Place:List of purpose-built national capitals

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This is a list of capital cities that were specially designed, planned, and built to be a national or regional capital.


City Country Date Notes
Abuja  Nigeria 1991 In 1976, Nigeria's military government made plans for a new capital city. In 1991, it was moved from Lagos in order to provide a capital city that was independent of the three major ethnic groups, the Yoruba, Igbo, and Hausa-Fulani, in an area in the interior of the country. A new capital also allowed for a way to relieve the congestion and overcrowding of Lagos.
Akhetaten Ancient Egypt (New Kingdom) 1346 BC Established by Pharaoh Akhenaten. Abandoned in 1332 BC, shortly after his death. Named "Amarna" by later writers.
Ankara[lower-alpha 1]  Turkey 1923 After having served as the capital of the ancient Celtic state of Galatia (280–64 BC), and later of the Roman province with the same name (25 BC–7th century), on 23 April 1920, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey was established in Ankara. Ankara became the new Turkish capital upon the establishment of the Republic on 29 October 1923, succeeding in this role the former Turkish capital Istanbul (Constantinople).
Astana[lower-alpha 1]  Kazakhstan 1998 After the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the consequent independence of Kazakhstan, the city's original form was restored in the modified form Akmola.[1] On 6 July 1994, the Supreme Council of Kazakhstan adopted the decree "On the transfer of the capital of Kazakhstan".[2] After the capital of Kazakhstan was moved to Akmola on 10 December 1997, the city was consequently renamed Astana in 1998.[3] On 10 June 1998, Astana was presented as the capital internationally.[4] On 16 July 1999, Astana was awarded the medal and title of the City of Peace by UNESCO.[2]
Ava (Inwa) Ava Kingdom 1365 Founded in 1365, Ava (Inwa) was the capital of successive Burmese kingdoms from the 14th to 19th centuries.
Austin, Texas Republic of Texas 1839 The Republic of Texas (1839-1847) had five temporary capitals and one official capital, Houston, before its second president Mirabeau B. Lamar moved the capital to the new city of Austin, which remains the capital of the republic's successor, the U.S. state of Texas .
Ayutthaya Ayutthaya Kingdom ( Thailand) 1350 Founded by Uthong after a smallpox outbreak in Lop Buri in 1350
Baghdad Abbasid Caliphate 762 Victorious Abbasid rulers wanted their own capital to rule from. Choosing a site north of the defeated Sassanid's capital of Ctesiphon (and also just north of where ancient Babylon once stood), on 30 July 762 the caliph Al-Mansur commissioned the construction of the city. The city remains the capital of the modern Republic of Iraq.
Belmopan Template:Country data British Honduras (present-day  Belize) 1970 In 1970, it was moved from Belize City after 1961's Hurricane Hattie caused extensive damage to that city.
Brasília  Brazil 1960 In 1960, it was moved from Rio de Janeiro because of overcrowding, to encourage inland growth, to make the location of the capital more regionally neutral as was stated in the Brazilian constitution in 1891, and to eliminate the vulnerability to attacks by sea.
Bridgetown  Barbados 1628 Moved from James Town to Bridgetown in 1628, due to better topography for a better shipping harbor.
Canberra  Australia 1927 The federal constitution adopted in 1901 required that a new capital be situated within the state of New South Wales but at least 100 miles (160 km) from Sydney. This was a compromise between the claims of Sydney and Melbourne, Australia's two largest cities. The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) was created in 1911 and Canberra was formally established in 1913; however it was not until 1927, with the relocation of federal parliament, that it was designated as the capital.
Christiania  Norway 1624 After a fire devastated medieval Oslo in 1624, King Christian IV ordered the city to be rebuilt further west, closer to the fortress, and renamed Christiania. Beginning in 1859, the former site of Oslo has been included in the city's borders. The city retook the name of Oslo in 1925.
Constantinople (modern Istanbul) Roman Empire (present-day  Turkey) 330 Established by Constantine the Great to be a capital for the Eastern Roman Empire. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, it became the only capital of the empire. Established on the site of old Byzantium, the new city almost completely replaced the old one. After the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453 it became the capital of the Ottoman Empire until its dissolution after World War I, when the Republic of Turkey established its new capital in Ankara. It also served as the capital of the Latin Empire after the Fourth Crusade in the 13th century.
Dodoma[lower-alpha 1]  Tanzania 1996 From 1996, moved from Dar es Salaam
Fujiwara-kyō Japan 694 In 694, the capital was moved there from Asuka, but moved out to Nara in 710.
Gaborone  Botswana 1964 In 1964, it moved from Mahikeng, South Africa , when Botswana became an independent country.[5]
