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A summer capital is a city used as an administrative capital during extended periods of particularly hot [summer] weather. The term is mostly of relevance in a historical context as political systems with ruling classes that would migrate to a summer capital, making them less prevalent in modern times. The ubiquity of air-conditioning systems also reduces the imperative to periodically relocate to summer capitals.
Summer capitals around the world
In India, the government of the British Raj was annually transferred to Shimla during the summer months. This practice was stopped due to the difficulty of transporting officialdom, and the negative perceptions of the public about politicians and public servants making such a move. Srinagar is the summer capital of the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
The hill station of Baguio in the northern mountains of Luzon was selected as the summer capital of the Philippines during the American Occupation in the early 20th century. Its cool climate was a preferred alternative to the sweltering, humid summers in the de facto capital, Manila. While the present sovereign government has long stopped transferring there en masse, the city still hosts the official summer residence of the President of the Philippines, and the Supreme Court of the Philippines still maintains its "Summer Sessions" in the city, and it remains a popular holiday spot especially around Christmas season, when temperatures are considerably lower than in the rest of the archipelago.
Following Russia's loss of the traditionally popular resorts of the Crimea (transferred away from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954 by Nikita Khrushchev), Sochi emerged as the unofficial summer capital of the country. Additionally, Sochi has also served as the location for the signing of many treaties, especially those between the Georgian, separatist Abkhazian, and separatist South Ossetian governing authorities.
The location of San Sebastián in the cooler, northern seaside of Spain close to the French border ideally placed it as a summer capital alternative to Madrid. Maria Christina of Austria, vacationed there from 1887 and was followed by the court. The despot Francisco Franco spent the summers between 1941 and 1975 at the Ayete Palace.
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