If We Give You an Animal and a Town, Can You Name the European Country?

WORLD

By: Laura DeFazio

6 Min Quiz

Image: Harald Nachtmann/ Moment/ Getty Images

About This Quiz

From the sunny islands of the Mediterranean to the arid steppes at the foot of the Caucasus Mountains to the icy fjords of Scandinavia, Europe packs a slew of climate zones and natural landscapes into a fairly compact continent (as far as continents go, anyway.) Similarly, the array of different languages spoken over a comparatively small landmass is stunning when compared to, say, North America. Europe's many nations are quite distinct from one another today, their traditions and mythologies developed around different flora, fauna, temperatures, natural landmarks, trade routes, battles and the comings and goings of various peoples and empires.

This quiz will test your knowledge of geology and history; knowing your capitals will definitely give you an edge, although not all of the towns and cities provided are capitals. Knowledge of certain countries' lore or formative historical events will surely give you insight into which animals they might choose as their national symbols. Or, if you have an understanding of the natural landforms and bodies of water, you might be able to guess which animals you're likely to see there today.

So, hop across the pond and jump right in! Some of these questions are a challenge, but you'll pick up all sorts of quirky bits of trivia along the way.

In which country can you visit Pamplona in July to run with the bulls?

A "running of the bulls" (in Spanish, an "encierro") occurs when a group of six or more cattle are loosed in city streets and people run with them. It's an exciting but sometimes dangerous event held across Spain to celebrate the nine-day Festival of Saint Fermin. The most well-known bull run happens in Pamplona.

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According to medieval tradition, Saint Patrick was the first Bishop of Armagh and banished all the snakes from this country. Can you name it?

Legend has it that Pat chased all the snakes into the sea after they attacked him while he was fasting on a hilltop. However, since all evidence suggests that Ireland never had any snakes to begin with, it's more likely that the snakes of lore were a metaphor for pagan druids.

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Take a stroll through the huge, primeval forest and you might just be lucky enough to spot a European bison, brought back from the brink of extinction over the course of the 20th century. Or if nature's not really your thing, pay a visit to the capital, Minsk. Where are we?

Around 40% of Belarus is covered in forest, and it's often called "the lungs of Europe." The European bison, its national animal, is the heaviest land mammal surviving in Europe. About 600 of them roam the Bialowieza Forest.

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Do you know which country has long held the Gallic rooster as a national symbol? (Maybe it'll wake you up early enough to beat the tourist lines in Paris ...)

The rooster was used as a religious symbol of faith and hope dating back to the Middle Ages. During the Renaissance, it became associated with the emerging nation of France, and by the 19th century, it was flown on flags and used to rally fighters during the French Revolution.

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There's Warsaw, then there's what Lech saw (a fierce white eagle). Where in Europe are we?

According to Polish legend, three brothers (Lech, Czech and Rus) went hunting and, following prey in different directions, ended up settling different lands and founding different Slavic countries. Venturing north, Lech encountered a white eagle against a red setting sun and counted it as a good omen, inspiring the design for today's Polish flag.

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Bezoars live in this country's Caucasus region. Far, far to the east, you'll find the town of Anadyr. Where are you?

A bezoar is a wild goat-antelope creature. (It's also the name for a small, stone-line mass that forms in the stomachs of certain mammals.) Anadyr is far away from its home territory, on the Asian side of this massive country.

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Pay a visit to the Budapest Zoo ... and you probably won't see its national animal, the turul. Do you know which country we're talking about?

The Turul is a mythological bird from Hungarian lore, depicted like a hawk or falcon. In legend, the Arpad Clan (which ruled during Hungary's golden age) descended from a Turul and a woman named Emese.

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An ancient legend describes Rome's founder, Romulus, being suckled by a wolf. In which present-day country did this story take place?

According to legend, twins Romulus and Remus were abandoned and thrown into the Tiber River after birth by their war goddess mother. They were rescued by a she-wolf, raised by a shepherd and Romulus, after killing his brother, went on to found Rome at the site of the wolf's den.

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What the "Helsinki"! We didn't know that reindeer lived outside the North Pole. Did you? (And can you guess which of these countries we're referencing?)

