European Monopoly Streets
This is the story of the most popular family game which gained success in Europe over the last 50 years. When reaching the old continent, the Monopoly game succeeded in adapting its board to the national specificities and thus has been adopted by most of the European families around the continent. Every European citizen knows by heart the name of the most expensive lot on its national board. “Mayfair”, “Rue de la Paix”, “Schlossallee” are national references in the United-Kingdom, in France and in Germany. But did you know that in Italy and Germany the street names are fictive? Did you notice that in some countries, the most expensive possession is a shopping center while it is a garden or a square for others? Below, for the first time ever, you will find together the European’s most expensive possessions in the Monopoly.
One of Lisbon’s main square since the Middle Ages is the Pedro IV Square, best known under the name Rossio. The Monopoly most expensive Portuguese lot has been over ages the setting of popular revolts and celebrations, bullfights and executions, and is now a preferred meeting place of Lisbon natives and tourists alike. A bronze statue of the first Emperor of Brazil, Pedro I is to be seen at the top of a column in the middle of the square.
Monopoly’s most expensive street in Spain is a densely-tree-lined avenue connecting the so-called Golden Triangle of Art which includes the famous Prado Museum, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the Reina Sofia Museum. It is also closed to the national congress and Spanish language academy. The Paseo del Prado is the oldest historical urban in Madrid.
The fashionable shopping street in the city-center of Paris runs north from the famous Place Vendôme and ends at the Opéra Garnier. This is not a surprise that this street is a bit more expensive than the Champs Elysées, as it concentrates many jewellers and couture house. The street was opened in 1806 on the orders of Napoleon I, part of the Napoleonic program to open the heart of the Right Bank of Paris, both towards the undeveloped western suburbs and to the north.
In Iceland, the most expensive street is actually the largest mall in Reykjavík with over 170 shops, restaurants and services. Built in 1987, it contains everything from a library, theatre and cinema to a liquor store, candy stores and a pub. It has grown over the years, and is thought by many to be the biggest threat for the Reykjavík city centre stores. Kringlan is also competing with another shopping mall, Smáralind in Kópavogur for customers.
The Bóthar Shrewsbury (or Shrewsbury road in English) is a street in Ballsbridge south side of the city and was the sixth most expensive street in the world in 2007. The street is bordered to the north by Merrion Road and to the south by Ailesbury Road. It contains very expensive properties.
Located within the City of Westminster in an area of central London, the famous most expensive street in the English monopoly boasts some of the capital’s most exclusive shops, hotels, restaurants and clubs. Most of the area was first developed between the mid 17th century and the mid 18th century as a fashionable residential district, by a number of landlords, the most important of them being the Dukes of Westminster, the Grosvenor family. The Rothschild family bought up large areas of Mayfair in the 19th century. The freehold of a large section of Mayfair also belongs to the Crown Estate.
Norwegian most expensive lot in Monopoly is the City Hall Square, a recreational area located between Oslo City Hall and the Oslofjord. Construction of the city hall, given the street address Rådhusplassen 1, started in 1931, and the square was named in 1934. The decoration of the area started in 1941, but was not completed until 1960. By the way, in Norway, the Monopoly game is called “Millionær”.
The central square in Stockholm connecting the shopping streets Hamngatan and Biblioteksgatan is the most expensive place in the Swedish version of the Monopoly. The famous Stockholm syndrome was invented because of the Norrmalmstorg square, where in 1973 a bank robbery and hostage crisis occurred there. It was told that one or both robbers became engaged to their captives. This is not true, and may stem from a false friend in the phrase “att engagera sig i någon”. In Swedish this means “taking interest in someone”, what does not mean “to become engaged to someone”
Erottaja means the “separator” in English as the square functions as the meeting point of central Helsinki’s two famous streets, Esplanadi and Mannerheimintie. Erottaja has been selected as the official geographic “zero point” of Helsinki. Distances to all other cities in Finland are measured starting from here.
The City Hall square is located in the city centre of Copenhagen. It was designed in the 1880s. An architecture competition was held in early 1889 and was won by the young and unknown Martin Nyrop. Due to its large size, its central location and its affiliation with the city hall, Radhuspladsen is a popular venue for a variety of events, celebrations and demonstrations. It is often used as a central datum for measuring distances from Copenhagen. In Denmark, the Monopoly’s name “matador” sounds rather Spanish!
