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12, 43.55511, 135.47753
Qolna (Independent City)
Foundedca. mid-5th c. BC
Grant of Rights566
Patron SaintSansu Rafaelu, Sansa Maria ar-Napolo
CountryMauretiaFlag.svg Mauretia
 • ProvinceMassaeyaFlag.png Massaeya
 • MaireEsre Viyaserhala
Elevation25 m
 • Estimate (2019)787,641
 • Census (2013)773,908
Ethnic GroupsMauroi (94%), Others or non-reported (6%)
Postal CodeM.IO
Telephone Code21

Iola (Maurit pronunciation: ​[i'olɐ]), or more formally Sa Qolna er-Massaeya Iola, is the largest city Mauretia and principal city of the capital region. As of 2013, it had a population of 773,908. It is the hub city of the combined Massaeyi metropolitan area, with a population of 1.8 million. Iola is situated on the Sea of Uthyra, nearly at the midpoint of the Maureti coastline. Although Mauretia does not have a constitutionally designated seat of government, Iola is an institutional hub for the country. Parliament, most governmental offices, embassies, and international organizations are located within the city. Iola is also the economic hub of Mauretia, as it houses the majority of economic bureaus and exchanges, media outlets, and five of the ten largest companies in the nation.

Iola is one of the oldest cities in Mauretia. It was founded by pre-Mauro tribes during their initial settlement of the region somewhere in the sixth century BC. The original settlement was founded on the natural harbor, protected from the sea and prevailing winds. The city also sat in an important valley that fed the large grain-producing areas to the northeast and was easily protected by high hills on the outskirts. The city grew in importance during the Romantish period but competed with nearby Tenya, which was constructed by the merchants at a natural harbor a little further south. Nevertheless, Iola remained a major trading center even after the collapse of the Romantish society. During Maureti unification, Iola was pacified and rebuilt as a major port. The government was located in nearby Sansu Andaros su Apostili before ultimately being dispersed to other locations and decentralized with the reforms of the sixteenth century. Due to its relatively central location and easy access, the city thrived as an economic and cultural nexus.



Iola was first established on the eastern shore of the Sea of Uthyra in the sixth century BC by pre-Mauro Fonetai tribes. The exact date and circumstances of establishment has been lost, but historical records indicate it was little more than a trading outpost through the fourth century BC. Little remains from this early stage of the city; the oldest archaeological at this point find dates to about 475BC. In the third century BC, it grew to be one of the two most important Fonetai settlements on the entire Uthyran Sea. New forts and a city wall were built around it. Fonetai control was always confined to the few coastal cities and outposts, such as Iola. A Romantish alliance conquered the eastern portion of the Fonetai domains during a series of wars in the middle of the second century BC. The city, so far from the Romantian homeland, was turned over to local Maszaeyi tribal leader Micissa, who was loyal to the Romantish Empire. The Maszaeyi held control but continued to employ the Fonetai elites in their new capital and along the central Maureti coast. The new kingdom fused the Fonetai and Maszaeyi cultures together, along with many other Azigri cultures, into a new proto-Maureti entity.

In the 31 BC, King Boqqu died without an heir, and the Romantish merchants briefly annexed the city into the empire, establishing it as the capital of the province of Trans-Gaetoria. After two years, the city and environs were given over to Ptobas, a local tribesman. Ptobas completely rebuilt the city, using Romantish and Hellanisian grid patterns, built a massive wall around the city that was far larger than the city size at the time, and constructed hundreds of buildings in the Egano-Romantish traditions. Iola otherwise culturally and even economically resisted Romantization; the population was largely Foneti-Maszaeyi with a substantial Eganian minority. The Ptobian kingdom only lasted until 67AD, when it was fully annexed into the Romantian Empire. In the change, Iola became the capital of Mauretiana Azigriensis and was elevated to the status of a colony. Iola's residents received citizenship in the empire, and numerous legions were relocated to the city. The city prospered during this time. Its population reached as high as 35,000 and was the home to two Romantian fleets, a large harbor, hippodrome, amphitheater, and religious buildings. The amphitheater and portions of the hippodrome are still standing to this day.

Romantish mosaics at the ruins of a villa atop Har Ispuliana.

Iola continued to grow and prosper under Romantish control. The Christic movement was introduced during the 150s, and conversions of the local populations deepened the divide between the Maureti and the Romantish elites. The city had a bishop from these early years, a position that evolved into Metropolitan of Iola, whose ecclesiastical province contains all of central Massaeya. By 175, the city had swelled to nearly 100,000 people and was one of the largest and most important cities in the empire and on the Uthyran coast. Emperor Severus took a particular interest in the city in the early 190s. He built a library, a new forum, the grand colonnade, and a school of philosophy. He also rebuilt the walls surrounding the city and started work on a road southward from Iola toward Tenya. The road was completed all the way to Tangia a few years later by Claudius and is known to this day as the Via Qlaudia. Later, the Eqlicia Antiqa Sansa Ludia (Old Saint Lydia Church) was built in 317 at the behest of the majority Christic population. Although its third building, has remained in continuous operation. In 412, the pagan basilica was partially destroyed in an earthquake and rebuilt as the Qatedrala Sansu Trinitu in the center of the old city.

