Užupis: Meet the World’s Smallest Country
As petite as Vatican, here’s are the petite countries you might have never heard about!
Vatican has always known as the smallest country in the entire world, the one that is located inside the capital city of Italy, Rome. But do you know that Vatican is not the only petite one?
Few thousands kilometers away from our homeland, there’s a country called Lithuania with its capital city known as Vilnus. Little did you know that inside Vilnus, there’s a republic built in one kilometer square of land called Užupis . This tiny republic also has its own governmental system, with its own constitution, currency, even its own armed forces. However, considering its width of country, the Užupis armies are only consisting of 10 soldiers for the state ceremonies.
Užupis has its own comical history on how it was built in the first place. It was all began after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1990, the history was discovered through the many founded Soviet Statues around Vilnius. Hence, avoiding them to get anymore neglected, many local artists constructed some American rock icons, and that was Frank Zappa. Left the locals uninterested, these artists used the statues as the symbol of freedom and democracy until one day, on April 1st 1997 the citizens in Užupis proclaimed that their land is officially separated from Lithuania and to go by the name of Užupis as their new country.
Užupis means across the river and it was chosen because of the location that is separated by the Vilnele river and the april mop or the 1st day of April is also chosen as their independence day. Since then, the travelers that come to their country will get a different stamp on their passport, using a different currency and could drink their local beers as much as they want. Just like any other countries, Užupis also has its on flag. It has a holy blue hand as the symbol on its flag with a meaning of the purity that the Uzupians have on their hands. The symbol stressing that their people doesn’t hide anything behind their hand, doesn’t accept the bribes and will never do any kinds of cheats.
However, the current Užupis is quiet different than how it used to be, they don’t exclude themselves as tight as they were before. In Užupis, there’s high chance that you can accidentally sit side by side by many big persons, as many of them come to Užupis for a short holiday.
This smallest country in the world seems to be the perfect mix of eccentric and serious things. Besides the freedom of independence on April Fool’s Day and once a dangerous area, Užupis also has a unique way to make laws. So, first after being declared independent, President Užupis named Romas Lileikis and aitepaitis drafted state laws. The contents of the laws are various, for example, every single persons in the country is entitled to a hot spring and has the right to not understand. It’s quiet funny to understand, especially since Lilekis is very fond towards the cats, he made a rule that “A cat is not required to love its owner, but is obliged to help when needed.”