In the Netherlands, the most expensive lot in the monopoly is nothing less than one of the most expensive shopping street in the world, namely Kalverstraat (which stands for “calves market” that was held at this place until the 17th century). In this street, shops have to rent each square meter for 2200. And for the sort story, a eucharistic miracle was said to have taken place in 1345 there, the event being commemorated by the annual Stille Omgang procession.
Belgians too have their shopping street in the monopoly, and this is the street connecting the famous Place de la Monnaie to the Place Charles Rogier. This popular pedestrian street is also the second highest rents of any street in Belgium, with an average annual rent of 1,600 euros per square meter.
No shopping centre, no national museum or city hall, the most expensive lot in the Monopoly in Luxembourg is of course its large financial industry, including the Centrale Bank of Luxembourg ! The boulevard is a one-way arterial road that runs around the northern and western parts of the city centre, Ville Haute.
The first German edition of the Monopoly was launched in 1936 and sold under the license of Ravensburger. It contained most expensive street names such as “Insel Schwanenwerder”. In this expensive Berliner district was living at this time the Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and many Nazi officials. Goebbels officially banned the game in 1936 because of its “Jewish-speculative nature”. In the new West German version of Monopoly of 1953 the historical problem was avoided by giving fictitious street names such as Schlossallee or Goethe Street to monopoly’s lots.
The Parade Place in Zürich is one of the most expensive pieces of real estate in Switzerland and, such as in Luxemburg’s Monopoly, has become synonymous with wealth and the Swiss banks, being the location of the headquarters of both UBS and Credit Suisse. The Paradeplatz was the scene of clashes between insurgents and cantonal troops during the 1839 Züriputsch.
This is quite unusual for the Monopoly game: Italy, with its thousands wonderful streets, doesn’t have a proper name for its most expensive lot. Parco della Vittoria is actually a translation adapted from the English name Boardwalk, which refers to a street existing in … Atlantic City, New Jersey. In the Italian version, Parco della Vittoria is a common name, but does not refer to any real place. The picture in the left thus only represents the “Monumento alla Vittoria”.
Mdina is a medieval walled town situated on a hill in the centre of the island. Punic remains uncovered beyond the city’s walls suggest the importance of the general region to Malta’s Phoenician settlers. Mdina is commonly called the “Silent City” by natives and visitors. The town is still confined within its walls, and has a population of just over three hundred.
Surprisingly, the Austrian most expensive street is not so beautiful and is not located in Vienna but in Bregenz. This is maybe for that reason that the new Austrian versions of the Monopoly now use the Kaiserstraβe as the most expensive location.
Less a square than a boulevard, Wenceslas Square has the shape of a very long rectangle and is located in the centre of the business and cultural communities in Prague. Many historical events occurred there before and during the USSR regime, and it is a traditional setting for demonstrations, celebrations, and other public gatherings. The square is named after Saint Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia. It is part of the historic centre of Prague, a World Heritage Site.
Slovakian Monopoly most expensive square is surrounded by historical buildings and palaces, and in particular the old city hall. Other attractions include the Maximilian Fountain, the Roland Palace, the neo-Baroque Palugyay Palace, the Esterházy Palace and the Governor’s Palace. Here are also the embassies of France, Greece and Japan. Even the most well-known Café Mayer is located there.
The Ujazdów Avenue has a long history of name changing. By 1766 it was already a part of the Royal Route as Belweder Avenue leading to Belweder palace. During World War II it was planned to be transformed into a German district, according to the Pabst Plan.Nazi authorities renamed the avenue to Lindenallee and later to Siegenallee. After Stalin’s death it was renamed Stalin Avenue (Aleja Stalina). Three years later the traditional name was restored again. The avenue surrounded by many notable historical buildings and embassies is used also for annual military parades on the Polish Army Day (15 August).
Lithuanian most expensive street in Monopoly concentrates almost all the governmental institutions and cultural attractions. It is nowadays also a popular shopping and dining street, partially pedestrian in the evenings when the traffic is prohibited. In 2003 an important portion of the avenue was renovated and over 100 new trees were planted.
