 to 1881 by Mark Cubbon
Hyderabad Hyderabad Deccan 1769 1948 Moved to New Delhi in September 1948, after the launch of a military operation by the state of India named Operation Polo leading to the desolation the former princely state. Hyderabad continues to remain the capital of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
Mandalay Myanmar (Burma) 1859 1885 moved to Rangoon
Lahore Sikh Empire 1799 1849 Annexation of the Punjab by the East India Company.
Yangon (Rangoon) Myanmar (Burma) 1948 2005 moved to Naypyidaw
Gorkha Gorkha Kingdom (Became Nepal) 1559 1769 moved to Kathmandu after unification of Nepal
Kantipur Kingdom of Kantipur (Became Kathmandu after the unification of Nepal) 1560 1826 Became/Renamed as Kathmandu after Unification of Nepal.
Karachi Pakistan 1947 1959 moved to Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi Pakistan 1959 1967 moved to Islamabad
Anuradhapura Lanka (Sri Lanka) c. 382 BCE 1018 Capital moved to possibly Polonnaruwa
Polonnaruwa Sri Lanka c. 1055 1284 Capital moved to Dambadeniya
Kotte Sri Lanka c. 1415 c. 1565 Capital moved to Kandy
Kandy Sri Lanka 1592 1815 Capital moved to Colombo
Colombo Sri Lanka 1815 1982 Capital moved to Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte

Southeast Asia

Old capital city Country, empire From Until Change, reason
Yogyakarta Indonesia 1946 1948 Allied invasion, moved to Bukittinggi
Bukittinggi Indonesia 1948 1949 moved to Jakarta
Marawi Maguindanao Sultanate c. 1205 19th century (?) Annexed into the Spanish East Indies
Bacolod Negros, Cantonal Republic of 1898 1899 Unrecognised state absorbed by the Philippines under American control.
Malolos Philippine Republic, First 1898 1899 Headquarters of the Revolutionary movement (Note: Several other towns became capitals at a succeeding rate, namely San Isidro, Cabanatuan, Bamban, Tarlac, Bayambang and Palanan, to avoid capture from the Americans). Moved back to Manila after capture of Aguinaldo on 1901.
Manila Philippine Republic, Second 1943 1945 Liberation of the Philippines from the Japanese
Manila Philippines, Commonwealth of the 1934 1941 Japanese occupation. Moved back to Manila in 1945 after the liberation of the Philippines
Baguio Philippines 1946 1976 Summer Capital, moved back to Manila via Presidential Decree No. 940.
Quezon City Philippines 1948 1976 Moved back to Manila via Presidential Decree No. 940. Quezon City, with Manila, became parts of Metro Manila. Several government offices remained in Quezon City, including the Batasang Pambansa, and ultimately the House of Representatives. Manila is the current capital.
Cebu Spanish East Indies 1562 c. 1578 First Spanish settlement in the country. Moved to Manila (Formerly Maynilad) after capture.
Manila Spanish East Indies c. 1578 1762 Captured by the British during the Seven Years' War, returned to Spain after the Treaty of Paris.
Bacolor Spanish East Indies 1762 1764 Capital of the exiled government Governor-general Simon de Anda during the Seven Years' War. Moved back to Manila
Manila Spanish East Indies 1764 1901 Ceded to the United States via Treaty of Paris
Jolo Sulu Sultanate c. 1450 1899 Annexed by the United States
Sukhothai Thailand (Kingdom of Siam) 1238 1438 moved to Ayutthaya after sacked by Ayutthaya
Chiang Mai (Lanna) Thailand (Kingdom of Siam) 1259 1939 Annexed by Siam
Ayutthaya Thailand (Kingdom of Siam) 1350 1767 moved to Thonburi after the Burmese destroyed the city
Thonburi Thailand (Kingdom of Siam) 1767 1782 moved to Bangkok after King Taksin was declared mad
Luang Prabang Lan Prabang 1707 Luang Prabang was one of three successors states to Lan Xang.
Luang Prabang Laos, Kingdom of 1949 1975 abdication of King Savang Vatthana; the second capital
Vientiane Lan Xang 1354 moved to Luang Prabang
Vientiane Vientiane Lao c. 1707 (?) 1828 incorporated to Siam, then absorbed into French Indochina (in 1893)
Vientiane Kingdom of Laos 1949 1975 abdication of King Savang Vatthana
Champasak Champasak Kingdom 1713 1946 Became part of Kingdom of Laos.
Angkor Khmer Empire 802 1431 Sacked by Ayutthaya
Lovek Lovek Kingdom 1525 1593 Move to Oudong (in 1618)
Phnom Penh Colonial Cambodia 1863 1887 annexed by France; moved to Saigon
Phong Châu, Phú Thọ Văn Lang (Hồng Bàng dynasty) 2879 BCE 258 BCE annexed by Thục dynasty
Phong Châu, Phú Thọ Vạn Xuân (Hậu Lý Nam Đế) 571 602 Third Chinese domination
Cổ Loa (Hanoi) Âu Lạc (Thục dynasty) 257 BCE 207 BCE First Chinese domination
Cổ Loa (Hanoi) (Ngô dynasty) 938 967 the upheavals of Twelve warlords
Đại La (Hanoi) An Nam (Phùng Hưng) 8th century Annexed by Tang dynasty
Đại La (Hanoi) An Nam (Khúc clan) 905 930 Dương Dinh Nghe was killed by his legion commander Kiều Công Tiễn and thus ending Khúc rule.
Đại La (Hanoi) An Nam (Dương Đình Nghệ and Kiều Công Tiễn) 931 937 Ngô Quyền defeated Southern Han dynasty
Đông Đô (Hanoi) Đại Việt (Later Lê dynasty and Mạc dynasty) 1428 1788
Mê Linh (Hanoi) (Trưng Sisters) 40 43 Second Chinese domination
Long Biên (Hanoi) Vạn Xuân (Anterior Lý dynasty and Triệu Việt Vương) 544 571 moved to Phong Châu
Hoa Lư (Ninh Bình) Đại Cồ Việt (Đinh dynasty) 968 980
Hoa Lư (Ninh Bình) Đại Cồ Việt (Early Lê dynasty) 980 1009 moved to Đại La, then renamed into Thăng Long
Tây Đô, Thanh Hóa Đại Ngu (Hồ dynasty) 1400 1407 Fourth Chinese domination; it was the first capital of Hồ dynasty
Tây Đô, Thanh Hóa Đại Việt-Nam Triều (Restored Lê dynasty) 1533 1592 moved to Thăng Long after defeating Mạc dynasty
Phú Xuân (Huế) Đại Việt-Đàng Trong (Nguyễn lords) 1558 1777 Tây Sơn Dynasty unified Đại Việt
Phú Xuân (Huế) Đại Việt (Tây Sơn dynasty) 1788 1802 Defeated by Nguyễn Ánh (Nguyễn dynasty)
Phú Xuân (Huế) Vietnam (Nguyễn dynasty) 1802 1945 moved to Hanoi after the abdication of Emperor Bảo Đại
Phú Xuân (Huế) Empire of Vietnam 1945 August Revolution
Huế An Nam (Nguyễn dynasty) 1874 1955 annexed by France, Geneva Conference (1954) led to the Partition of Vietnam
Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) French Indochina 1887 1901 moved to Hanoi
Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) State of Vietnam 1949 1955 Geneva Conference (1954) led to the Partition of Vietnam; Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City in 1976.
Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) Vietnam, South 1954 1975 Hanoi, country ceased to exist after unification of Vietnam
Thăng Long (Hanoi) Đại Việt ( & Trần dynasties) 1010 1400 Trần dynasty renovated Thăng Long and renamed to Long Phượng
Thăng Long (Hanoi) Đại Việt (Later Lê dynasty) 1428 1527 Southern and Northern Dynasties of Vietnam
Thăng Long (Hanoi) Đại Việt-Bắc Triều (Mạc dynasty) 1533 1592 defeated by Trịnh lords; renamed again to Đông Đô
Thăng Long (Hanoi) Đại Việt-Đàng Ngoài (Later Lê dynasty - Trịnh lords) 1593 1788 Thăng Long was destroyed by Qing dynasty and Tây Sơn dynasty unified Đại Việt, then moved to Phú Xuân; renamed to Bắc Thành; renamed to Hanoi in 1831.
Hanoi French Indochina 1902 1953 Geneva Conference (1954) led to the Partition of Vietnam; in 1831, Emperor Minh Mạng renamed Thăng Long to Hanoi (Hà Nội)
Hanoi Vietnam, North 1954 1976 unification of Vietnam
Yangon Myanmar 1948 2005 moved to newly built Naypyidaw