In fact, reindeer don't live at the North Pole at all, since that's located in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. They live in Northern Europe, Greenland, Canada, Alaska, Siberia and Northern Asia.

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There's a popular variety of bulldog that comes from this country, although you might need to take a "Bath" if you let it slobber all over you. Can you guess the country?

The British bulldog may be slobbery, but they're certainly cute. If you travel to Bath, England, you can visit some of the ancient Roman bathhouses for which it was named. (Just don't try to bathe in them.)

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You'll find the endangered, strange-looking saiga antelope roaming the deserts of this country, where you'll also find the 2,000-year-old city of Taraz.

Like all of the above options (plus Turkey), Kazakhstan straddles the Asian and European continents. Its deserts and steppes provide homes for a very different array of animals than seen elsewhere in Europe.

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"Oslo" down, you don't want to miss the Atlantic puffins! Where in the world can you spot these adorable birds? (Not to mention this chilly city.)

If you really want to appreciate the puffins, venture farther away from Oslo (the capital) to the village of Bleik between June and August. Hundreds of thousands of puffins flock to the area to breed!

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The longest-living swan on record was ringed (tagged) at the Copenhagen Bird Ringing Centre. Where is this?

The mute swan is the national animal of Denmark, and the practice of ringing birds began there. This particular bird died in 2008 and based on its tags, it was about 40 years old at the time! The previous record had been 28.

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According to legend, the phoenix incinerates at the end of its life, then is born again from the ashes. Much like Athens during the Persian Wars, come to think of it. What are we talking about?

The ancient Greek city of Athens was burned down by the Persian king, Xerxes, following his victory at the Battle of Thermopylae. Ultimately, the Greeks won the wars and Athens was rebuilt.

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In which country can you find the city of Munich and a state coat of arms featuring a black eagle?

This is one of the oldest national symbols, many historians tracing the black eagle on the German coat of arms back to the 8th-century rule of Charlemagne, king of the Germanic tribe called the Franks.

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Venture just outside Lucerne and into the surrounding Alps, and you might spot a chamois. Where are you?

The Swiss city of Lucerne is located within the Alps. The chamois is a sure-footed goat-antelope species native to this mountain range and others across Europe. They also live in New Zealand, although they aren't native to that neck of the woods.

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No need to fear a "Tallinn" wound from the national bird of this nation ... because it's the barn swallow.

The capital city of this small, Baltic state is Tallinn, known for its spectacular medieval (and more recent) architecture. We have it on good authority that the barn swallow will happyily nest in any of these buildings, not limiting itself to strictly barns.

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Ah, the sunny, coastal city of Lisbon, where you might enjoy some tasty "polvo" (octopus) ... Where are you?

Portugal's octopus dishes may be delicious (as are those of neighboring Spanish province, Galicia) but scientific research into the intelligence of these cephalopods is giving more and more people pause when it comes to eating them.

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If you're planning a bachelor party, try visiting Vilnius, which recently launched a marketing campaign touting itself as the hub of such activities. This country's national bird is the stork. Which is it?

Lithuania is home to large numbers of migratory white storks. They're believed to bring peace, joy and harmony to families upon whose lands they nest ... and yes, much like in America they're believed to bring babies, too.

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This nation's capital city, Prague, is a wonderful place to visit, although you probably won't spot its national animal, the mythical double-tailed lion. Where are we?

Historians don't seem entirely certain why the lion on the Czech state emblem has two tails. There's speculation that it dates back to Premysl Otakar II, who ruled as King of Bohemia during the 13th century.

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Cattle are the national animal in this teensy, mountain country where you might visit the charming town of Ordino.

Tucked away in the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France, Andorra is the only country whose national language is Catalan. The residents are known for their prodigious alcohol consumption (among other, finer qualities).

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In which European/Asian country will you find a capital city called Tbilisi and a golden lion on the royal coat of arms?

Georgia is located in the Caucasus Mountains at the border of Europe and Asia. Dmanisi, a 1.8 million-year-old archaeological site, is home to some of the earliest examples of hominids outside of Africa.

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This country boasts the extremely old capital city of Yerevan and sightings of the endangered Caucasian lynx. Can you name it?

