Geographical renaming, Cities and towns

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Summary

Geographical renaming is the changing of the name of a geographical feature or area. This can range from the uncontroversial change of a street name to a highly disputed change to the name of a country. Some names are changed locally but the new names are not recognised by other countries, especially when there is a difference in language. Other names may not be officially recognised but remain in common use.

Details

  • Attock, Pakistan was known as Campbellpur.
  • Bin Qasim, formerly known as Pipri in Pakistan.
  • Beijing – Usually spelt Peking until the 1980s. Named Peiping (Beiping in pinyin) from 1927 to 1949, during which time Nanking (Nanjing) was the national capital.
  • Bangalore, India – set to be changed to Bengaluru with state government approval in 2006 but yet to be ratified by the central government
  • Banjul – formerly Bathurst.
  • Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, between 1926 and 1991 called Frunze
  • Bogotá – Changed to Santa Fé de Bogotá D.C. (Distrito Capital) in 1991 from Bogotá D.E. (Distrito Especial). Changed back to the simplified Bogotá D.C. (Distrito Capital) in 2000.
  • Bratislava, Slovakia, formerly Pozsony or Pressburg
  • Busan – spelt Pusan prior to the official adoption of the Revised Romanization by the South Korean Government in 2000. During the Korean War it was the temporary capital. Named Dongrae (동래/東萊) until 1910. In 1920, renamed to Busan.
  • Chennai, called Madras until 1996.
  • Daegu – spelt Taegu prior to the official adoption of the Revised Romanization by the South Korean Government in 2000. In ancient times, Dalgubeol (달구벌/達句伐)
  • Dobrich – known as Bagarzic between 1913–1940, Tolbuhin between 1945–1990. It was known Hacıoğlu Pazarcık during Ottoman rule
  • Donetsk – founded as Yuzovka (after John Hughes) in 1870, called Stalino 1924-–1961, renamed Donetsk after the De-Stalinization period in the USSR
  • Dushanbe – known as Stalinabad between 1929–1961 and renamed Dushanbe after the De-Stalinization period in the Soviet Union.
  • Faisalabad was known as Lyallpur (until the 1970s) in Pakistan
  • Gagarin, town in Russia – formerly Gzhatsk, took current name after cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's death in 1968
  • Gdańsk – in German Danzig, when part of Kingdom of Prussia or Germany (1793-1920 and 1940–5) and as a Free City (1920–39).
  • Heraklion in Crete, Greece: Its ancient name was Heraklion. After the Arab conquest in 824 it was named "Handaq" (The Moat) from which derived the Greek name "Chandax" in Byzantine times (961–1204) and later the Italian "Candia" during the Venetian period (1212–1669) when Candia eventually became the name of the whole island of Crete. In Turkish times (1669–1898) it was called "Kandiye" by the Ottomans but from the locals "Megalo Kastro" (Great Castle) or simply "Kastro". During the time of the autonomous Cretan State (1898–1913) scholars proposed to reuse the ancient name "Heraklion" which eventually was accepted by the locals.
  • Huambo, formerly Nova Lisboa, changed in 1975 after the independence of Angola
  • Ivano-Frankivsk, founded as polish Stanisławów in 1662, changed to Stanislau in 1772, under Austria. After World War I it returned to its original name. Then it was known as Stalislav (1939–41), Stanislau (1941–45) and again Stanislav, until 1962, when it has been renamed to its current name, to honour Ivan Franko.
  • Jakarta, – formerly Batavia, Jayakarta, and Sunda Kelapa.
  • Jerusalem, – renamed to Aelia Capitolina by the Romans in 135 and was restored back to Jerusalem in 325.
  • Kabwe in Zambia – formerly Broken Hill.
  • Kanpur, India – formerly known as Cawnpore.
  • Katowice in Silesia, Poland was Stalinogród between 1953 and 1956, and Kattowitz when under German rule
  • Kenora, Ontario, Canada from Rat Portage in 1905.
  • Kimchaek in North Korea, formerly known as Songjin. Renamed during the Korean War after the chief of staff of the North Korean army killed during the war.
  • Kinshasa – formerly Léopoldville, changed in 1966.
  • Kollam, India – formerly Quilon.
