The World's 10 Southernmost Country Capitals

The World's 10 Southernmost Country Capitals

Explore the southernmost reaches of the world through the capitals that anchor its diverse landscapes.

1/10 Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington is the capital and second most populous city of New Zealand. It is located on the southwestern tip of the North Island, and is one of the world’s southernmost capital cities. Wellington has a population of 418,500, and covers an area of approximately 290 square km. Located in the Wellington Region, the city lies at a latitude of 41°17'S, making it the world's southernmost capital of a sovereign state. The city is bordered by a mountainous landscape and is situated on the Cook Strait, the body of water that separates the North and South Islands. Wellington was established in 1840 as the capital of New Zealand by the British, who named it after Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington.

2/10 Canberra, Australia

Canberra, Australia

Canberra is the capital of Australia and is located in the southeast of the country, approximately 150 miles southwest of Sydney. It is located between the Molonglo and Gudgenby Rivers and has an elevation of 1788 feet. Canberra has a latitude of 35°18' S and a longitude of 149°08' E. Canberra is the largest inland city in Australia and covers an area of 814.2 square km. Canberra has a rich history, dating back to the 1800s when it was first discovered by European settlers. In 1911, the city was chosen as the nation's capital and it was officially declared as such in 1913.

3/10 Montevideo, Uruguay

Montevideo, Uruguay

Montevideo is the capital city of Uruguay and is situated on the southeastern coast of the country. It is located at a latitude of 34° 53’ south and a longitude of 56° 10’ west. Montevideo has an area of 201 square km, making it the largest city in Uruguay. Montevideo was founded by the Spanish in 1726, and it was made the capital of the then-Spanish colony in 1776, when it was officially named Montevideo. It has since become the main port and financial center of Uruguay. The city is located on the banks of the Rio de la Plata River, giving it a pleasant climate, with warm summers and mild winters.

4/10 Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city in Argentina, located on the southeastern coast of the South American continent. The city lies on a latitude of 34°S, and is located within the province of Buenos Aires, on the banks of the Río de la Plata. With a population of over 2.9 million people, Buenos Aires is one of the largest cities in Latin America. The history of Buenos Aires dates back to the 16th century when Spanish settlers established the city as the main port of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata. The city served as the primary port for the region and prospered through the centuries of colonial rule. In the early 19th century, the city declared its independence from Spanish rule and established itself as a major economic center in South America. 

5/10 Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town is a coastal city in South Africa, located at 33.55°S 18.22°E on the Cape Peninsula. It is the second most populous city in the country and the legislative capital of South Africa. With an estimated population of over 4 million people, it is the largest city in the province of Western Cape. Cape Town has a long and rich history, beginning with the first European settlement in 1652 by the Dutch East India Company. The city was later taken over by the British in 1795 and then the Union of South Africa in 1910. It has since become a major cultural and economic hub in the country and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

6/10 Santiago, Chile

Santiago, Chile

Santiago, Chile is located in South America along the western coast of the continent. It is situated at 33.26° S latitude and 70.67° W longitude. It is the capital and largest city in Chile, with a population of 6.5 million people. Santiago is surrounded by the Andes Mountains to the east and the Chilean Coastal Range to the west, with the Maipo River running through the city. The city covers an area of over 641 square km and is a major political, cultural, and financial center in Latin America. Santiago was founded in 1541 by Pedro de Valdivia and is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Chile. It has a long history of being a major center of cultural, religious, and economic activity, and was an important trading port during the colonial period. 

7/10 Maseru, Lesotho

Maseru, Lesotho

Maseru is the capital of Lesotho, located at the southern tip of the African continent. It is situated at a latitude of 29.3°S, which places it at the same latitude as Brisbane, Australia. Maseru lies in the western lowlands of Lesotho, on the banks of the Caledon River. Maseru is a medium-sized city, with a population of approximately 340,000 people according to the 2019 census. It is the main administrative, commercial, and educational centre of Lesotho and is the country's largest urban area. Maseru's history dates back to the 19th century, when Scottish missionaries arrived in the area and established a mission station in the area. In 1869, the mission station was destroyed during the Basotho Wars, however it was rebuilt in the 1870s and became the main settlement in the area. The town was then declared as the capital of Basutoland (the original name of Lesotho) in 1884. The city is surrounded by scenic mountains and lush green hills. 

8/10 Mbabane, Eswatini

Mbabane, Eswatini

Mbabane, the capital of Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland), is located in the heart of Southern Africa at 26°19′S. It lies in a valley between the Mdimba and the Mbabane Mountain ranges in the Highveld region of the country. The city is about 1481 meters above sea level and covers an area of about 81.76 square kilometers. Mbabane was founded in 1895 by the British, who named it after Chief Mbabane Kunene of the local Ndwandwe tribe. It was intended to be a trading post for ivory and gold. In 1902, it became the capital of Swaziland and in 1968 it was declared a city. 

9/10 Maputo, Mozambique

Maputo, Mozambique

Maputo, Mozambique is located in the southeastern region of Africa and lies along the Indian Ocean at 25°57’S latitude. It is the capital city of Mozambique and the largest city in the country, covering an area of over 347 square km. Maputo has a long and complicated history as it was once part of the Portuguese Empire and was known as Lourenço Marques during colonial rule. It was occupied by the British during World War I and was eventually liberated in 1975 after Mozambique won independence. 

10/10 Pretoria, South Africa

Pretoria, South Africa

Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa, located in the northern part of the country in the province of Gauteng. It is situated on a highveld plateau, approximately 1,400 meters above sea level and at 25°44' South and 28°11' East in latitude and longitude, respectively. Pretoria is a large city, with an estimated metropolitan population of 2.8 million. It has a long and rich history, with archaeological evidence of human settlements in the area dating back to the middle Stone Age. It was founded in 1855 by the Boer Voortrekkers, who named it after Andries Pretorius, a leader of the Voortrekkers. The city is situated on the Apies River, which runs through the city and is a major source of water. 

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