Better Know a Tiny Country: San Marino, the Fighting Sammarinese!
December 31, 2010 11:41 PM Subscribe
The Most Serene Republic of San Marino.
posted by kmz (30 comments total)
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According to legend
, the tiny country
of San Marino
was founded in 301AD by Saint Marinus of Rab
, and is thus the world’s oldest republic
. Occupying 24 square miles around Mount Titano
in the middle of Italy
, it is the fifth smallest country in the world
Its current constitution has been in place since 1600
, one of the oldest constitutions still in use today. Since 1243, the heads of state have been two Captains Regent
, elected every six months.
The tiny country was able to escape conquest by Napoleon
and by giving safe harbor to Garibaldi, also avoided annexation
by a newly unified Italy.
Its most popular sport is soccer, but its national team is one of the worst in the world
. One of its few moments of glory
was scoring the fastest goal ever
in World Cup related competition, 8.3 seconds into a qualifier match against England, though England would go on to win 7-1.
The International Academy of Sciences in San Marino
is one of the few if not only institutions to adopt Esperanto
as its official language.
San Marino has made one Eurovision entry
thus far, missing out on the finals. But it did give the UK entry
one of their only two votes
San Marino has certainly been through dark periods as well, electing a completely Fascist council in the time of Mussolini
, but in 1932 it still managed to issue a set of stamps honoring Abraham Lincoln, who had said of the tiny nation: "Although your dominion is small your state is nevertheless one of the most honored in all history."