The longest town name in Europe is a doozy: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.
No, that’s not a typo. This 58-letter behemoth is the name of a town in northwestern Wales.
It has the distinction of being not only the longest town name in Wales but also the longest town name in Europe. No mean feat, considering a few of the other contenders:
- Azpilicuetagaraycosaroyarenberecolarrea, Spain: 39 letters
- Äteritsiputeritsipuolilautatsijänkä, Finland: 35 letters
- Schmedeswurtherwesterdeich, Germany: 26 letters
- Bullaunancheathrairaluinn, Ireland: 25 letters
- Gasselterboerveenschemond, The Netherlands: 25 letters
The town name has recently enjoyed a spike in popularity. In September 2015, weatherman Liam Dutton managed to correctly (and confidently!) rattle off Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. Watch the clip below:
According to travel writer Dave Fox, the longest town name in Europe is Welsh for “St. Mary’s Church in the hollow of white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio near the red cave.”
Originally called Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, the town adopted a long form in the 19th century to boost tourism.
Isn’t the Longest Town Name in Europe the Longest Town Name in the World?
So why call it “the longest town name in Europe”? Surely, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch must be the longest place name in the world, right? No.
The longest place name in the world, according to the folks at Guinness, is Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu, 85 letters in the Maori language that translate as “The summit where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, the climber of mountains, the land-swallower who traveled about, played his nose flute to his loved one.”
While not recognized by Guinness, a city in Thailand has a whopping 163 letters: Krungthepmahanakornamornratanakosinmahintarayutthayamahadilokphopnopparatrajathani-
buriromudomrajaniwesmahasatharnamornphimarnavatarnsathitsakkattiyavisanukamprasit. In Thai, it means roughly “City of Angels” and is often shortened to Krung Thep.
But you probably know it by its more famous name: Bangkok.