Quiz on capital cities

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on January 10, 2018 Published on September 08, 2017


Our quiz is on how current and former capital cities were named.

On September 9, 1791, the US named its capital after the first president, George Washington.

1 Till 1868, the name of this capital city literally meant ‘capital city ’ in the native language. The name of the current capital city means ‘eastern capital.’ Which country is it?

2 Which African country’s capital derives its name from the Zulu word for gazelle?

3 The Turkish city of Edirne was once the capital of the Ottoman Empire in the 14th century. Which ruler does it get its name from, who is also remembered for a well known structure in the United Kingdom?

4 Of the several theories about the origin of this European capital city, the most common one is of it being named Olissopona, after the Greek hero Ulysses founded it. Which city is it?

5 Which Asian capital city gets its name from a religious structure built by a 16th-century king, supposedly from the wood of a single tree?

6 According to a legend, two brothers set out to build a city. They chose different hills and in the argument about which hill would be capital, one brother kills the other and duly builds the temple on the hill of his choosing. Name the brothers and the city.

7 Which Asian capital city gets its name from a Sanskrit word that translates to ‘victorious deed’? It was originally named after a tribe from Western Europe.

8 Fill in the blanks to complete the name of this capital city. Ciudad de la Santísima Trinidad y Puerto de Nuestra Señora la Virgen María de los _____ _____?

9 In 1966, which African capital city was renamed after a nearby village. It was originally named after one of the most ruthless rulers in European history, whose policies caused millions of deaths in the country he privately owned.

10 If you have to reach the fictional Emerald City, on which famous path, immortalised by singer Elton John, do you have to travel?


1. Japan, Kyoto and Tokyo

2. Kampala, the capital of Uganda from Impala. Entebbe was the Ugandan capital between 1905 and 1958

3. Emperor Hadrian of Rome, who also built Hadrian’s Wall. Edirne was originally called Adrianopolis

4. Lisbon. The historian Ptolemy called it Oliosipon

5. ‘Kathmandu’ from the Kasthamandap in Durbar Square. From ‘kath,’ and ‘mandap.’ Raja Laxmi Narsingh Malla had it built without using a single nail

6. Romulus and Remus, Rome

7. Jakarta. Originally named Batavia after the Batavi tribe from the Netherlands

8. Buenos Aires. Literally ‘City of the Most Holy Trinity and Port of Saint Mary of the Good Airs’

9. Kinshasa, originally named Léopoldville after King Leopold of Belgium

10. The Yellow Brick Road. This is the city of the Royal Palace of Oz in L Frank Baum’s ‘Wizard of Oz’

Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster and Project Director, FIFA U-17 World Cup; Follow Joy on Twitter @joybhattacharj

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Published on September 08, 2017
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