East Asia

Old capital city Country, empire From Until Change, reason
Anyang China (Shang dynasty) c. 1600 BCE c. 1046 BCE moved to Chang'an - end of Shang Dynasty
Chang'an China (Zhou dynasty) c. 1046 BCE 722 BCE moved to Luoyang
Luoyang China (Zhou dynasty) 772 BCE 221 BCE moved to Xianyang - fall of Zhou Dynasty
Xianyang China (Qin dynasty) 221 BCE 206 BCE moved back to Chang'an - fall of Qin Dynasty
Chang'an China (Han dynasty) 206 BCE 25 moved back to Luoyang
Luoyang China (Han dynasty) 25 220 Fall of the Han Dynasty marking the beginning of the Six Dynasties period
Chang'an China (Sui dynasty and Tang dynasty) 581 907 fall of the Tang dynasty marking the beginning of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period
Kaifeng China (Song dynasty) 960 1127 moved to Hangzhou
Hangzhou China (Song dynasty) 1127 1279 Kublai Khan integrated China into the Mongol Empire
Nanjing China (Ming dynasty) 1368 1421 moved to Beijing
Nanking (Nanjing) China, Republic of 1928 1937 moved to Chongqing because of Japanese occupation
Chungking (Chongqing) China, Republic of 1937 1945 moved back to Nanjing
Nanking (Nanjing) China, Republic of 1945 1949 moved to Beijing - After the proclamation of the People's Republic of China, the Republic of China government fled to Taiwan and made Taipei the capital.
Hakodate Ezo, Republic of 1868 1869 Ezo annexed by Japan
Taipei Formosa, Republic of 1895 1895 moved to Tainan
Tainan Formosa, Republic of 1895 1895 Formosa annexed by Japan
Asuka Japan (Asuka period) 538 710 Moved to Heijō-kyō (Nara)
Heijō-kyō (Nara) Japan (Nara Period) 710 784 moved to Nagaoka-kyō (Nagaoka)
Nagaoka-kyō (Nagaoka) Japan (Nara Period) 784 794 moved to Heian-kyō (Kyoto)
Heian-kyō (Kyoto) Japan 794 1868 moved to Tokyo (see also: Capital of Japan)
Wanggeom (Pyongyang) Korea (Gojoseon) 194 BCE 108 BCE fall of Gojoseon
Jolbon Korea (Goguryeo) 37 BCE 3 moved to Gungnae City
Gungnae City (Ji'an, Jilin) Korea (Goguryeo) 3 427 moved to Pyongyang
Pyongyang Korea (Goguryeo) 427 668 fall of Goguryeo
Gyeongju Korea (Silla) 57 BCE 935 fall of Silla
Wirye (Southern Seoul) Korea (Baekje) 18 BCE 476 moved to Ungjin
Ungjin (Gongju) Korea (Baekje) 476 538 moved to Sabi
Sabi (Buyeo) Korea (Baekje) 538 660 fall of Baekje
Gaegyeong Korea (Goryeo) 919 1392 moved to Hanyang (Seoul) - fall of Goryeo Dynasty
Shuri Ryūkyū 1429 1879 Annexed by Imperial Japan
Tainan Tungning, Kingdom of 1662 1683 Kingdom of Tungning conquered by Qing dynasty.


Northern Europe

Old capital city Country, empire From Until Change, reason
Roskilde Denmark c. 1020 1443 moved to Copenhagen
Din Guardi (Bamburgh Castle) Bryneich 420 547 conquering of the Kingdom
Bebbanburgh Bernicia 547 634 merged with Deira to become Northumbria
Ebrauc (York) Deira 5th Century 866 merged with Bernicia to become Northumbria
York Northumbria 834 866 fall of the Kingdom
Dorchester on Thames Wessex 634 686 moved to Winchester
Rendlesham East Anglia, Kingdom of 6th century 1017 absorbed into England
Winchester Wessex 686 927 formation of England
Winchester England, Kingdom of 927 1066 moved to London
Turku Finland, Grand Duchy of 1809 1812 moved to Helsinki
Vaasa Finland, Republic of 1918 1918 Temporary capital during the Civil War
Ferns Ireland (under Dermot MacMurrough) 6th century 12th century Ireland invaded by Normans
Kilkenny Ireland, Confederate 1642 1651 Cromwellian conquest of Ireland
Kaunas Lithuania (details) 1922 1940 moved back to Vilnius
Castletown Man, Isle of 1090 1874 moved to Douglas
Nidaros (Trondheim) Norway 997 1070 moved to Bergen
Bjørgvin (Bergen) Norway 1070 1299 moved to Oslo
Christiania (Oslo) Norway 1624 1924 (also written Kristiania from ca. 1877), renamed Oslo
Tamworth Mercia 7th Century 927 fall of Kingdom, superseded by Winchester
Scone, near Perth Scotland, Kingdom of 846 1452 moved to Edinburgh
Edinburgh Scotland, Kingdom of 1452 1707 Scotland was united with England under one monarch in 1603, and lost sovereignty fully in 1707. Edinburgh remains the capital of Scotland within the United Kingdom.
Gamla Uppsala Sweden 9th century 1273 moved to Uppsala
Uppsala Sweden 1273 1436 moved to Stockholm
Machynlleth Wales 1404 1416 seat of Owain Glyndŵr's self-proclaimed parliament. Capital declared to be Cardiff in 1955
York Scandinavian York 875 954 fall of kingdom
Camulodunum (Colchester) Roman Britain 43 61 moved to Londinium (London) after being destroyed by Boudica.

