World

Eight countries that moved their capitals

Egypt has unveiled plans to build a new administrative capital that would cover an area of about 700 sq km (270 sq miles) on the outskirts of Cairo. If the project is completed, Egypt will become the latest country to uproot its seat of government.

Nigeria

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Nigeria is one of several countries to have moved its government away from its largest city and economic hub when it transferred its capital from Lagos (top) to Abuja in 1991.

Myanmar

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Image copyright Getty Images

Myanmar's military rulers moved the capital 320km (200 miles) north from Rangoon (Yangon) in 2005, to a then-unconstructed site officially named the following year as Naypyidaw.

The new capital (bottom picture) is more centrally and strategically located, though some in Myanmar (Burma) believe the move may have been triggered by a warning from an astrologer about a foreign military attack.

Russia

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Image copyright Getty Images

Russia has switched between Moscow and St Petersburg (pictured top in 1900). St Petersburg, founded by Peter the Great in 1703, served as the country's capital from 1712-1918, before the government reverted to Moscow.

Pakistan

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In 1959 Pakistan decided to move its capital from the southern city of Karachi (pictured top) to Islamabad in the north of the country. It took until 1961 for construction to start on the new capital and decades for it to be completed.

Brazil

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Image copyright Getty Images

Brazil commissioned a purpose-built and centrally located city, Brasilia (pictured bottom), to replace Rio de Janeiro as capital in the 1950s. Brasilia's famous civic buildings, designed by the architect Oscar Niemeyer, were inaugurated in 1960.

Kazakhstan

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One of the most recent new capitals is Astana (lower picture), a planned city that became the capital of Kazakhstan in 1997. It took over from Almaty, still the country's commercial centre and largest population centre.

Tanzania

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Image copyright Job de Graaf

Plans for Tanzania's new capital, Dodoma (bottom picture), were completed in the mid-1980s by the US architect James Rossant.

The transition is not always held up as a success. When the national assembly is in session it sits in Dodoma, but most government ministries - and all foreign embassies - have remained in the old capital of Dar es Salaam.

Ivory Coast

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Image copyright Getty Images

Ivory Coast's economic capital and biggest city is Abidjan. But in the 1960s, post-independence leader Felix Houphouet-Boigny made plans to establish a new capital located at his birthplace. Yamoussoukro (bottom picture) was made capital in 1983.