Islamabad  Pakistan 1960 Beginning in 1960, the capital was shifted from Karachi temporarily to Rawalpindi, and the move was completed in 1966. Islamabad was created to diversify development across the country, rather than for it to be centered in the south, along the Arabian Sea coast.
Karlsruhe Baden-Durlach (modern-day  Germany) 1715 In 1715, it was moved from Durlach to Karlsruhe, which became the capital of the unified Baden in 1771. Karlsruhe remained the capital of the Grand Duchy of Baden after German unification following the Franco-Prussian War of 1871; it ceased being the capital of any territorial entity in 1945, at the end of World War II.
Kyoto  Japan 794 In 794, the capital was moved from Nagaokakyō to Kyoto, but it was moved again to Tokyo (Edo) in about 1868, when the Emperor of Japan moved during the Meiji Restoration and the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate. (see article capital of Japan).
Lima Viceroyalty of Peru 1535 Moved in 1535. Cuzco had been the inland capital of the Inca Empire, but when the Spanish Empire took control of Peru, Lima was founded along the Pacific Ocean to be the capital. Francisco Pizarro founded Lima on the coast to take advantage of being closer to the Isthmus of Panama and the Spanish Empire's colonies in North America and more protected from the war-torn highlands of Peru.
Mandalay Burma 1859 Mandalay was built during 1857–1859 by King Mindon, and it was the last royal capital of the Burmese Kingdom. The site was chosen in accordance to a supposed prophecy by The Buddha. Mandalay is now the second largest city in Myanmar.
Naypyidaw  Myanmar 2005 In 2005, it was moved from Yangon (Rangoon) to have their military government more centrally located geographically, "so as to keep an eye on" rebel groups forming and training for coups in the jungles and away from the political activities of Yangon
New Delhi  British Raj (present-day  India) 1912 In 1912, the capital was moved from Calcutta (now Kolkata) to New Delhi. The neighbouring city of Delhi already existed, and it had previously served as the capital of the Mughal Empire.
Ngerulmud  Palau 2006 In 2006, it was moved from Koror City.
Nouakchott  Mauritania 1958 In 1958, it was moved from Saint-Louis, Senegal by President Moktar Ould Daddah.
Pinya Pinya Kingdom 7 February 1313 Founded in 1313, Pinya was the capital of the central Burmese kingdom of Pinya from 1313 to 1365.
Palikir  Federated States of Micronesia 1989 From 1989, moved from Kolonia
Pella Ancient Macedonia c. 400 BC Moved from Aigai due to more fertile land and suitable location for a port, connected to the sea by a navigable inlet.
Pretoria Template:Country data South African Republic 1860 Pretoria was founded in 1855 by Marthinus Pretorius, a leader of the Voortrekkers, who named it after his father Andries Pretorius and chose a spot on the banks of the Apies rivier (Afrikaans for "Monkeys river") to be the new capital of the South African Republic (Dutch: Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek; ZAR).
Putrajaya  Malaysia 2002 In February 2001, Putrajaya was designated as the administrative capital of Malaysia, as the executive branch of government (Cabinet, federal ministries and agencies) was moved from Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya. The seat of the judicial branch of government was also relocated to Putrajaya. However, Kuala Lumpur remains the official capital as well as the seat of the head of state and the legislative branch (Parliament of Malaysia).
Quezon City  Philippines 1948 The city was created in 1939 by President Manuel L. Quezon. In 1948, the capital was moved from Manila to the new, neighbouring city. However, the capital was reverted to Manila in 1976.
Saint Petersburg  Russian Empire 1712 Built by Peter the Great in the beginning of 18th century on territory captured from Sweden in the Great Northern War, capital since 1712. The Bolsheviks finally settled on Moscow in 1918.
Valletta Template:Country data SMOM Hospitaller Malta 1571 In 1571, as a result of the Great Siege of Malta six years earlier, the capital was moved from Birgu to Valletta. The new capital city was built on the Sciberras Peninsula between 1566 and 1571, and it was named for the Grandmaster Jean Parisot de Valette.
Victoria City  Hong Kong 1841 Stanley was the temporary administrative centre until the colonial government moved to the newly-built Victoria City.
Washington  United States 1800 In 1800, the capital of the United States was moved here from its temporary capital in Philadelphia, after years of construction in the federal District of Columbia. The U.S. Constitution had authorized the federal government to set aside a federal district as a national capital. The move was part of the Compromise of 1790 between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton allowing the U.S. Department of the Treasury to assume state governments' debts as a national debt in exchange for locating the capital in the South. Virginia and Maryland each ceded land for the capital.
Yamoussoukro[lower-alpha 1]  Ivory Coast 1983 From 1983, moved from Abidjan