The Caucasian lynx is a subspecies of the Eurasian lynx. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, archaeological evidence dates sites at Yerevan to the 3rd-6th millennium BCE. Following that, the fortress Yerbuni dates to 783 BCE.

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This country's capital is Skopje. If you were to stroll through its forests, you might spot a forest owl. Can you guess it?

Until February of 2019, North Macedonia was just called "Macedonia." Following a decades-old dispute with its southern neighbor, Greece, it added the prefix to differentiate it from the Greek province of the same name.

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This country's largest city is Belgrade, and its national animal is the gray wolf. Can you name it?

Belgrade, which is also the capital of Serbia, is located where the Danube and Sava rivers meet. Wolves are central to Serbian lore and poetry, so much so that Vuk ("wolf") is a very popular boys' name in Serbian.

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Tiraspol is the capital of Transnistria, a region that declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1990 but isn't recognized as a sovereign nation. Can you name the country it's technically a part of? (The auroch is the national animal, in case that helps.)

Although technically part of Moldova, Transnistria (also called Transdniestria, officially called the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic) has its own de facto government. Oh, and the auroch was a type of bison that was hunted to extinction in the 17th century.

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Half Asian and half European, the city of Istanbul lies on either side of the Bosphorus Strait. This is where the choiciest bluefish are said to come from, a big part of which country's cuisine?

Most of Turkey lies on the Asian continent, but its capital, Istanbul, is split down the middle. A small section of Turkey to the west of Istanbul (formerly Constantinople) falls in Europe.

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Its national animal is the mouflon, and its capital city (Nicosia) has been continuously inhabited since the Bronze Age (around 2500 BCE.) Which of the following it is?

This Mediterranean island nation gained independence from Britain in 1960. Long subject to dispute between Greece and Turkey, Cyprus's northern portion declared independence in 1983 as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. This was only recognized by Turkey, although there is a de facto Turkish government in place there.

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This country's name means "field of blackbirds" and its capital (Pristina) is known for its vibrant cafe culture. Do you know it?

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. Although Serbia, Russia and many others don't recognize its independence (and thus it isn't in the United Nations), the US and most members of the European Union do recognize it as a country.

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The Arctic fox is the only land mammal native to this country! For your best chance of spotting one, head to the Westfjords. Isafjordur is a nice town to stay in ...

The first documented humans began arriving in Iceland in the 9th century from Norway, and with them came various types of animals. Before that, the Arctic fox was the only land mammal whatsover; the other animals were all sea critters and birds.

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This country's national animal is the beautiful but endangered Karabakh horse, which you can see in action in Dashyuz during a national Chovgan tournament. Where in the world are we?

The national sport in Azerbaijan is Chovgan or Chovken, an equestrian sport not totally unlike polo that dates back at least to the first millenium A.D., although certain historians cite its origins to the 5th century B.C.E.

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Valletta is the smallest European capital. Do you know where it's located? (Hint: It's not Egypt, even though the national animal is the Pharoah Hound.)

Malta is a small island nation in the Mediterranean Sea, located off the southern coast of Sicily. Strangely enough, it's the Pharoah Hound that's its national animal rather than the more obvious-sounding dog choice, the Maltese.

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With all the deer in this country, you're bound to find some Vienna-son dishes. Wait, that's "venison," sorry ... Where are we?

Typical of Central Europe, animals like deer, rabbits, foxes, pheasants, badgers, etc. are common in Austria. It's an Alpine nation, so you'll also find plenty of chamois, groundhogs and eagles.

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The olm salamander is only native to this nation's soil. This nation also boasts one of the hardest to spell capitals, Ljubljana. Do you know where we are?

A few other species are said to be only native to Slovenia, the Lipizzaner horse and the Carniolan honeybee. Slovenia is renowned around the world as a nation of beekeepers. According to pri.org, there are 10,000 beekeepers in Slovenia, out of a population of 5 million. That's one beekeeper for every 200 people!

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You'd be hard-pressed to "Holy See" many land mammals in this country, but you'll certainly see your fair share of birds like gulls and pigeons. Do you know where we're talking about?

At 0.17 square miles, Vatican City (also called the Holy See) is the smallest country on the planet. It's the seat of the Catholic pope, and it's fully contained within the much larger Italian city of Rome.

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