Latvian Dome Square is the largest square in the Old Town of Riga. Various public events always take place on this square, which is surrounded by several monumental of the 19th and 20 century. One of the most prominent and recognizable buildings is the Cathedral. During the Nazi occupation, the square was divided into two parts.
In the city centre of Tallinn, the Town Hall Square is a venue for festivals or concerts like Tallinn Old Town Days and concentrates several bars and restaurants. This square is also popular for being the traditional seat of the Estonian Christmas tree, which is often the biggest in Europe. The first tree was erected in 1441, long before the other European cities. According to the tradition, the Mayor lights the first candle, and citizens bring this light at home to mark the beginning of Christmas season in December.
In Ukraine the most expensive lot is one of the main city squares, translated in English as the Independence Square, located on the Khreschatyk Street. The square has been known under many different names, but it became known simply as the Maidan due to the political events that took place there in 2004 after the Ukrainian accession to independence. After the Orange Revolution, Maidan Nezalezhnosti continues to attract political protesters, but no event has ever approached the scale of the Orange protests
The Bulevardul Primaverii, meaning in English Spring Avenue, is the most expensive lot in the Romanian Monopoly. It connects the Charles De Gaulle roundabout to the Bordei Park.
The Danube Promenade is located on the Pest side of Budapest. On the bank of the Danube, this promenade extends from the Széchenyi Chain Bridge to the Erzsébet Bridge. In 1945 at the end of World War II, only the Bristol (Danube Hotel) survived the destruction of the row of hotels on the bank of the Danube. In 1969 the final form of the Bristol Hotel was demolished. On the picture, one can see the famous sculpture of the Little Princess.
The most expensive lot in the Slovenian Monopoly is not a street but a town called Portorož, which means “Port of Roses“, located on Slovenian coast and one of the country’s largest tourist areas. The development of Portorož started with the completion of Parenzana narrow gauge railway in 1902. It soon became a meeting point of Austrian bourgeoisie and subsequently a tourist resort within Austrian Riviera. After the decline of Austria-Hungary in 1918, Portorož was incorporated into Italy, and after World War II into Yugoslavia.
The original version of the Croatian monopoly indicated that Ženevski trg was the most expensive lot. The possessions were at this time partially invented street names but the majority were real street names used in mayor Croatian cities. In the 1994 version, it became Ilica, one of the longest streets in Zagreb and considered to be the most expensive residential street in the city.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
In the Bosnian Monopoly game, possessions are not streets or squares but cities. The capital city of Sarajevo is of course the most expensive lot together with Banja Luka.
Serbian most expensive street means in English King Milan Street. Its name changed many times over the years. It was formerly called Kragujevac street. In 1876, it was known as Prince Milan Street. After World War II, it was renamed Street of Marshal Tito and, in 1990, the “street of the Serb leaders.” It has now its original name. The street contains many important buildings, such as the Stari Dvor and the Novi Dvor.
Tsar Osvoboditel Boulevard is a boulevard in the centre of Sofia and is the most expensive possession you could have in the Bulgarian Monopoly. It is named after Tsar Alexander II of Russia, referred to as the “Tsar Liberator” because of his role in the Liberation of Bulgaria. any of Sofia and Bulgaria’s institutions and representative buildings are located on Tsar Osvoboditel Boulevard.
Greeks most expensive possession in the Monopoly is a major avenue running southbound one way entirely in Patras. The avenue was paved in the late-19th century and featured classical street lights and the railway was at the west side unguarded. It features the only entrance to the port, after World War II and the Greek Civil War. Residential buildings with neo-classical and modern architectures cover the eastern part of the avenue, residential buildings covers the northern, central and southern parts, shops and stores covers the central portions.
Turkish most expensive street is located on the European shores of the Bosphorus, between the neighbourhoods of İstinye and Tarabya. Yeniköy is a neighbourhood in Sarıyer district of Istanbul and is one of the prominent quarters of Istanbul, and is home to the city’s wealthy figures. The quarter also has some of the finest seafood restaurants in Istanbul, on the Bosphorus shore.
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