  • Kuito formerly Silva Porto, changed in 1975 after the independence of Angola
  • Lüshun – formerly Port Arthur in English, or Ryojun during the Japanese occupation in the 1930s and 1940s.
  • Lviv, Ukraine – originally Polish Lwów, became Lemberg under Austro-Hungarian rule (1772–1918), reverted to Lwów (1918–1945), then Lvov under Soviet rule (1945–1991); took current name on Ukrainian independence
  • Malabo – formerly Santa Isabel
  • Maputo – formerly Lourenço Marques
  • Montana, Bulgaria - known as Kutlovitsa until 1890, Ferdinand between 1890–1945, Mihaylovgrad between 1945–1993
  • Mumbai, India – formerly known as Bombay.
  • Nawabshah formerly known as Benazirabad in Pakistan.
  • Orenburg was renamed Chkalov from 1938–1957, after Valery Chkalov and renamed Orenburg in 1957.
  • Oslo, Norway renamed Christiania when rebuilt after fire in 1624. Spelled Kristiania between 1877-1925 when the name returned to Oslo.
  • Perm, known as Molotov from 1945-1957, after Vyacheslav Molotov and renamed to Perm in 1957.
  • Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada from Pile O' Bones or Pile-of-bones in 1882 in what was then the North-West Territory.
  • Royal Tunbridge Wells, changed from Queen's-Wells to Tunbridge Wells in 1797. Renamed in 1909 to its current name after receiving a Royal Charter.
  • Sahiwal – formerly known as Montgomery in Pakistan.
  • Saint Petersburg – originally Saint Petersburg (in 1703), then Petrograd (in 1914), Leningrad (in 1924) and back to Saint Petersburg in 1991
  • Samara, Russia – renamed to Kuibyshev from 1935–1991, after Valerian Kuibyshev and renamed Samara in 1991.
  • Seoul – formerly Hanyang (from 1392), then Hanseong (from 1395), Keijō or Gyeongseong (from 1914) and renamed Seoul in 1946. (See also Names of Seoul)
  • Shenyang – formerly Mukden, Fengtian (奉天) or Shengjing (盛京).
  • Staines-upon-Thames formerly Staines, this town will be officially renamed in May 2012 with the aim of promoting its riverside location and boosting the local economy.
  • Sucre formerly known as La Plata (1539-mid 17th century), Charcas (mid 17th century to early 18th century) and Chuquisaca (until 1831), current name in honour of Antonio José de Sucre.
  • Szczecin – in German Stettin, when part of Germany, until 1945.
  • Tallinn – known as Reval until 1917.
  • Tel Aviv-Yafo – renamed Tel Aviv from Ahuzat Bayit. Renamed to Tel Aviv-Yafo in 1950 after the annexation of Jaffa (Yafo).
  • Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada in 1970 from the merger of twin cities of Fort William and Port Arthur.
  • Tolyatti – formerly known as Stavropol-on-Volga and Stavropol. In 1964, it was renamed to Tolyatti after Palmiro Togliatti
  • Toronto – known as York at the time of the War of 1812.
  • Tskhinvali, Georgia – also known as Tskhinval or Ch'reba in present time, formerly named Staliniri (1934–1961)
  • Ürümqi – formerly known as Tihwa (迪化; Dǐhuà in pinyin), which means "to enlighten" in Chinese. In 1954, renamed to Ürümqi, which means "beautiful pasture" in Dzungar Mongolian.
  • Varanasi, India – formerly known as Benares (or Banaras) and Kashi.
  • Veles, known as Titov Veles between 1945 and 1991.
  • Vilnius – the capital of Lithuania was known as Vilna or Wilno when it was under Polish rule (1920–1939).
  • Virden, Manitoba, Canada from Manchester.
  • Volgograd – formerly Tsaritsyn (1589-1925), Stalingrad (1925–1961).
  • Wrocław – in German Breslau, when part of Germany, until 1945.
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada from Fort Garry in 1873.
  • Xi'an – Usually spelt Sian until the 1980s. Formerly Chang'an (長安), the ancient name for the city when it was the capital of China until the name was changed to Xi'an in the Ming Dynasty.
  • Yangon – renamed Yangon after being known as Rangoon (1852–1988). Still known as Rangoon in many English-speaking countries.
  • Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk – named Toyohara under Japanese rule between 1905 and 1946, but before that was Vladimirovka, a Russian settlement before the Russo-Japanese War (1882–1905).
  • Zhob, Pakistan – renamed from Fort Sandeman in 1976.

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