|13, 29.4532, 28.3978|
|• Mayor||Jaffer Idris Ali|
|• Urban Core||360 km2|
139 sq mi
|• Metropolitan Area||2,196 km2|
848 sq mi
|Elevation||0-1,025 m (0-3,362 ft)|
|• Estimate (2019)||7,656,300|
|• Census (2015)||7,011,322|
Seniqe Al-Kabir, more commonly known simply as Seniqe, and its suburbs form the Tarephian half of the Abrenic Metropolian Region, which straddles the Strait of Abren in the country of Dematisna. Seniqe is one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities, having first been settled ca. 1450 BCE.
The city is densely layered with history reflecting more than three and a half millennia of changing fortunes. At times, Seniqe was controlled by the Ioneans, Hellanesians, Serionic Kings, Serio-Mazanic Caliphate, and the Castellanese, as well as the allied powers of Ingerland, Castellan, Pretany, Mazan, Sathria, Egani, TA026c, and Al-Kaza during the Zona Internacional Abrenica (ZIA) period in the first half of the 20th century.
Seniqe, along with Asithane across the strait, is one of the two core cities of the Greater Abrenic Metropolian Region, an alpha global city home to more than 14 million people. Seniqe's economy is centered on finance, healthcare, media, commercial services, shipping, art, design, education, entertainment, and tourism. Central Seniqe remains the city's historic financial heart, while the more modern skyscraper district of Mina Madinat to the east has become a hub of modern global commerce.
More than two-thirds of the residents of the metropolitan area practice Mazanic religions, making Seniqe one of the largest cities in the Mazanic world.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Economy
- 6 Cityscape
The western side of the Strait of Abren was simply called ξενιτιά (xenitiá) by the ancient Hellanesians, meaning “foreign lands.” As the city first developed into a minor trading post, it took on the name more specifically. Once conquered by the allied Serion Kings ca. 1300 BCE, the city’s name was serionized into Seniqea’a Alwaea’ Almuluk (Seniqea, the Coffer of Kings). Its full name noted its prominence as one of the most important markets in the sprawling kingdom.
By the time that Christicism spread to the area ca. 300 CE, the name had been shortened to Seniqea. Some time after the arrival of Castellanese colonists in 1456, the spelling changed again, to Cénica, the name by which the city is identified in most of the earliest Ulethan maps of the Strait of Abren. When the ZIA was established in 1902, Seniqe and its environs came under the control of Franquese-speakers, who changed the name to Ciniq.
Since Dematisna won its independence in 1969, the city’s official name has been re-serionized to Seniqe Al-Kabir (Seniqe the Great). Outside of the Mazanic world, it is still generally known by its Franquese name, Ciniq. In common parlance, Seniqe and Ciniq are used interchangeably.
Ancient Seniqea'a (Pre-700 BCE)
While human beings have lived in the area along the Strait of Abren since at least 3000 BCE, the first recorded settlement in the area now occupied by Seniqe dates to around 1450 BCE, and was established as a trading post during the Old Ionean Empire just a few decades before its collapse. Abandoned by the Ioneans, the area was soon absorbed into the quickly expanding empire of the Serion Kings. The western half of the Strait of Abren became the Kingdom of Al-Abarren, and the city of Seniqea’a Alwaea’ Almuluk was established as its capital.
The city flourished, first as the kingdom’s main point of trade with the Hellanesians and then as the base of operations for Serionic expansion into the Chalnic Peninsula. Renowned for its excellent natural harbor on Al-Hilal Hafin (the Crescent Haven), the sharply-curved body of water on which it sits, the city earned the nickname Azhar Siriuwn, “the Bloom of the Serion.” Historians estimate that, at its peak ca. 700 BCE, Seniqea’a was home to between 25,000-40,000 people.
Classical Antiquity (700 BCE-789 CE)
Seniqe remained part of the greater Hellanesian world through the arrival and spread of Christicism in the region. Ekelan Christicism was dominant throughout this period, but Mauro Christicism flourished in the city as well. Zarathaenianism, the religion of the area under the Serion Kings, also remained popular in the city, as the regional Chalnic government was noted for its religious tolerance. Seniqe became an academic center for the first time in its history—a legacy that continues to influence the popular image of the city to this day.
