Cities by Former Name

Try to guess the modern names of these cities that were formerly known by a different name.
This refers to the city's English name. The native name might have remained unchanged.
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: June 8, 2019
First submittedJune 8, 2019
Times taken38,207
Average score60.0%
Rating4.74
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Old Name
Current Name
Constantinople
Istanbul
Leningrad
St. Petersburg
Peking
Beijing
Tenochtitlan
Mexico City
Saigon
Ho Chi Minh City
New Amsterdam
New York City
Bombay
Mumbai
Old Name
Current Name
Calcutta
Kolkata
Danzig
Gdańsk
Londinium
London
Madras
Chennai
Edo
Tokyo
Canton
Guangzhou
Stalingrad
Volgograd
Old Name
Current Name
Königsberg
Kaliningrad
Batavia
Jakarta
Léopoldville
Kinshasa
Christiania
Oslo
Smyrna
Izmir
Rangoon
Yangon
+2
Level ∞
Jun 8, 2019
This was originally a quiz called "places that changed names". I decided to separate it into two, one for cities and one for countries.
+6
Level 81
Jun 9, 2019
I didn't know that about Izmir, I thought there was still a place called Smyrna.
+10
Level 72
Jun 9, 2019
No, it's the same city, although arguably what the Turks did to Smyrna (and its residents) was much more than a name change.
+3
Level 80
Jun 9, 2019
The cause of the fire isn't clear. There are sources that says Greek soldiers started fire while retreating like in other cities in inner Aegean region like Usak, Manisa, Salihli etc.

I've lived in Izmir all of my life and love the city. I wish that the Greek, Jewish, Armenian etc. population of the city didn't have to leave the city and we could live together but It isn't fair to say that Turks burnt the city down.

+2
Level 72
Nov 30, 2019
The Greek army employed a scorched-earth policy at some points during their retreat, an admittedly harsh move that was sometimes used in warfare to slow enemy advances or deprive them of supplies (see the burning of Moscow by Russians themselves in 1812). The Smyrna Catastrophe was completely different: The Greek army had almost completely left Anatolia already, the Turks had been in full control of Smyrna for a few days, the fire was set in a way and at a time aimed specifically at destroying the Greek and Armenian Quarters and leaving the Turkish Quarter unscathed, and the Turkish army not only did nothing to avert the disaster, but also massacred Greek civilians by the thousands. It is quite clear who and why set the fire. I too wish we could live in harmony and really appreciate you saying that, but for that we all need to accept the past and learn from it.
+1
Level 80
Jun 9, 2019
Actually there are places called Smyrna in USA. One is in Georgia for example. But the city in Turkey is called Izmir for like a century now
+12
Level 32
Aug 26, 2019
If a place exist; somewhere in the US there is a place named after
+1
Level 62
Mar 16, 2021
That's how I knew it, my hometown is Smyrna, GA and we are named after the former city of Smyrna aka Izmir today.
+8
Level 75
Jun 9, 2019
Fun facts. Constantinople was never an official name of the city it was just a nickname. Official name was New Rome. Also Byzantine Empire was never a name of the country, its citizens never heard of it because it was made up afther the colapse of the Empire. Official name was Roman Empire.
+8
Level 70
Feb 9, 2021
Istanbul was Constantinople, now it's Istanbul not Constantinople

Been a long time gone that Constantinople, like a Turkish Delight on a moonlit night.

Every gal in Constantinople, lives in Istanbul not Constantinople

So if you've got a date in Constantinople, she'll be waiting in Istanbul...

+2
Level 69
Apr 7, 2022
Also Konstantiniyye *was* the official name of the city for ages (under Ottoman rule), while Istanbul was just a nickname, until the Turks finally decided to change the official name too.

Also the Sultanate of "Rum" is a transliteration of Rome, the country they conquered their lands from, because at the time the Turks also did not call it the Byzantine Empire. The name is really just to delineate the period after the collapse of the Western empire, not anything anyone was calling it at the time.

Interesting how much gets lost in translation.

+1
Level 44
Jun 9, 2019
there is also Mauritsstad being renamed to Recife, in north east brazil after the portuguese retook brazilian land from dutch settlers.

If you ever want to do a part two for cities or add more, id recommend that one, and also Frederikstadt renamed to João Pessoa, same context as the Recife one.

