St. Ricardus

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10, 54.0537, 61.1375
Duchy of St. Ricardus
City-State
Flag
Flag
CountryKingdom of Pretany
 • RegionGreat Richards
St. Ricardus from above, view across the Forum.
Ethnic Groups
(2014)
Pretanics(98%), Other (2%)
NationalitiesPretanic(98%), Dagelandics(1%), Inarans(.5%), Other (.5%)
DemonymSt. Richardians
Government
 • KingKing David XII of St. Marks
Population
 • Estimate (2014)8,354,000
 • Density3925/km2
Metroyes
Tram12 lines

St. Ricardus, formally known as the Duchy of St. Ricardus, is the capital, second largest city in the Kingdom of Pretany, and one of the most densely populated cities in Uletha. It is the country's principal political, Religious, and cultural centre, sometimes described as the Heart of Pretany. In 2014, according to the census, St. Ricardus had 8.3 million inhabitants. The city-state covers an area of 2,128 km² and is one of the three last remaining duchies in Pretany, along with Port Emporia and Raggleneth. St. Ricardus had been a small Nortian trading post since antiquity, but became a duchy occupying the north bank of the Little Turpis River with its formation during the Second Great Reformation, or the fall of the Inaran Nation and the creation of the Kingdom of Pretany, on 17 September 1373, replacing the former capital of Port Emporia. Since the formation of the St. Ricardus Papacy, the Catholic faith and Franquese language spread throughout the globe partially due to the efforts of the Beglidere dynasty.

The centers of all branches of the federal monarchy of Pretany are located within the duchy, including the Royal Palace, presidential offices, Pretanic Federal Legislature buildings, House of Parliament, and the Royal Court. St. Ricardus is home to many national monuments, museums, and religious houses which are primarily situated on or around Old St. Ricardus Forum and Kingdom Square. The city hosts 30 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of many international organizations, trade unions, non-profit organizations, and professional associations.

St. Ricardus has the status of a global city. In 2010, St. Ricardus was the most popular tourist attraction in Pretany. Its historic centre is listed as a World Heritage Site. Monuments and museums such as Fort Gallcastle, Castle Hill, and the Haywater monastery are among the world's most visited tourist destinations with all locations receiving millions of tourists a year. St. Ricardus is also host to the Assembly of Nations, labeling it one of the most influential cities in the world.

History

Lindinis as imagined by artist in 1933.

The earliest evidence of settlements in the area of today's St. Ricardus, then named Lindinis, a Romantian word for swampy lake, are a wooden rod dated from approximately 375AD and leftovers of wooden houseparts dated to 512AD. The first written records of villages in the area of present-day St. Ricardus date from the late 9th century, so it is assumed little to no villages were settled permanently along the swampy area of the Little Turpis River until after the 840AD Siege of Antigo. Lindinis, then labeled as a Nortian trade post in a poorly drained area of the swamp was first mentioned by name in 870AD, when King Albert II of Inara mapped all Nortian vassalages north of the Inara Basin. An archaeological dig in 1803 uncovered the stone foundations of the original town-site in the basement of an old beery complex next door to De Buron Palace, solidifying century old claims that the town-site was located under the current forum directly on the river.

There is assertion that the Nortian encampment had a set of older city walls made of wood and dirt ramparts surrounding the small marshy port. St. Ricardus is thought to have become part of the Gurmes, 15 walled Nortian cities that the Inarans converted into their official oppidiums. Coinpean was the Inaran name for Lindinis as late as the 14th century. Another, attested in the 9th century History of the Pretans traditionally attributed to the Nortian army is Coin Petit Turpis ("Fort" or "City of the Little Turpis"); this later developed into Coinpeturs and then the modern Inaran Coinpean. The Inarans are said to have fought their ninth battle at the "city of the Little Turpis" (Coinpeturs) and later St. Ricardus came to the city to try to unite the Catholic church, and set a small temple with the Garlician Christic Bishops in 887 to the dismay of the Inarans.

