There are many incredibly facts, sights and scenes in Europe. For instance there’s the fact that Europe is home to both the smallest and largest countries in the world (the Vatican City and Russia), there’s Istanbul that bridges two separate continents, there’s Etna – the huge active volcano in Sicily, and there’s the free internet provided all around Tallinn.
Here’s one incredible oddity in Europe however that you may not have been aware of – the longest place name in Europe. The name? ‘Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch’. Sounds ridiculous right? Well actually this is a genuine place name and one of the longest recognized words in the world. In total there are 58 letters there (count them if you like) and the word means ‘Saint Mary’s Church in the hollow of the white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio of the red cave’. So in fact it’s actually kind of succinct. Of course the word is Welsh (where else?) and it’s officially the longest place name in Europe. If you want a shorter version then try ‘Llanfairpwllgwyngyll’.
While this is the longest place name in Europe, there are some other rather impressive contenders. Try ‘Äteritsiputeritsipuolilautatsijänkä ‘ in Finland, ‘Siemieniakowszczyzna’ from Poland or ‘Newtownmountkennedy’ in Ireland. All very impressive, but sadly the longest place name in Europe can not lay claim to the longest place name in the world. The most impressively long word in the world is situated in New Zealand and that is the Maori word: ‘Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoron ukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu’ for a particular hill. This translates to ‘The place where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, who slid, climbed, and swallowed mountains, known as a land-eater, played the flute to his loved one.’
So there you have it, the longest place name in Europe and some other impressively long place names. Who knew that as near as Wales there was a place with such a crazy name? If you have some spare time on your hands then why not learn to pronounce them?
This post was written by admin on March 2012