+3
Level 37
Jun 9, 2019
Why won't this site use the proper name for old New York? It is Nieuw Amsterdam, not New Amsterdam. And, please do not use that tired old excuse that this is an English language quiz, for all the other place names are used in their original (or transliterated) form.
+12
Level 87
Jun 10, 2019
Actually, most other old names are anglicized forms.
+5
Level 37
Aug 20, 2019
We don't say Papua Niu Guinea even though that's the pidgin for it, I think since 'new' isn't really a part of the name, but a reference that it's being named after a previous city means a little less semantics are necessary.
+3
Level 67
Aug 20, 2019
So new york is actually simply york? And newcastle is castle? And nova scotia is scotia? ANd ah new mexico is mexico? Yes the "new" in whatever form is the reference to the original city, but definitely part of the name!

And perhaps not in some, but in most cases with that intention from the start. Places are called after/in honor of existing places, not (usualy) the exact same name. Especially in cases of newly conquered/explored land.

"I hereby declare these lands, New Jetpunk!"

towns later established and/or playing a less important role in the settling often do have simple copies of names.

+1
Level 69
Apr 7, 2022
Uhh... I don't think that's what anyone was saying, Sifhraven. It was more to do with writing "New" in English or in another language, not about leaving it out altogether.
+3
Level 76
Aug 20, 2019
No.
+5
Level 69
Aug 20, 2019
"And please don't give me the correct answer to my question."

FIFY.

+3
Level 70
Feb 9, 2021
(Even old New York, was once New Amsterdam...

Why they changed it I can't say, people just liked it better that way)

So, take me back to Constantinople

No, you can't go back to Constantinople

Been a long time gone that Constantinople

Why did Constantinople get the works?

That's nobody's business but the Turks!

+6
Level 64
Jun 20, 2019
As you are updating this quiz anyway, why not add the capital formerly known as Astana?
+1
Level 50
Aug 6, 2019
And Bujumbura
+5
Level 61
Aug 6, 2019
Bujumbura never changed its name, Gitega is another city.
+1
Level 72
Oct 20, 2020
And Almaty perhaps, or Almaty is really anglicised version of Alma Ata in Kazakh
+8
Level 68
Aug 20, 2019
Many of these places didn't really "change name", it's just that the English native speakers decided to spell it according to another transliteration or language: the Turks always called "Smyrna" "Izmir", just the English stopped calling it in Greek. The Polish always called "Danzig" "Gdansk", just the English stopped calling it in German.
+2
Level 61
Aug 20, 2019
Yes it's true. That's the same name in other languages. Poles since always has been calling the city Gdansk and Germans are still calling Danzig, Breslau, Stettin etc. Polish people also has their own names of german city like Chociebuz for Cottbus, Norymberga for Nuremberg or Moguncja for Mainz.
+1
Level 55
Aug 20, 2019
I second that.
+1
Level 52
Jan 6, 2021
I even have a quiz about that...
+2
Level 73
Apr 6, 2022
Beijing is just applying pinyin transliteration.
+1
Level 45
Aug 20, 2019
You should accept Ho Chi Minh as an answer for Ho Chi Minh City, didn't think I had to do the full name and then thought I was just wrong.
+2
Level 71
Aug 20, 2019
Even "Ho Chi Min" without the last "h" works, so it works without "city" as well.
+1
Level 72
Oct 20, 2020
Just type HCMC
+1
Level 56
Aug 21, 2019
Nice quiz! I have made a similar quiz with the country given as a hint Click here
+3
Level 63
Nov 27, 2019
The old names were better. Was it really necessary to change them?
+1
Level 81
Feb 21, 2020
That's a bit of a blanket statement. Personally I think Beijing and Mumbai sound much better than Peking and Bombay. Many have not really changed their names, it's just that we in English have taken to using the local name rather than an old colonial name or some anglicisation. Canton was never the name for that city. Of course some changed because of the connotations of the name - Stalingrad's, for example, aren't great. On the other hand Vietnam's new communist government wanted to honour their founder and so renamed the largest city.
+2
Level 64
Mar 8, 2020
typed Kalilingrad. *facepalm*
+1
Level 54
Jan 9, 2021
Lemberg and Lviv, maybe?
+1
Level 51
Apr 4, 2021
I still call it Saigon :)
+4
Level 66
Apr 6, 2022
You know, after everything else he did, there's something so unbearably, insufferably smug about Leopold II naming the capital of the country he destroyed after himself. Just one more slap in the face.
+2
Level 66
Apr 6, 2022
I got stuck for so long thinking “Oh yeah, there’s a city in Illinois called Batavia”.
+1
Level 73
Apr 6, 2022
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Tenochtitlan different than Mexico City? They built Mexico City in the same spot on the ruins of Tenochtitlan, but that's different than just renaming the city, which is what most of these are
+1
Level 48
Apr 21, 2022
Moscow's old name was Moskva if you want to add any more.