Southern Europe

Old capital city Country, empire From Until Change, reason
Barcelona Visigothic Kingdom 507 546 moved to Toledo
Barcelona County of Barcelona, Crown of Aragon, Principality of Catalonia and Catalan Republic 801 1715 annexed by Spain and France
Córdoba Umayyad Caliphate, Córdoba, Emirate of and Córdoba, Caliphate of 750 1031 country dissolved, became part of Taifa of Córdoba
Tharros Arborea, Giudicato of 9th century 1070 moved to Oristano
Oristano Arborea, Giudicato of 1070 1410 moved to Sassari
Sassari Arborea, Giudicato of 1410 1420 remaining territories sold to the Kingdom of Sardinia
Santa Igia Cagliari, Giudicato of 9th century 1258 country dissolved, territories annexed by Arborea, Gallura, Pisa and Gherardesca
Burgos Castile 11th century 15th century moved to Valladolid
Corte Corsica, Republic of 1755 1769 Corsican Republic annexed by France
Corte Anglo-Corsican Kingdom 1794 1795 moved to Bastia
Bastia Anglo-Corsican Kingdom 1795 1796 Corsican Kingdom annexed by France
Milan Cisalpine Republic 1797 1802 became the Italian Republic
Santiago Couto Mixto 12th century 1864 Couto Mixto annexed by Spain and Portugal
Florence Etruria, Kingdom of 1801 1807 Kingdom of Etruria annexed by France
Ferrara Ferrara, Duchy of 1471 1597 annexed by the Papacy
Florence Florence, Duchy of 1532 1569 became Grand Duchy of Tuscany
Florence Florence, Republic of 1115 1532 became Duchy of Florence
Olbia Gallura, Giudicato of 9th century 1296 country dissolved, territories annexed by Pisa and Arborea
Genoa Genoa, Republic of 11th century 1805 annexed by France
Rabat Gozitan Nation 1798 1801 became part of the British Protectorate of Malta
Granada Granada, Kingdom of 1250 1492 Kingdom ceased to exist after the Reconquista and incorporated into Castile
Milan Italian Republic 1802 1805 Became the Kingdom of Italy
Salò Italian Social Republic 1943 1945 Republic ceased to exist
Milan Italy, Kingdom of (Napoleonic) 1805 1814 Kingdom ceased to exist
Turin Italy, Kingdom of (Sardinian) 1861 1865 moved to Florence
Florence Italy, Kingdom of (Sardinian) 1865 1871 moved to Rome
Rome Italy, Kingdom of (Sardinian) 1871 1946 Kingdom became Republic
Salerno Italy, Kingdom of (Sardinian) 1944 1944 temporarily; moved to Rome after the latter's liberation
Milan Lombardo-Venetian Kingdom 1815 1859 Milan ceded to Kingdom of Sardinia
Venice Lombardo-Venetian Kingdom 1859 1866 Kingdom annexed by Kingdom of Italy
Lucca Lucca, Duchy of 1815 1847 Duchy annexed by Grand Duchy of Tuscany
Lucca Lucca, Republic of 1288 1805 Duchy annexed by France
Mdina Malta 700 BCE 1530 moved to Birgu upon arrival of the Order of Saint John
Birgu Malta 1530 1571 moved to Valletta
Mantua Mantua, Duchy of 1433 1708 attached to the Duchy of Milan
Milan Milan, Duchy of 1395 1797 became part of the Cisalpine Republic
Modena Modena, Duchy of 1452 1860 became part of united Italy
Naples Naples, Kingdom of 1282 1816 Kingdom of Naples merged into the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
Piacenza Piacenza and Parma, Duchy of 1545 1547 moved to Parma, following the assassination of the Duke Pierluigi Farnese
Parma Parma and Piacenza, Duchy of 1547 1860 Became part of united Italy
Guimarães Portugal 1128 1179 moved to Coimbra
Coimbra Portugal 1179 1255 moved to Lisbon
Cagliari Sardinia, Kingdom of 1324 1720 moved to Turin
Turin Sardinia, Kingdom of 1720 1861 Became part of unified Italy
Sassari Sassari, Republic of 1294 1323 Became part of Kingdom of Sardinia
Turin Savoy, Duchy of 1563 1720 Became part of Kingdom of Sardinia
Palermo Sicily 1130 1816 Kingdom merged into the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
Catania Trinacria 1282 1401 moved to Palermo
Toledo Spain 15th century 1469 moved to Valladolid
Valladolid Spain 1469 1561 moved to Madrid. Was briefly the Spanish capital again from 1601-1606.
Valencia Spain 1936 1939 Government of the Second Spanish Republic in the Spanish Civil War
Porto Torres Torres, Giudicato of 9th century 11th century moved to Ardara
Ardara Torres, Giudicato of 11th century 1272 moved to Sassari
Sassari Torres, Giudicato of 1272 1280 country dissolved, territories annexed by Malaspina, Doria, Pisa and Arborea
Trieste Trieste, Free Territory of 1947 1954 Territory dissolved, integrated into Italy and Yugoslavia
Florence Tuscany 1569 1860 became part of unified Italy
Siena Tuscany 1125 1555 Conquered by Florence
Naples Two Sicilies, Kingdom of the 1816 1861 became part of unified Italy
Urbino Urbino, Duchy of 1443 1625 annexed by the Papacy
Venice Venice, Republic of fl. 9th century 1797 annexed by Austria