Romantish control began to slip during the fourth century. Iola was sacked twice during Maureti revolts in 371 and ultimately fell to Serionics in 423. The Serionics never attempted to hold the city or surrounding areas, and the Eganians conquered Iola in the mid-430s and re-established a Maureti aristocracy. The city prospered again under Egano-Maureti influence, as it was the largest and most important city in the region with nearly fifty thousand people. The economic collapse of the fifth century greatly disrupted many other cities in the region. The cosmopolitan Iola became the gathering place of many displaced peoples across the peninsula during this time. The city expanded again to nearly 85,000 people and became an independent polity.

Iola remained independent for the fifth and sixth centuries, as the commanding city of the entire coastline from Zemri south to the Bisqur Bay. It periodically skirmished with the Principality of Iqosa over control of the promontory of Oburri. These battles never evolved into full-scale war. The general peace and stability brought economic success to Iola. In 631, King Akasil besieged the city in his attempt to unify the regional powers under his control. The city resisted his army and was a more superior naval force. The first siege failed, but Akasil tried a second time in 632 and again in 634. During the siege of 634, Princess Daya was attempting to broker a peace treaty that would unify the Ioloi city-state with the newly coalescing Mauroi kingdom. King Akasil died in battle as the city walls were being breached in August of that year. The new queen, Daya did not want to see the city destroyed by the marauding army. She quickly pushed a peace treaty to spare the city. Under the terms of the treaty, Iola was absorbed into the new state and retained all its rights. The city would be repaired and facilities expanded. Queen Daya later moved her palace to the area nearby Iola called Sansu Andaros su Apostili. As the centerpiece of the Mauroi kingdom, Iola continued to grow and prosper.

Middle Ages

For centuries after the unification of Mauretia into a single kingdom, Iola's fate was tied directly to the kingdom's. In the last half of the seventh century, Mazanics besieged the city on three occasions. The large Romantish walls and other regional defenses were enough to repel each attack, and the city did not fall. Queen Daya's strategic alliance with Eganian Christics and other regional tribes was successful in defeating the Mazanics each time. Being on the coast, away from the Mazanic frontier, meant that the city was largely insulated from later attacks. Mazanic and Serionic pirates burned part of the city in 850 and pillaged much of the grain-producing valley northeast of the city in 878. The city was attacked by marauding Mazanic forces in 911 but were held off by the city's walls once more. In spite of this, Iola was one of the richest and most economically powerful cities along the coastal areas of the Uthyran Sea through much of the middle ages. Once again, however, Iola became the target of overseas powers. The Castellanese had been at war with Mauretia and taken a few cities along the southwestern coast, such as Nikópoli. After establishing a colony in Pohenicia in 1454, the Castellanese attempted to take Iola in 1455. The daring invasion was originally planned as a diversion to take Tenya and As-Siga. Even so, it nearly succeeded. Despite the near success capturing Iola, the Castellanese retreated to the five Maureti cities they held. Castellanese control over the Uthyran Sea did hurt Iola economically for about 30 years by siphoning trade, limiting merchants, and through piracy. Eventually, the Castellanese were repelled from all of Maureti soil with the victory at Nikópoli in 1499. Iola once again rebounded.

Looking down the Via Qlaudia (Su Qardo) near the Via Sansa Ludia in the summer of 1873.

By 1600, the population of Iola had once again reached over 100,000 people. The city was gradually becoming a center of culture, as well. A new collection of buildings for the now 200-year-old university was built in 1606. A large theatre was built in 1620, and many of the local palaces were built shortly thereafter. The Paladia Aliria was constructed just outside the walls in the 1630s. Many of the great artistic masterworks of the Maureti Renaissance were created in Iola in the following decades. An opera house was constructed in 1650.

In the early 1800s, Iola had far outgrown its Romantish-period walls. The city petitioned for a new barrier of walls to be built, further out, and encompassing the northern bank of the Polriqi River. Work began in 1825, but it was interrupted by the Franquese siege of Iqosa. When that city fell to the Franquese, the existing walls of Iola were repaired and refortified first. The Franquese did attack the forts outside Iola on two occasions but were ultimately unable to hold onto Iqosa for more than one year. After peace was signed with the Franquese, the construction of the outer walls resumed slowly. By 1841, the continuing Franquese threat in and around the Uthyran Sea made it obvious to the Maureti authorities that the newer walls were not going to provide much more protection with the advances in warfare. Construction was halted in favor of other civil projects, such as the Ammanniu Breu (lit. "Northern Expansion") and Pulla Austra neighborhoods.

