Bellissimomare

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Skyline facing south of Bellissimomare the capital of Sayaffallah.
Skyline facing north of Bellissimomare the capital of Sayaffallah.

Bellissimomare is the capital city and most populous for the nation of Sayaffallah and home to over 15,600,310 residents (15.6 million). Bellissimomare also serves as the regional capital for the Sultan Province which is the only province to bear the royal designation and thus receive crown protection on a regional scale. The city is situated on a fertile plain on the Bay of Crowns top of a plateau extending out from a mountain range known as the Diamond Mountains due to their extensive rare mineral reserves and the way they glisten like diamonds in the sunlight. The city is well known for its royal imagery with many buildings containing some connection to the ruling family in one way or another.

Bellissimomare is divided into 20 city wide districts managed by the office of the Crown Regent of Bellissimomare which serves as both a municipal and mayoral office negating any need for a city council. The Sultan Province in which Bellissimomare is situated is governed by the office of the Crown Prince which makes all decisions for the region, the Sultan Province is the only region that is run by direct rule of a member of the royal family as all other regional provinces are run by democratic elections. There are approximately 20 cities that make up the Sultan Province. Unlike the regional level the Crown Regent of Bellissimomare is elected on an annual basis and the current Crown Regent is Ibrahim Bin Al Sawafi who was elected in December 2016.

Early history

Bellissimomare started out as an outpost on the Bay of Crowns for spice traders from the southern regions and fur merchants from the north who would come to Bellissimomare to either ship their inventory inland through the northern routes or by boat to the southernmost territory of the tribal country. For a great while Bellissimomare was a thriving city that operated independent of the tribal control points in other parts of the country and was instead a city state run by merchants who sold to the highest bidder. From its inception to the year 310 when the tribe of Abu Hanaf claimed control of the city of Bellissimomare by occupying it with a garrison of spear equipped troops.

Abu Hanaf held the town under its control until an army from the tribe of Abbasid claimed control of the city by overthrowing the garrison of Abu Hanaf and driving them out. Abbasid brought its own religion reminiscent of the beliefs of Zoroastrianism which led to the construction of large scale temples on the southern and northern end of the city which stand to this very day as archaeological research areas. The Abbasids also brought their own system of language and measurement which quickly supplanted existing forms of measurement and knowledge. The Abbassids would remain in Bellissimomare until the year 405 when they would be overthrown by the tribe of Najafi. The Najafis operated under a primitive understanding of the religion of Islam and soon established city walls made of sandstone around the perimeter of the city to protect it from raids and to more tightly control commerce into the town. The Najafis became the first to impose a tariff on all goods entering and leaving the city and the profit from these tariffs fueled their construction of an enormous scale of gardens and elongated pathways along the uppermost parts of the wall creating an all new city suspended above the rest attached to the walls of the city and the ground below with gigantic support columns.

In the year 520 the city was burned to the ground by an invasion of Spardalites who razed the town and built it from scratch with the city raised on its foundations an entire 10 feet from its original position so to allow the city to be in an even more prominent position but to also allow runoff from irrigation systems to end up in the bay rather than flooding into the streets as it had before this point. Bellissimomare soon received even greater traffic as ships from the empire of Spardalites began to arrive in the city unloading both passengers and also cargo from even more distant ports. To reach Bellissimomare these ships had to cross through dense rivers and traverse extreme distances but they continued to arrive regularly increasing traffic to inland trade routes and destinations like never seen before.

Three City States

In the year 700 the Spardalites began to experience significant trouble with maintaining control of their overseas territories and soon they began withdrawing the garrison from the city of Bellissimomare and by 724 the Spardalites formally established Bellissimomare and its neighboring city of Naqas and the city to the south of Bellissimomare known as Valucisia as a triumvirate city state system governed by popular plebiscite. This early stab at democracy within Bellissimomare established its popularity and in 725 a governor was elected by the name of Quinius I who governed Bellissimomare successfully from 725 to 740 when he stepped down and a new election was held for the position. In 760 a great series of armies came and attempted to take the three cities by military force but each time they failed as forces rallied from the other cities to help the one in need of assistance and soon they decided to merge themselves into a larger state know as Bellas which served to coordinate defence and matters of state in a much more cohesive way than they cold before.