Western Europe

Old capital city Country, empire From Until Change, reason
Tournai Francia 431 486 Under kings Childeric I and Clovis I, Tournai was the capital of the Frankish empire. In the year 486, Clovis moved the centre of power to Paris, as a result, the Low Countries region ceased to be the political centre of the Frankish empire.
Aachen Carolingian Empire 800 814 became capital of Charlemagne as Imperator Augustus and Emperor of the Carolingian Empire
Zürich Switzerland (Old Swiss Confederacy) 1415 1530 Vorort of the Swiss diet, after 1530 partially replaced by Lucerne.[1]
Vienna Austrian Empire 1806 1867 became capital in Austro-Hungarian Empire
Vienna Austro-Hungarian Empire 1867 1918 became capital in Republic of Austria
Karlsruhe Baden 1771 1918 Baden became part of the German Empire in 1871, and lost sovereignty fully in 1918. Karlsruhe remained the capital of the German state of Baden until 1945.
Munich Bavaria 14th century 1918 Bavaria became part of the German Empire in 1871, and lost sovereignty fully in 1918. Munich remains the capital of the German state of Bavaria.
Brunswick Brunswick 1815 1946 Brunswick merged into Niedersachsen
Frankfurt Confederation of the Rhine 1806 1815 dissolved in 1815
Vichy France 1940 1944 capital of Vichy France régime
Frankfurt German Confederation 1815 1866 German Confederation was dissolved in 1866
Berlin German Empire, Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany 1871 1945 Separation of Germany to occupation zones for the Allied powers
Bonn Germany, West 1949 1990 moved to Berlin after re-unification of Germany
East Berlin Germany, East 1949 1990 Berlin, country ceased to exist after re-unification of Germany
Hanover Hanover 1814 1866 Hanover annexed by Prussia
Darmstadt Hesse-Darmstadt, Landgraviate of, Grand Duchy of Hesse 1567 1918 Hesse-Darmstadt became part of the German Empire in 1871, and lost sovereignty fully in 1918. Darmstadt remained the capital of the German People's State of Hesse until 1945.
Kassel Hesse-Darmstadt, Landgraviate of, Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel, Electorate of Hesse 1277 1866 Hesse-Kassel annexed by Prussia in 1866; Kassel became capital of the prussian province of Hesse-Nassau
Wiesbaden Nassau 1816 1866 Nassau annexed by Prussia
Kelmis Neutral Moresnet 1816 1919 Moresnet annexed by Belgium
Oldenburg Oldenburg 1180 1946 Oldenburg merged into Niedersachsen
Heidelberg Electorate of the Palatinate 14th century 1720 moved to Mannheim
Mannheim Electorate of the Palatinate 1720 1777 Palatinate inherited by the Electors of Bavaria.
Dresden Saxony 1485 1952 Saxony became part of the German Empire in 1871, and Saxony lost its statehood in 1952. Dresden became again the capital of the German state of Saxony in 1990.
Bückeburg Schaumburg-Lippe 1643 1946 Schaumburg-Lippe merged into Niedersachsen
Aarau Switzerland (Helvetic Republic) 1798 1798 moved to Lucerne
Lucerne Switzerland (Helvetic Republic) 1798 1803 Helvetic Republic abolished
Kassel Westphalia 1807 1813 dissolved in 1813
Stuttgart Württemberg c. 1300 1918 Württemberg became part of the German Empire in 1871, and lost sovereignty fully in 1918. Stuttgart remained the capital of the German state of Württemberg until 1947, and then became capital of the German state of Baden-Württemberg

