I have only encountered San Marino in my Geography lessons back in high school, when we had to learn all the countries of the world and their capitals. Having a really awesome teacher, he always liked to tell us more than just the basics, so he would share some facts or stories, depending on whether he’s been in a particular country or not. Few years ahead, I only remember that San Marino is the world’s oldest sovereign state, landlocked in Italy.
So, as the Countries of the World Series presents a randomly picked country, today we will be discovering the Republic of San Marino.
1. The population San Marino was 34,450 people in 2013. The residents are known as Sammarinese. Being 61 sq. km in size (23.5 sq. miles), San Marino becomes the 5th smallest country in the world and the 3rd in Europe.
°Fun fact: If everyone in San Marino went to Wembley Stadium, there would be 56,318 empty seats.
2. Founded in 301 AD by stonecutter Marinus of Arbe, San Marino claims to be the oldest constitutional republic and sovereign state. Even today, the state is functioning after the earliest written constitution (1500 AD – the Leges Statutae Republicae Sancti Marini, a series of six books written in Latin).
3. In 1861, the government of San Marino wrote a letter to President Abraham Lincoln naming him an honorary citizen. Of course, Lincoln accepted.
4. The country remained neutral during the World Wars, even if it was under Fascist occupation for 20 years. San Marino also had the first democratically elected communist government from 1945 to 1957.
5. Even if San Marino became part of the Council of Europe in 1988 and it uses the Euro as currency, it is not a member of the European Union, nor of the Eurozone.
Written by: Ioana-Alexandra Tache
Photo source © Things to do in San Marino