Modern Iola

In 1873, the Great Death plague swept through Iola and decimated the population. The city, having reached nearly 280,000 people, was very overcrowded and rife for disease spread. The population of the city was reduced to just over 150,000 after the plague. The death toll left indelible marks on the city. In the recovery period after the plague, the incomplete contemporary walls were demolished to make room for an outer network of roads. Large portions of the Romantish walls were also removed or reincorporated into local building projects to allow easier movement into and out of the old city center. Streets in the mid-city (between the two sets of walls) were straightened. Massive public works projects for sewers, plumbing, and eventually electricity began with earnest. Two new train stations, Melka Pitra and Sansa Tabita were constructed, and many government functions were moved away from Aliria Square and to a newly-designed forum near Sansa Tabita and Paiva. It took nearly 60 years for the city to rebound to its previous population and geographic footprint.

Mauretia's staunch neutrality in global affairs made Iola the site of many diplomatic exchanges in the 1940s and 1950s. The Iola Accords were among the most important series of meetings in the establishment of Dematisna, and the International Red Shield Movement placed its Ulethan headquarters in the city. Iola's international stature also grew with trade, banking, and the general rise in Maureti investments in pharmaceuticals and medical research. By 1990, the city's population had swelled to 700,000 people. With no boundary changes having taken place for 50 years, the growth spilled over into the surrounding municipalities. In 2020, the metropolitan region boasted over 1.7 million inhabitants, stretching from Gungraya in the south to Tifassa in the north and inland as far as Filarza.


Iola occupies _____ square kilometers along the eastern shore of the Sea of Uthyra. The city is in the central part coastline within the Massaeya province. Iola was originally founded on the left bank of the Polriqi River at a natural harbor on the Uthyran coast. The city grew to occupy many hills and valleys in the area, eventually crossing to incorporate portions of the right bank. Many of the valleys in the city are dry for much of the year. Various arrigam flow through these and flood during the wet seasons. For many years the Har Lubira springs were the natural watersource for the city, brought in by a couple of aqueducts. The highest point in the city is technically the Har Lubira peak, on the furthest southeastern corner of the city. The highest point contained entirely within the city is the Har Viasqa just north of the old city.

Iola, like all of western Mauretia sits atop a moderately active tectonic plate boundary. It has experienced period earthquakes and the risk of a moderate to strong earthquake (5.0–7.0) is high. Given the type of tectonic boundary, the risk of catastrophic earthquakes (>8.0) is low. The city is also a potential tsunami risk, and evacuation signs are posted around the city. The most recent large earthquake was in 1865, estimated at a 6.3 with a IX local intensity. The most recent appreciable tsunami events were in the 1400s.


Climate data for Iola, MassaeyaFlag.png Massaeya
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 31.1
Average high °C (°F) 21.9
Average low °C (°F) 9.0
Record low °C (°F) −1.1
Average rainfall mm (inches) 115.2 68.6 23.4 10.3 0.4 0 3.5 77.7 63.5 23.3 51.3 100.8 527.4
Source: Meteolóyiqa Mauretia

Iola features a mediterranean climate with two waves of a wet season (late August through mid-September and late November through mid-February. Winds during the wet period roll in from off the coastline, which suppresses temperatures in the city itself compared to even 50 kilometers further inland. The wind hit the Adlarm mountains, causing uplift that creates the annual rainy season. In the late winter, the winds shift from the northeast, bringing in an initially dry, cold air. The mixing of air masses along the coast still produces small amounts of springtime rain, but this ends quickly as the wind heats up in the Maureti desert areas. During the dry summer months of May through July, Iola is bathed in sunshine and heat. It can still experience intermittent violent thunderstorms, but these mostly return in August. Iola has been struck by tornadoes and landslides over its history. Contrastingly, Iola has only experienced an accumulating snowfall in the city proper 51 times in recorded history. Many of these were in the 1600s. Temperatures rarely drop below freezing in the city proper, although snow and ice do fall frequently atop the three high peaks that surround the city.


According to the 2019 census estimate, Iola's population is 787,641 persons, up from 773,908 in the official 2013 supplemental tally. All officially published demographic numbers are based on the 2013 data. Ethnically, the population of the city was listed as 89.9% Mauro, 3.7% Kazari, 2.5% Eganian, 1.7% Pohenician, 0.6% Matzigi (of western Dematisna), 0.5% Serionic, and 1.1% other or undeclared. Iola has one of the largest Kazari diaspora communities in the world. Around 95% of these Kazaris are descendants of Mauro or Ekelan Christics who left Al-Kaza with the prohibition of religious gatherings in 1914. Although they have long held citizenship and have integrated, the national government still allows them to be counted as a separate ethnic group. The Mauro-Kazari community is most concentrated in the Kue and Moidora neighborhoods.

Alongside Maurit, around 30 languages are spoken in the city. Maurit is considered the mother tongue by 94% of the city's population. Yet, a large number of people speak Kazari, Eganian, Pohenician Castellanese, Serionic dialects, Mazanic, and Sathrian in the home. Ingerish and Franquese are a mainstay in the business and commercial areas of the city. Some neighborhoods house small populations from other countries with long ties to Mauretia. Antharian, Kalmish, Lustrian, and other languages dot the landscape around the city.


Culture and community

Landmarks and religious sites




Notable people

Sibling cities

Notes and references