Eastern Europe

Old capital city Country, empire From Until Change, reason
Staraya Ladoga Rus' 862 865 moved to Novgorod
Novgorod Rus' 865 882 moved to Kyiv
Kyiv Rus' (Kyivan Rus') 882 1169 state broke up, moved to Vladimir, Halych and Novgorod
Vladimir Rus' (Grand Duchy of Vladimir) 1169 1327 moved to Moscow
Bolghar Volga Bulgaria 8th century 1240s Volga Bulgaria lost sovereignty
Kazan Kazan Khanate 1438 1552 Kazan Khanate lost sovereignty
Moscow Grand Duchy of Moscow, Tsardom of Russia, Russian Empire 1327 1712 moved to Saint Petersburg
Yaroslavl Tsardom of Russia 1611 1612 de facto
Saint Petersburg Russian Empire 1712 1727 moved to Moscow
Moscow Russian Empire 1727 1731 moved to Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg (Petrograd) Russian Empire 1731 1918 moved to Moscow
Moscow Soviet Union 1922 1991 State union dissolved, Became capital of Russia
Volodymyr Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia 1199 1238 moved to Halych
Halych Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia 1238 1272 moved to Lviv
Lviv Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia 1272 1349 Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia lost its sovereignty
Chyhyryn Cossack Hetmanate 1648 1669 moved to Baturyn
Baturyn Cossack Hetmanate 1669 1708 moved to Hlukhiv after demolition of the city by Russian forces
Hlukhiv Cossack Hetmanate 1708 1722 Cossack Hetmanate lost its sovereignty
Hlukhiv Cossack Hetmanate 1727 1734 Cossack Hetmanate lost its sovereignty
Baturyn Cossack Hetmanate 1750 1764 Cossack Hetmanate lost its sovereignty
Kyiv Ukraine (UNR) 1917 1920 Ukrainian People's Republic lost its sovereignty
Kharkiv Ukraine (SSR) 1919 1934 moved to Kyiv