Seniqe's Classical peak came around 500 CE, when it was home to an estimated 210,000 people. While the city remained an important regional center, it did experience a long period of gradual economic decline during the 7th and 8th centuries CE. After the collapse of the Chalnic Empire, Seniqe operated as a de facto city-state, but the lack of strong government led to a rise in corruption in the port, which proved to be bad for business.
Imanish Golden Age (789 CE-1456 CE)
Imanish influence expanded the city's role as a commercial and cultural center, with heavy investment from the Saltanat Mujyda leading to a flourishing of art and science. The sultan was eager to revitalize the city, which had declined substantially to around 85,000 residents by 800 CE—a fact that the new Caliphate loudly attributed to centuries of Christic control of the region. Seniqe was described by the famed 10th century poet Ibn Al-Murabi as "Bahat Al-Khilafa," the Forecourt of the Caliphate, due to its importance as a link with the outside world.
The city grew to around a quarter-million residents under the Caliphate, making it one of the largest cities of its time. Its reputation grew as well, and tales of this showcase of Imanish wealth and culture would prove all too enticing to Ulethans as the age of colonialism began.
Las Conquistas (1456-1582 CE)
Due to the expense of military conquests abroad, Seniqe experienced a long period of relative decline from the 12th-14th centuries CE. The arrival of the Castellanese in 1456, of course, would change everything. Conquistadors blockaded the entrance to Seniqe’s port and ravaged the surrounding countryside, laying siege to the city for more than two years. By the time that they marched into the walled city in 1459 and took control, the Bloom of the Serion was at its nadir.
Once they had decisively established control of the Strait of Abren, the Castellanese went about attempting to convert the local population to Ortholicism—often violently. While this met with varying levels of resistance throughout northern Tarephia, the area around Seniqe was especially strident in its refusal to convert. The western part of the Strait was embroiled in near-continuous religious wars for more than a century. Finally, in 1582, the colonial Castellanese government established a doctrine that allowed limited religious tolerance in the area in order to stabilize Seniqe’s port. This would prove a critical turning point for the city.
La Distensión & the Industrial Revolution (1582-1898 CE)
During the period known as La Distensión (Detente), Seniqe became a cosmopolitan melting pot where Ulethan and Tarephian cultures, and various Christic and Imanish sects all intermingled. Castellanese control waxed and waned as different monarchs came and went, some taking more interest in the city while others looking inward or eastward instead. But Seniqe experienced a golden age, and came to be known by the Ulethans as the Gateway to Tarephia.
By the beginning of the 17th century CE, Seniqe was one of the largest cities in the region, home to more than half a million people. The city expanded its port, and established itself as an important banking center, facilitating the flow of capital between Uletha and Tarephia as the two continents became more and more interconnected during the Colonial Era. The city’s enrichment produced many storied institutions, from schools and universities to museums, theaters, and other cultural sites. Temples, mosques, shrines, and churches were built, and the hill on the city’s northern end was developed into the iconic Qaleat Al-Adraha, the Citadel of Shrines, where the great Seniqe Cathedral and the Mosque of Abrenia faced each other across the Midan, the grand plaza where scholars and clerics debated philosophy, ethics, and religion in open air.
The industrial revolution brought great change to Seniqe, vastly expanding the city’s physical footprint. The area to the east of the old walled city was the first to develop in the 18th century as more and more people flocked to the city following a series of disastrous agricultural growing seasons. Things really took off in the 19th century, though, as the second industrial revolution led to rapid development of the southern side of Al-Hilal Hafin. Factories sprung up along the waterfront, and the model industrial city of Paraíso/Baraysu, with its orderly grid, public gardens, and bustling canal, redefined the image of the city as it transformed into a true metropolis.
All of this social, political, and religious intermingling eventually sparked a conservative backlash. After the Great Death wiped out a third of the city's population in 1873-74, a group of arch-conservative Ortholic leaders were swept to power. In 1898, the increasingly zealous Archbishop of Seniqe proposed strict religious reforms in the region that set off a deadly series of riots and led to a great fire, which the local Ortholic orthodoxy deemed La Hoguera de los Condenados (the bonfire of the damned). Almost a hundred blocks of the city burned, and tens of thousands of people were left homeless.