In 895, King Uaimn of Inara defeated a small Nortian army at the brutal and decisive Battle of Coin Petit Turpis, and probably established the Inaran position in the area from then on. The Inarans used an Inaran equivalent of the Romantian name, Coinpean, which was current until the 14th century, when, in a further parallel with Begliderian usage, the first element fell out of use and the simple name St. Ricardus emerged. In 1372, King Beglidere of Garlis founded the Minster Monastery of Central Pretany on what is considered to be an early Christic site on the nortian forum: it is known as Haywater Monastery which later became the first cathedral. Much later, the body of St. Richards niece, St Genevieve, was removed from Norad in Garlis in the 15th century and, to save it from desecration, was reburied in the the present monastery. Her name is still remembered in St Genevieve Street which passes alongside the cathedral, and near the city walls.

Beglidere extended and strengthened the walls of St. Ricardus to protect the city against the Inarans, who occupied it for a short time after the invasion until Beglidere seized all the cattle and laid waste the surrounding land to drive them out in 1398. It was Beglidere's daughter Victria, Lady of the Pretans, that built the new Pretanic burh of Jadici, now Jada, across the river. A new Church dedicated to St. Haggle of Tircambry alone was founded in AD 1405 by the Lady at what was to become Grimpham. In 1395, the Pretanic Chronicle records that, two years after his coronation at Port Emporia, King Beglidere of Pretany, came to St. Ricardus where he held his court in a palace now known as De Buron near the old Forum bridge. Taking the helm of a barge, he was rowed the short distance up the Forum River from the palace to the great Monastery of the Baptist by six (the monk Thedi Molsinia records he was rowed by eight kings) tributary kings called reguli.

In 1410 he made Jake d'Bouce, who built St. Ricardus Castle, rebuilt De Buron Castle in stone, and built the great Jakewall around Castle Hill the first Duke of St. Ricardus. From the 14th century onward the city's prominent position in central Pretany meant that it was the seat of government in the country.

Geography, Population, and Cityscape

St. Ricardus, strategically placed on the Little Turpis River, lies on an ancient route trade route linking the Great Rift Deltas to the Inara Basin. By distance it is 730 kilometres south-west of Port Emporia, 1088 kilometres north-east of Norad, 1,339 kilometres North of Westward Gate, and in the center of Pretany.

The 2128 square kilometers area and 8,354,000 population of St. Ricardus makes it the 3rd densest state of government in Pretany. It lies in Central Pretany surrounded by settlements of the agglomeration in Great Richards Shire. The Little Turpis enters the city from the South; later it encircles three islands, Jada Island, New Island, and Marsh Island.

Beglidere Castle located in Stimen Park, the largest city park in Pretany.

The wide Turpis River farther north was never fordable at this point because of it's immense width at 2.56km, so it is speculated the Nortians decided on the location farther south on the Little Turpis instead. The city has marked topographical contrasts: Old St. Ricardus is built on the higher river terraces and hills of the eastern side, while the considerably larger surrounding area spreads out on a flat and featureless sand plain on both banks of the river.

Assembly of Nations headquarters complex on Jada Island.

The hills of St. Ricardus, specifically Castle Hill, and Richmans Hill consist mainly of limestone and dolomite. The hills were formed in the Triassic Period. The highest point of the hills and of St. Ricardus is Castle hill, at 527 metres (1,729 ft) above sea level. The lowest point is the line of the Little Turpis which is 96 metres (315 ft) above sea level. St. Ricardus is also rich in green areas. Of the 2,128 square kilometres occupied by the city, 483 square kilometers is green area, park and forest. The forests of Doggad Slough and Stimen Lake are environmentally protected as parkland.

The city's importance in terms of traffic is very central, because all major Pretanic roads and railway lines lead to St. Ricardus. It is considered the heart of the kingdom. The Turpis was and is still an important water-way and this region in the centre of the Great Rift Deltas lies at the cross-roads of trade routes. St. Ricardus's Airport is theUnity International Airport.