Southeastern Europe

Old capital city Country, empire From Until Change, reason
Krujë Albania 1190 1255 capital of Principality of Arbanon
Durrës Albania 1272 1368 capital of Kingdom of Albania
Gjirokastër Albania 1286 1418 capital of Principality of Gjirokastër
Berat Albania 1335 1444 capital of Lordship of Berat, moved to Lezhë after becoming part of the League of Lezhë.
Durrës Albania 1368 1392 capital of Princedom of Albania
Lezhë Albania 1387 1444 capital of Principality of Dukagjini, moved to Lezhë after becoming part of the League of Lezhë.
Krujë Albania 1389 1444 capital of Principality of Kastrioti, moved to Lezhë after becoming part of the League of Lezhë.
Lezhë Albania 1444 1450 capital of League of Lezhë
Vlorë Albania 1912 1914 moved to Durrës.
Durrës Albania 1914 1920 moved to Tirana.
Pliska Bulgaria (First Bulgarian Empire) 681 AD 893 AD moved to Preslav
Preslav Bulgaria (First Bulgarian Empire) 893 AD 972 AD moved to Skopie
Skopie Bulgaria (First Bulgarian Empire) 972 AD 992 AD moved to Ohrid
Ohrid Bulgaria (First Bulgarian Empire) 992 AD 1018 Empire ceased to exist after Byzantine conquest
Veliko Tarnovo Bulgaria (Second Bulgarian Empire) 1185 1393 moved to Vidin
Vidin Bulgaria (Second Bulgarian Empire) 1393 1422 Empire ceased to exist after the Ottoman conquest
Constantinople Byzantine Empire 330 AD 661 AD Emperor Constans II relocated his capital to Syracuse in Sicily.
Syracuse Byzantine Empire 661 AD 668 AD Constans II was assassinated and the seat of Byzantine government was returned to Constantinople.
Constantinople Byzantine Empire 668 AD 1204 The Fourth Crusade set out to replace the Greek Orthodox Byzantine Empire with a Latin version and there were several Byzantine successor states, the most memorable of which being the Empire of Nicaea.
Nicaea Byzantine Empire 1204 1261 When the Empire of Nicaea recaptured Constantinople, they relocated the capital there as well
Constantinople Byzantine Empire 1261 1453 Byzantine Empire conquered by the Ottoman Empire.
Chania Crete 1898 1913 Cretan State united with Greece
Varaždin Croatia 1756 1776 Moved back to Zagreb, when a fire destroyed most of the city.
Plovdiv Eastern Rumelia 1878 1885 annexed as part of the Unification of Bulgaria
Fiume/Rijeka Fiume, Free State of 1920 1924 annexed by Kingdom of Italy
Nafplio Greece 1821 1836 moved to Athens
Aegina Greece 1827 1829 moved back to Nafplion
Siret Moldavia 1354 1388 moved to Suceava
Suceava Moldavia 1388 1564 moved to Iași
Iași Moldavia 1564 1859 unified with Wallachia to form United Principalities of Romania
Prapratna Montenegro ... 1042 moved to Skadar
Skadar Montenegro 1042 1385 moved to Ulcinj (Olcinium)
Ulcinj (Olcinium) Montenegro 1385 1403 moved to Bar (Antivari)
Bar (Antivari) Montenegro 1403 1408
Skadar Montenegro 1408 1474 moved to Žabljak (Žabljak Crnojevića)
Žabljak (Žabljak Crnojevića) Montenegro 1474 1475 moved to Obod
Obod Montenegro 1475 1482 moved to Cetinje
Cetinje Montenegro 1482 1946 moved to Podgorica
Bursa Ottoman Empire 1335 1365 moved to Edirne
Edirne Ottoman Empire 1365 1453 moved to Istanbul (Constantinople)
Istanbul Ottoman Empire 1453 1923 The Ottoman Empire became the Republic of Turkey. The capital moved to Ankara
Ragusa Ragusa, Republic of 7th century 1808 annexed by France
Iași Romania 1859 1862 one of the two capitals of the United Principalities, then moved to Bucharest
Bucharest Romania 1859 1916 moved to Iași after partial occupation of the Kingdom of Romania during World War I
Iași Romania 1916 1918 moved back to Bucharest
Corfu Septinsular Republic 1800 1815 Succeeded by the United States of the Ionian Islands, an amical protectorate of the United Kingdom, which had Corfu as its capital, too, until 1864, when the island country became part of the Kingdom of Greece.
Ras Serbia 950 AD 1200 capital of Serbian medieval state Raska moved to Debrc
Debrc Serbia 1276 1289 moved to Belgrade
Prizren Serbia 1300 1345 moved to Skoplje
Skoplje Serbia 1345 1371 capital of Serbian Empire, now capital of Republic of Macedonia
Smederevo Serbia 1430 1453 capital of Serbian Despotate
Subotica Serbia 1526 1527 capital of Serbia, moved to Kragujevac
Kragujevac Serbia 1818 1841 moved to Belgrade
Câmpulung Wallachia fl.13th century fl.15th century moved to Târgoviște
Târgoviște Wallachia 1418 1659 moved to Bucharest
Bucharest Wallachia 1659 1859 unified with Moldavia to form United Principalities of Romania
Belgrade Yugoslavia 1918 2003 State union dissolved, became capital of Serbia

Central Europe

Old capital city Country, empire From Until Change, reason
Prague Czechoslovakia 1918 1993 became capital in Czech Republic
Székesfehérvár and Esztergom Hungary 972 (or 973) 1256 The capital moved from Esztergom to Buda after most of the city was destroyed by the Mongols in 1242
Buda Hungary 1361 1536 moved to Pozsony after part of the nation captured by Ottoman Empire
Pozsony (Pressburg) Hungary 1536 1784 The Capital was here because Turks captured Buda, in 1784 it was moved back to Buda
Buda Hungary 1784 1849 becomes part of Austria, capital in Vienna
Buda Hungary (as part of Austro-Hungarian Empire) 1867 1873 united with Óbuda and Pest to become Budapest
Płock Masovia c. 1038 1047 Masovia reincorporated into Poland
Płock Masovia 1138 1313 moved to Czersk
Czersk Masovia 1313 1413 moved to Warsaw
Warsaw Masovia 1413 1526 Masovia reincorporated into Poland
Gniezno Poland 10th century 1038 moved to Kraków
Poznań Poland 10th century 1038 moved to Kraków
Kraków Poland 1038 1079 moved to Płock
Płock Poland 1079 1138 moved to Kraków
Kraków Poland 1138 1290 moved to Poznań
Poznań Poland 1290 1296 moved to Kraków
Kraków Poland 1296 1596 moved to Warsaw
Lublin Poland 1944 1945 de facto capital
Łódź Poland 1945 1947 de facto capital


Old capital city Country, empire From Until Change, reason
Levuka Fiji 1874 1877 moved to Suva
Jabor, Jaluit Atoll Marshall Islands 1885 1944 moved to Majuro Atoll
Kolonia Micronesia, Federated States of 1914 1999 moved to Palikir
Russell New Zealand 1840 1841 moved to Auckland. Several Māori chiefs offered land at Tāmaki-makau-rau (Auckland) so a capital could be established there.[2]
Auckland New Zealand 1841 1865 moved to Wellington. In 1863 it was proposed that the capital be moved somewhere on the shores of Cook Strait. An independent tribunal decided on the location. They visited a number of sites and chose Wellington.[3]
Koror Palau 1994 2006 moved to Ngerulmud
Tulagi Solomon Islands 1896 1942 moved to Honiara

Note: Melbourne is sometimes said to have been the inaugural capital of Australia, from 1901 until 1927, when Parliament House, Canberra was opened. This is not so. Section 125 of the Constitution of Australia states that the seat of government is to be within the state of New South Wales but not less than 100 miles from Sydney, and that until that place (Canberra) was built, the Parliament of Australia would meet at Melbourne. That made Melbourne the de facto (but not de jure) seat of government 1901-1927, but it did not amount to Melbourne being declared the capital, and it was never so described in contemporary documents.

North America

For the historical capitals of the United States, the Confederate States of America, the Republic of Texas, the Vermont Republic, the Kingdom and Republic of Hawaii, as well as various unrecognized nations within the present United States, see Former national capitals in the United States.
For the many capitals of the former Province of Canada, see that article.
Old capital city Country, empire From Until Change, reason
James Town Barbados 1625 1628 moved to Bridgetown, purpose built
St. George Bermuda 1612 1815 moved to Hamilton
Belize City British Honduras 1638 1970 moved to Belmopan because of the devastating effects of Hurricane Hattie in 1961
Chan Santa Cruz Chan Santa Cruz c. 1852 1901 became part of Mexico
Cartago Costa Rica 1562 1823 moved to San José
Santiago de Cuba Cuba 1522 1589 moved (after 1607 in Havana)
Santiago de los Caballeros Dominican Republic 1863 1865 Dominican Restoration War
Spanish Town Jamaica 1534 1872 moved to Kingston
Quetzaltenango Los Altos 1838 1840 country ceased to exist
Granada Nicaragua 1821 1857 moved to Managua
St. John's Newfoundland 1855 1949 entered confederation with Canada
Washington, D.C. Philippine Commonwealth May 1942 October 1944 returned to the Philippines subsequent to the end of the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in World War II
Old Road Town Saint Kitts 1623 1727 capital moved to Basseterre
San Jose de Oruña Trinidad 1592 1783 moved to Port of Spain
Caparra Puerto Rico 1508 1521 moved to San Juan
Port of Spain West Indies Federation 1958 1962 country ceased to exist
Mérida Yucatán 1840 1847 Yucatán annexed by Mexico

South America

Old capital city Country, empire From Until Change, reason
Cuzco Peru (Inca Empire) fl. 13th Century 1534 Inca Empire conquered and taken over by the Spanish, who designated Jauja as their administration site
Coro Venezuela, Captaincy General of 1527 1578 moved to Caracas to prevent an invasion due to its large coastline.
Antimary Acre, Republic of 1899 1900 returned to Bolivia, then incorporated into Brazil
Jauja Peru (New Castile Governorate) 1534 1535 moved to Lima along the coastline in 1535
Perquenco Araucanía and Patagonia, Kingdom of 1860 1862 incorporated to Chile and Argentina
Paraná Argentine Confederation 1853 1861 moved to Buenos Aires, after the secessionist State of Buenos Ayres rejoined Argentina
Salvador da Bahia Brazil 1549 1763 moved to Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro Portugal 1808 1815 became capital of Portugal when the Portuguese king John VI moved to the colony of Brazil during the war with Napoleonic France in 1808.
Rio de Janeiro Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves; Kingdom of 1815 1825 It came into being when the colony of Brazil was elevated to the rank of a Kingdom, and the Kingdoms of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarve were united as a single State by the title of The United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarve by a Law issued on December 16, 1815.
Rio de Janeiro Brazil 1763 1960 moved to Brasília
Concepción Chile, Kingdom of 1565 1575 moved to Santiago
Concepción del Uruguay Entre Ríos, Republic of 1820 1821 country dissolved (and incorporated to Argentina) after the death of Francisco Ramírez
Laguna Juliana Republic 1836 1836 reincorporated into the Brazilian Empire after the Ragamuffin War
Purificación Liga Federal 1815 1820 country dissolved
Tacna Peru–Bolivian Confederation 1837 1839 country ceased to exist
Piratini Riograndense Republic 1836 1845 reincorporated into the Brazilian Empire after the Ragamuffin War

See also


  1. ^ Vorort in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  2. ^
  3. ^
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