Summer capital

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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.[citation needed] The ubiquity of air-conditioning systems also reduces the imperative to periodically relocate to summer capitals.

Summer capitals around the world[edit]


Shangdu (Xanadu) was an "Upper Capital" during Kublai Khan's reign in the 13th century.[1]


Palanga is usually named as the summer capital of Lithuania.[citation needed]


Pärnu is the fifth largest town of Estonia (third among ethnic Estonians) and is a popular summer resort.[citation needed] Although the town is left in the background for most of the year, much of Estonian life centers around Pärnu during vacation season. Since 1996 Pärnu has been known as Estonia's Summer capital.


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 state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Netherlands[edit]

Around 1900, Nijmegen was the summer capital for tourists from the rest of Holland. They fled the busyness of the city and ended up in wonderful Berg and Dal and Nijmegen. Dating back to the Roman Empire, Nijmegen is the oldest city in the Netherlands. Even now, Nijmegen has the best reason to be the Summer Capital of Holland. The city is full of all kinds of activities in the summer and there is wonderful class-A nature surrounding it. Nijmegen is one of the few cities in the Netherlands with natural beaches. With its island in the river Waal and the newly dug channel, the city has even bathing water in the heart of the town.


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 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.[citation needed]


Following Russia's loss of the traditionally popular resorts of the Crimean Peninsula (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.[2] 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.

Saudi Arabia[edit]

The Saudi royal family relocates to the mountainous city of Taif, near Mecca, which is far cooler in the summer months than the official capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh.


The location of San Sebastián in the cooler, northern part of Spain close to the French border ideally placed it as a summer capital alternative to Madrid.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Shangdu (Upper Capital) the capital of the Yuan Dynasty". Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-03. 
  2. ^ "Sochi Olympics a 'monstrous scam' - Russian opposition". BBC News. Retrieved 30 May 2013.