International City (1898 CE-Present)
The reaction from the international community was swift. As one of the world’s most important ports, Seniqe was the site of major foreign investments from dozens of powerful countries. Castellanese control of the Strait of Abren and its ports was proving to be dangerous to the stability of the global trade network, and a series of powerful nations banded together to wrest control away from the Ortholics and their religious orthodoxies. In 1902, after several years of negotiations, Castellan was finally strong-armed into signing the Abrenic Accords, which established international control over the Strait of Abren through the formation of the Zona Internacional Abrenica (ZIA).
During the ZIA period, Seniqe was administered by a board of representatives from several different countries alongside a local council of appointed representatives. This proved to be relatively functional, and while there were instances of corruption, Seniqe was largely stable during the first half of the 20th century. During the Great War, the city became a critical node in the flow of information between allies and enemies due to the ZIA’s special international status. It was during this period that Seniqe developed its romantic associations with espionage and intrigue.
Following the war, Seniqe became one of the centers of agitation for the dissolution of the ZIA, which many locals considered a colonialist imposition. The independence movement picked up steam through the 1960s, leading to the establishment of Dematisna in 1969. Along with its sister city across the strait, Seniqe became the economic center of this new nation, and it began another period of rapid expansion. New expressways and port facilities encouraged the city to sprawl outward along the coast. A huge new international airport opened near the Mina Jadid port facility in 1982, expanding again in the late 1990s.
GeographyStrait of Abren to form Seniqe’s excellent natural harbor. The strait itself connects the Hesperic Ocean to the Sea of Uthyra, with Seniqe’s suburbs stretching along its entire western shore between the two bodies of water. Due to its location at this confluence of major maritime routes, Seniqe has long been a center of trade and commerce, and a tempting prize for many a conquering empire.
The city is generally divided into four sections: central, north, south, and west. The central city is located on a broad, mostly flat area along the northern shore of Al-Hilal Hafin, and is itself divided into four quarters: Qasam Eatiq (the Antique Section), home of the ancient walled city and the historic Castellanese colonial district; Qasam Al-Tujjar (the Traders' Section), Seniqe's historic central business district; Qasam Zarathinian (the Zarathaenian Section), the area surrounding the massive City of the Flames temple complex built by the Zarathaenian religious sect; and Qasam Ealia (the Highlands Section), which climbs the rambling hills to the north and east of the walled city. The central city is often referred to as al'arbae, or 'the quarters,' as a result of this layout.
While there are relatively flat plains throughout the metropolitan areas, much of the region around Seniqe is quite hilly. To the north of the city is Jabal Afaq, the highest point on the western side of the strait (reaching a height of 1,019 meters) and its foothills. To the south is the Seniqe range, home to the area's second-highest point, the 798-meter Jabal Al-Eulya. Both ranges continue west, meeting around Seniqe's Hadayiq Qishitala neighborhood, forming a sideways V-shape. Historically, the mountains contained the metropolitan area entirely, but since the 1980s suburban development has begun to spill over into the surrounding countryside.
Seniqe is, through and through, a commercial city. Concern for the bottom line—not necessarily beauty—have driven its development for millennia. This fact, combined with the city's hilly terrain, has produced a varied and sometimes chaotic layout. While there are a few notable exceptions like Baraysu and Madinat Al-Quda, few neighborhoods were guided by an overarching plan. But what the city may lack in Beaux-Arts grandiosity, it more than makes up in its capacity to surprise, delight, and confound. Its fine-grained urban fabric is chockablock with architectural treasures, mosaic murals, colorful ethnic enclaves, and pocket-sized plazas.
Writing about her chosen hone in 1846, the Pretanic musician and playwright Magadalena Magali described the her experience of the city in epic terms. "As you walk through its streets," she explained, "Seniqe pushes you ever forward, toward something—you're never quite sure what, and of course you never find it. But the city makes a great adventure of the search. That is its challenge, and its charm. Here, finding your way is not a simple process, but a condition."
Seniqe's ancient Walled City covers an area of about 2.5 square kilometers, while the area considered the city's prewar historic center radiates outward from this area for about 4-5 km. Due to the city's massive growth spurt starting in the 1970s after Dematisna gained its independence, many of the outer neighborhoods are very densely developed. Small blocks are packed with apartment blocks that were built quickly to house the rapidly increasing population. While this has produced a vibrant and at times eccentric street life in most neighborhoods, it has led to increasing concerns in recent years after several building collapses in lower-income areas on the south and west sides, raising questions about the safety of the city's post-war building stock—home to well over half of its population.
|Neighborhood (MZ)||Neighborhood (IN)||Zone||Map||Notes||Image|
|Al-Madinat Almusawra||Walled City||Central - Qasam Eatiq (Antique Section)||||Oldest part of the city; walls demarcate the approximate extent ca. the arrival of the Castellanese in the 1450s CE|
|Al-Sharq—Catdrayiyt||East City—Cathedral||Central - Qasam Eatiq (Antique Section)||||First part of the city developed in earnest by the Castellanese; major tourism center now, with many hotels|
|Qishtalat Al-Rubue||Castellanese Quarter||Central - Qasam Eatiq (Antique Section)|||
|Al-Mazaniu||Mazanic Quarter||Central - Qasam Eatiq (Antique Section)|||
|Al-Markazia||City Center||Central - Qasam Al-Tujjar (Traders' Section)||||Historic center of the city's financial sector, and site of its stock exchange|
|Saturanid||The Strand||Central - Qasam Al-Tujjar (Traders' Section)|||
|Mintaqat Taysir||Taysir District||Central - Qasam Al-Tujjar (Traders' Section)|||
|Zarathaenat||Zarathaenian city||Central - Qasam Zarathinian (Zarathaenian Section)||||Site of the holiest temples in the Zarathaenian religion|
|Byblos||Central - Qasam Zarathinian (Zarathaenian Section)||||Historic center of Chalnic immigrants|
|Hadiqat Taysir||Taysir Park||Central - Qasam Zarathinian (Zarathaenian Section)||||Seniqe's most beloved public park—like a neighborhood in and of itself|
|Tal Al-Harir||Silk Hill||Central - Qasam Ealia (Highlands Section)|||
|Nuqtat Al-Muhal||Crooked Point / Crook's Point||Central - Qasam Ealia (Highlands Section)|||
|Niuburt||Newport||Central||||Developed in the 1920s-50s under the ZIA; site of the city's 1952 International Exposition|
|Nihayat Al-Shamal||North End||North|||
|Jabal Adn 'ard Al-Mutiea & Hadiqat 'alrbye Al-Tali Janub||Mount Eden Pleasure Grounds & Spring Hill Park||North|| & |
|Talal Al-Rybe||Spring Hills||North|||
|Al-Tulal Alshamalia||North Hills||North|||
|Jabal Aszar||Mount Aszar||North|||
|Hadayiq Darizi Al-Nabatia||Darizi Botanical Gardens||North|||
|Taylia & Taylia Aleulya||Taylia & Upper Taylia||South|| & ||Historic seat of the Mauro Christic church's regional metropolis; Seniqe's best-known bohemian quarter since the 1930s|
|Falyanza||Valenza||South||||Developed as a separate city by the Castellanese|
|Madinat Al-Quda (Al-Sukhur)||Magistrate's City (The Boulders)||South||||Home of the Judicial branch of the Dematisnan government|
|Salidaan Jadida||New Salda||South||||Historic Mauretian immigrant district|
|Minalzuhur||South||||Densely built area developed in the middle decades of the ZIA|
|Hadayiq Al-Saru||Cypress Gardens||South|||
|Mina Madinat Al-Aemal||Port Business City||South||||Main focus of high-rise commercial development since the early 1990s; home to Seniqe's massive convention center|
|Qaryat Ingeriysh||Ingerish Village||South||||Popular community for Ingerish expats during the ZIA period|
|Al-Qazaiha||South||||Wealthy, quasi-suburban district of large villa-style homes and mid-rise office buildings|
|Baraysu||Paraíso||West||||Famous planned suburb created by Castellanese-born impresario Roderic "El Duque" Roig; southern half is known for its streamlined moderne architecture from the 1930s and 40s|
|Wadi Al-Jamiea||University Valley||West|||
|Talal Al-Laymun||Lemon Hills||West|||
|Al-Basatin||The Orchards||West||||Known as the center of the Dematisnan film industry|
|Tal Al-Tawus||Peacock Hill||West|||
|Hadaiq Qishitala||Castellanese Gardens||West|||