What is the Serb Republic's capital? Everyone thinks it's Banja Luka, but that's not true! (POLL
If somebody were to ask you in the middle of the night, "Which is the capital of the Serb Republic?," you'd immediately answer, "Banja Luka"
You know the feeling when playing "Interesting Geography" and you're supposed to say the name of a capital that begins with a "B" - and since you know that everyone will say Belgrade, you write Banja Luka, certain that you will score the maximum number of points on this. But you get nothing, because Banja Luka is not the capital of the Serb Republic, even though you were convinced it was.
These are some questions that most of us don't even think about because we are one hundred percent sure we know the correct answer, as we know that Belgrade is the capital of Serbia, that the sky is blue and 2 plus 2 equals 4. We are even so convinced that we would "put our hand into the fire for it."
And if somebody were to ask you in the middle of the night, "Which is the capital of the Serb Republic?," you'd immediately answer, "Banja Luka."
And that's not true.
The capital of the RS is, believe it or not, East Sarajevo. The Serb Republic (Republika Srpska, RS, informally Srpska) is one of two entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), in addition to the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is located in Southeastern Europe, more precisely in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula.
The largest city is Banja Luka, but that's not the capital, even though it is the seat of most RS institutions.
Banja Luka is the political, administrative, financial, university and cultural center of the RS. According to the final data of the 2013 Census in BiH, Banja Luka with its wider area has a population of 185,059. It was founded as a city in 1494.
On the other hand, Sarajevo or East Sarajevo is a populated place in the city of East Sarajevo. Most of the pre-war Sarajevo belongs to the Federation of BiH, and smaller peripheral parts belong to the RS.
According to the final data of the 2013 Census for the the RS issued by the Statistical Office of the City of East Sarajevo, 59,916 people lived there, while according to the final data of the BiH Agency for Statistics there were 61,516 persons. The city was founded in 1461.
You certainly shouldn't despair, because even the citizens of East Sarajevo in a recent survey weren't aware that they live in the capital of their entity. We took to the streets of Belgrade to check if anyone knew that Banja Luka was not the capital (video at the top of the page).
CITIES THAT ALSO BRING CONFUSION
Banja Luka is not the only "capital" city that will make you embarrass yourself before your friends. There are several other cities in the world that, when first mentioned, you might think are their countries' capitals.
Hence many people when they hear Switzerland think that the capital is Zurich, which is not true. It is actually Bern, although Zurich is considered the center of the country, with many businesses, colleges, cultural and social events.
The same goes for Istanbul. While you may be convinced that Istanbul is the capital of Turkey, the correct answer is Ankara.
When Spain is mentioned, many people immediately think of Barcelona, thinking that's the capital of this beautiful country - which is not correct. The capital is Madrid.
Brazil is also very confusing, and most people immediately think that its capital is Rio de Janeiro, because it is a symbol of this country. Or even Sao Paolo. As you already know, it just takes you a moment to think - the capital of Brazil is Brasilia.
At the top of the page, see how Belgraders responded to the question, "What is the capital of the RS?"
Are there any other countries that, when mentioned, make you take a moment to think what their capital might be?