Currently proposed or under construction

City Country Date Notes
Ciudad de la Paz  Equatorial Guinea TBA Ciudad de la Paz is under construction and is expected to replace Malabo as Equatorial Guinea's capital city.
Little Bay  Montserrat TBA Little Bay is a town under construction in Montserrat, intended to replace the previous capital, Plymouth, which was destroyed by the eruption of the Soufrière Hills volcano in 1997.
New Administrative Capital  Egypt TBA In March 2015, Egypt proposed building a New Administrative Capital, currently undergoing a naming process.[6] It is now under construction and lies east of the present capital Cairo. The city is projected to be home to more than 40 million people by 2050.[7]
Nusantara  Indonesia 2024 For decades, Indonesia has mulled the relocation of its capital from Jakarta (which is overcrowded and subsiding rapidly) to a proposed new site, which was named Nusantara on 16 January 2022.[8] On 26 August 2019, President Joko Widodo announced that the future Indonesian capital will be carved from Penajam North Paser and Kutai Kartanegara regencies in East Kalimantan province, and its construction will commence in 2020.[9][10]
Ramciel  South Sudan TBA In February 2011, the Autonomous Government of Southern Sudan adopted a resolution to study moving the capital of the new Republic of South Sudan that was to be created in July of that year to a new, planned city. In September 2011, the government of South Sudan approved a project to build a new capital at Ramciel in Lakes state; it is projected that the project will take at least five years.
Sejong  South Korea 2030 South Korea began construction of its new capital city, Sejong, in 2007, with the first inhabitants arriving in 2012. Complete relocation of the capital from Seoul is expected in 2030.

Former proposals and attempts

  • Welthauptstadt Germania was the proposed renewal of Berlin, (Nazi Germany) as a planned "world capital", although only a small portion was built between 1937 and 1943. Many of the plans were designed by Albert Speer. Progress was halted by the failure of Operation Barbarossa during World War II.
  • Al-Karamah was intended to be the permanent capital of the United Arab Emirates located between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, but it was never built.[11]
  • Viedma, was proposed by President Raúl Alfonsín as a new Capital for Argentina in 1986, replacing Buenos Aires. The idea was to change the centralization in the port of Buenos Aires, and promote development in Patagonia. The economical collapse of Alfonsín government halted the project that had been approved by Law.[12]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Modern parts of the city are placed beside or within old cities.


  1. Pospelov 1993, pp. 24–25.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Astana – the capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan". Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  3. "Timeline: Kazakhstan". BBC News. 31 January 2012. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  4. "Astana – the capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan". Official site of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Archived from the original on 17 March 2015. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  5. Njeru, Purity (2009). "History of Gaborone". Nairobi, Kenya: The African Executive. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2009. 
  6. "مسابقة هوية مصر". 
  7. Kingsley, Patrick (2015-03-16). "A new New Cairo: Egypt plans £30bn purpose-built capital in desert" (in en). 
  8. "Head Of Bappenas Suharso: Name Of The Capital City Of The Archipelago" (in en). 
  9. "Indonesia plans to relocate its capital from Jakarta" (in en). 
  10. Kusuma, Hendra (26 August 2019). "Resmi! Jokowi Putuskan Ibu Kota RI Pindah ke Kaltim" (in id). detikfinance. Retrieved 26 August 2019. 
  11. Ibrahim Al Abed; Peter Hellyer (1 June 2001). United Arab Emirates: a new perspective. Trident Press Ltd. p. 131. ISBN 978-1-900724-47-0. Retrieved 25 January 2021. 
  12. Santi, Matías Di. "El traslado de la capital a Viedma" (in es).