Bellas elected a series of councils to govern it with a council for trade and a council for military and a council for diplomacy all to handle the decisions that came there way but unable to interfere in the other areas of council. This council system worked tremendously well and historical accounts show that the state of Bellas grew exponentially and new cities began to develop outside of the walls increasing the overall size of population in the region. Bellas soon expanded its walls and increased its size to encompass 10 total cities within its state and expanded its councils to accommodate the influx of people and to ensure they too had a voice within the city.

Arrival of the Orthodox

In the year 960 Orthodox missionaries arrived within the state of Bellas and began to convert people to their religious beliefs largely through coercion and subtle threats of damnation should they resist. The people of Bellas began building shrines to the saints of Orthodoxy and within several decades Orthodoxy grew so much in strength that it was decided that Bellas would begin to transition to a form of government that formally recognized the role of priests and Orthodoxy within society so as to reflect an ever increasing piety in the efforts of God and man.

By 1200 the Orthodox church movement spread to surrounding cities and began to export itself inland as missionaries endeavored to reach the more wild spaces in the mountains that tended to be populated with those believing in pagan and native beliefs that had existed since before the tribal periods. Many of the missionaries were massacred for attempting to subvert the minds and wills of the people and instead the Orthodox began to mull their options specifically of military invasion into the inland areas as an alternative to formally sending out missionaries.

War of Plunder

King Darius XV of the territories inland began his War of Plunder in part as a reaction to the attempts over the years by Orthodox priests to spread Orthodoxy to the people of the inland territories who largely remained in tribal loyalties but also to increase the profits of his treasury. The War of Plunder began in the year 1260 and lasted for four years time and saw the capture of Bellissimomare and many of its surrounding cities in short order by the armies of Darius XV. The city of Bellissimomare was placed under the control of Darius XV and despite this Darius never once ordered any actions against the Orthodoxy instead stating they should live peaceably within his kingdom and make problem for no man.

The War of Plunder served to increase the influence of Bellissimomare now a part of the formal nation known as Sayaffallah and as such the construction and formation of roads rather than paths were created. For centuries simple paths leading in a generalized direction were the only means by which traders had to reach the inland portions of the country. Now the people saw roads paved with stone and granite being formed across vasts stretches of terrain to reach inland mountainous parts of the country and the influx of new people, goods and even ideals into the heart of Bellissimomare.

Islamic Invasion of 1600s

When the Islamic tribes invaded and brought destruction to Sayaffallah they spared Bellissimomare and named it as the new capital of the region. The Islamic tribes began building massive mosques and monuments in honor of their religion and soon began to work to expand the creation of large areas of public gathering and recreation. The Islamic tribes saw the formation of Bellissimomare as a formal and elegant capital city in a way that had never been seen before within Sayaffallah. Despite their brutality in all areas of public life the Islamic rulers established sweeping modernization of the city of Bellissimomare intent on using it as a model for the rest of their empire and indeed the world.

Bellissimomare saw broad avenues constructed and its existing buildings changed to have opulent domes and spires and mosaic patterns int he traditional Islamic style. The population as a result continued to climb and soon the walls were dismantled and new walls were built out in the countryside at great distance with large stone towers for observation along the lengths of the wall. Bellissimomare became touted as a formal Imperial city and a place that would serve as an administrative center until the year 1900.

Revolution of 1900

A streetcar stops outside a popular shop in Bellissimomare circa 1920.
  • 1900 brought about the Revolution which saw the Islamic government replaced with a Sultan who embraced both Islam and Orthodoxy and proclaimed them to have equal status in society something that would never have been dreamed of under the prior Islamic government tht existed before the revolution. The new Sultan began to further modernize the city working to improve public works and the construction of schools and large infrastructure including new docks, roads, bridges and tunnels to facilitate the movement of people in a much faster fashion.
  • 1910 brought the first street cars to the city connecting the business district with half of the residential districts effectively halving the time it took to either walk or take a street buggy to the shopping areas. And soon by 1915 streetcars outpaced horse and buggy traffic entirely with the city increasing usage of public transit by 90% altogether and increasing revenues by over 200% during a five year period something unheard of in Bellissimomare.
  • 1920 brought the first cable cars swinging high above the streets of Bellissimomare connecting even more residential districts with the heart of the city.
Dining compartment of an airship common in Bellissimomare circa 1930 .
  • 1930 brought the first aerodome which saw passenger blimps
  • 1935 saw the first airplanes used to transport passengers and cargo to the southern coast halving the time completely it normally took by rail.
  • 1940 saw the first long distance foreign flight from Bellissimomare arrive and depart
  • 1945 Saw the first commercial bus system installed and the gradual phasing out of the street car system
  • 1950 saw the subway system open its first 20 stops underground
  • 1960 saw the first aerial tram system installed throughout buildings connecting people directly to the lobby of their workplace with their residential district
  • 1970 saw the first dedicated speedboat ferry system connecting the rivers with the residential districts
Photo of the monorail system installed in 1960 as a city wide tram connecting all districts
  • 1980 saw the subway system expand dramatically to 160 subway stops throughout the residential district connecting every district with the central business area.

Climate

Five major climatic regions are found in Bellissimomare. Of these, Bellissimomare Port is in the Warm Temperate Zone (elevation ranging from 1,200–2,300 metres (3,900–7,500 ft)), where the climate is fairly temperate, atypical for the region. This zone is followed by the Cool Temperate Zone with elevation varying between 2,100–3,300 metres (6,900–10,800 ft). Under Köppen's climate classification, portions of the city with lower elevations have a humid subtropical climate (Resort District), while portions of the city with higher elevations generally have a subtropical highland climate. In the Bellissimomare Port, which is representative of its valley's climate, the average summer temperature varies from 28–30 °C (82–86 °F). The average winter temperature is 10.1 °C (50.2 °F).

Facing due west of the city one can see the mountainous regions that can cause cold air streams to flow over the most elevated part of the city.

The city generally has a climate with warm days followed by cool nights and mornings. Unpredictable weather is expected, given that temperatures can drop to 1 °C (34 °F) or less during the winter. Bellissimomare consistently has weather fluctuations during its summer and winter seasons which can cause snow in the elevated portions while the portions the slope down towards the Bay of Crowns typically is much warmer in both winter and summer. This fluctuation is so pronounced that one can take a tram an hour from one side of the city to the other and experience two completely different weather extremes. This is to blame because of the significant elevation given to the city during the building and rebuilding phases during so many instances in its history when one civilization would simply pile a massive mount of earth on top of the prior civilization and build the city higher and higher until it became a man-made mountain system that is colossal to look at.

Landmarks and architecture

Sparadlite Citadel

The Sparadlite Citadel still stands today as a testament to their desire to protect the city from the Bay of Crowns.

The Sparadlite Citadel is one of the first sights people will see if they are coming into the capital by boat. This citadel was built by the Sparadlites during the time they occupied Bellissimomare and features over 60 rooms within the cavernous fortress as well as original gun emplacements. The architectural style is intended to be efficient in loading and offloading troops from the bay but also providing excellent viewing of both the city and the bay itself.

The citadel is accessible both by boat tours in a specially built enclosed pier that connects to the underside of the citadel and also accessible by walking from a car park situated a half mile in distance from the fortress. The Citadel has been expanded in recent years to include an interpretive museum on the outskirts of the structure to showcase the history and progression of usage of the citadel during its time in the capital city. The interpretive museum includes access to a special library with literature about the military history of Sayaffallah which has been rated as one of the most comprehensive public military based libraries in the country.

Great discussion has been had about privatizing the citadel to allow for it to be more profitable in the future. However the citadel currently is under parliamentary oversight meaning any changes would need to be first approved by parliament which has maintained a position of non interference in the management and running of the citadel property. Conservationists fear that privatizing the citadel would allow it to be commercialized and potentially ruined by developers out to earn a quick profit.

Bellissimomare Airport

Bellissimomare's airport runway 3 which allows VIP and smaller aircraft to land directly at the terminal approach.

Bellissimomare International Airport is unique in that it is the only airport to be underwater completely. The Bellissimomare airport features 2 on land runways directly on the shore and all of its terminals completely under water in the Bay of Crowns with its Runway 3 for VIP aircraft and small planes going directly under the water allowing for planes to land on an approach that by the time they get to the runway's end they are at the terminal itself able to turn off and park in a slip specially designed at the terminal building.

This innovative approach saves spaces on the mainland for both parking and also for terminals which are underwater. Parking is accomplished 4 miles away at a separate parking facility that is both above and underground and passengers are then shuttled to a security check facility where they are required to part with their belongings that they are checking on their flight while the rest of their items are securely screened at that point. The individuals is screened through 8 different security checkpoints before being loaded onto a security transport which takes them to the terminal itself via a secure road accessible to airport vehicles only.

Bellissimomare International Airport also features two above ground runways on the mainland itself with tunnels available for aircraft that connect to the inside of a terminal allowing for the offloading of passengers quickly and effectively. Not surprisingly Bellissimomare is ranked as one of the most intimidating airports to fly into and one of the most efficient due to its fast turnaround time for aircraft.

Crown Diamond Tower

Aerial view of the Crown Diamond Tower.

The headquarters of Crown Diamonds the Crown Diamond Towers towers over the city at 4,610 ft (1405 meteres) and was constructed as a direct challenge as part of a skyscraper construction challenge which hoped to see several hundred buildings built over a short period of time as part of a growth project by the Sultan. The winning tower was given a Crown designation and thus placed under the protection of the Crown and given restricted airspace a rare right for most corporations to have in Sayaffallah in addition the Sultan was granted the top floor of the building for his use as an apartment which in his graciousness he has allowed to be turned into a hotel room which is rented out frequently with the revenues given to a charity for dying childrene

The Diamond Tower was built as a tribute to the dying wife of the founder of the Crown Diamond corporation and became an instantly well known symbol of undying love within the capital of Sayaffallah. Today the tower is one of the most photographed and has an observation deck on its fourth to top floor that allows tourists to see and enjoy a wide vista extending hundreds of miles in all directions. The tower includes five restaurants at varying levels within the structure and a full service spa on the third to top floor with gorgeous floor to ceiling windows allowing for spa patrons to also enjoy a view of the city but in more private surroundings.

In 2015 the Diamond Tower was recognized for its superior architecture with an international gala showcasing the best architectural highlights of Sayaffallah to a group of international journalists and guests from the world of architecture and design. The Sultan is a regular visitor to the tower and frequently can be seen eating in the rooftop restaurant perched on the very top of this tower enclosed by a sheer layer of glass on all sides. The restaurant on the rooftop level features seating for an small number of guests typically around 10 who can eat at carefully arranged tables while partaking in the extraordinary views and impeccable level of service available.

The Royal Mosque

The Royal Mosque as seen from the Bay of Crowns at dusk

An iconic symbol of Sayaffallah so representative of its history as both an Orthodox and Islamic country the Royal Mosque stands out at the back edge of the Royal Palace compound as a tribute to its past and a reflection of its present. Built during the Islamic period in Sayaffallah's history the Royal Mosque has the capacity to hold 206,000 worshippers and has room for an additional 300,000 in its outer courtyard making it the largest mosque in the entire country. The Royal Mosque was built in 1620 in the period of 2 years involving the labor of thousands to make it come to life in just a years time and in 1622 it was dedicated in a grand ceremony involving the massive 720 lbs (326kg) stone doors of the mosque being pulled open by two teams of elephants and the Emperor riding into the mosque courtyard on a white stallion draped in the crimson colors of the Islamic Empire at the time.

The Royal Mosque has four central muezzin towers from which the call of prayer is given surrounding the central dome with sixteen additional smaller towers at each of the midpoints and corners of the mosque from which sentries are posted from the Royal Guard to ensure the security of the Mosque and its worshippers at all times. The Royal Mosque is the only part of the Royal Compound that is both accessible and open to the general public at all hours of the day and night for worship.