Considered a Duchy and a city, St. Ricardus is the second most populous city in Pretany after Port Emporia and one of the largest cities in Uletha, with a growing number of inhabitants, estimated at 8,354,000 in 2014, whereby inward migration exceeds outward migration. These trends are also seen throughout the Great Richards Shire, which is home to 5.3 million people. In 2014, the city had a population density of 3,925 people per square kilometer, rendering it the 3rd most densely populated of all municipalities in Pretany.

St. Ricardus is home to many national monuments, museums, and religious houses which are primarily situated on or around Old St. Ricardus Forum and Kingdom Square. The city hosts 30 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of many international organizations, trade unions, non-profit organizations, and professional associations. Its historic centre is listed as a World Heritage Site. Monuments and museums such as Fort Gallcastle, Castle Hill, and the Haywater monastery are among the world's most visited tourist destinations with all locations receiving millions of tourists a year.

Government

Castle Hill from Castle Hill Park, the center of royal governance.

St. Ricardus is considered a "Duchy" in the Kingdom of Pretany, meaning a s generally semi-independent government still loyal to the Pretanic Crown. St. Ricardus has a mayor, but the head of state continues to be King David XII of St. Marks, the current reigning monarch. The reigning monarch and Supreme Governor of the Catholic Church, or the Papacy. A duchy in Pretany is held together as a single entity not split into districts or smaller entities, so there are de-facto neighborhoods in St. Ricardus, but they hold no political power or party.

Members and relatives of the Pretanic Royal Family historically represented the monarch in various places throughout Pretany, sometimes for extended periods as viceroys, or for specific ceremonies or events. Today, they often perform ceremonial and social duties throughout Pretany and abroad on behalf of the Kingdom of Pretany. Aside from the monarch, their only constitutional role in the affairs of government is to serve, if eligible and when appointed by letters patent, as a Counsellor of State, two or more of whom exercise the authority of the Crown (within stipulated limits) if the monarch is indisposed or abroad. In the other countries of the Commonwealth royalty do not serve as Counsellors of State, although they may perform ceremonial and social duties on behalf of individual states or the organization.

The centers of all branches of the federal monarchy of Pretany are located within the duchy, including the Royal Palace, presidential offices, Pretanic Federal Legislature buildings, House of Parliament, and the Royal Court.

Culture and nightlife

On Jada Island, the entertainment district of St. Ricardus has its focus around Great Esby, where Pretanic and world film premieres are held, and Palria, with its giant electronic advertisements. St. Ricardus theatre district is here, as are many cinemas, bars, clubs and restaurants, including the city's Esby South neighborhood. There are a number of five star hotels and restaurants surrounding the Assembly of Nations headquarters.

Assembly of Nations

Headquarters of the World Currency Bank, one of many AN-affiliated institutions around the world

St. Ricardus is host to The Assembly of Nations (AN), an intergovernmental organization made up of almost every country in the world. Its mission is to facilitate communication and foster cooperation between governments worldwide; to promote international understanding, peace and prosperity; and to defend the human rights and individual freedoms of people everywhere. To further these ends the AN administers a wide range of programs around the globe, including peacekeeping missions, security collaboration projects, human rights campaigns, economic and social development projects, environmental awareness and protection activities, as well as humanitarian missions for populations in crisis.

The four doves found on the AN seal and emblem symbolize peace in all four directions of the compass, in all four corners of the world.

Uniquely among international organizations, AN membership is based on an "opt-out" system rather than the traditional "opt-in." By default, all independent sovereign states are automatically considered to be members of the AN, unless they explicitly reject membership.

The Assembly building is located on Jada Island, in the Duchy of St. Ricardus, within the Kingdom of Pretany since 1966.

Sibling Cities

St. Ricardus has several sibling cities, as per the guidelines of Sibling Cities of the World: