Cities Journal
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Cities’ Little Known Nicknames


Sin City is Las Vegas and The Big Apple is New York City, yes, but do you know where to go when you’re on the way to the Red City or the Mile High City?

This is how these cities got their nicknames.

The Square Mile

London is the “square mile”, as the official city boundaries, unchanged since the Middle Ages, include an area that’s exactly one square mile (2.6 square kilometers).

The Mile High City

The city of Denver, Colorado sits one mile above sea level, hence the name.

The Mother City

Cape Town was the first metropolis in South Africa. The word metropolis comes from the Greek word meter, or metros, meaning ‘mother’. Polis means city, so metro and polis, and you get the name…

The City of Palaces

Kolkata, India, got its nickname after many mansions built during the colonial era, when the city was the capital of British India.

Queen of the Adriatic

Venice, Italy is often called the Queen of the Adriatic because of its beauty, abundant art and architecture.

City of a Thousand Minarets

Cairo, Egypt is home to thousands of mosques, and other beautiful examples of Islamic architecture and culture, so it’s called the City of a Thousand Minarets.

The Paris of the Middle East

In the 1940s, Lebanon gained independence from France and made Beirut its capital. However, Beirut’s cafe culture, chic fashion and continued French influence led to its nickname the Paris of the Middle East.

The Pearl of the Orient

Hong Kong is one of the world’s most populated cities, and is also one of the most brightly lit. So it’s also called the Pearl of the Orient.

City of Sails

Auckland, New Zealand in particular is known for its sailing. It has more boats per capita than anywhere else in the world.

The City of the Seven Hills

Rome, Italy was built on seven hills that were joined together by the Servian Wall.

The City of Bridges

Wroclaw, in Poland is the City of Bridges. It sits on 12 islandsand is connected by more than 200 bridges.

The Red City

Bologna in Italy is the Red City, or La Rossa, because of the red bricks that make up most of its historic architecture. It also has a history of leftist politics.

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