| Location in Kantonia|
|Area||yourinfo km² (yourinfo sq mi)|
| 5,745,239 |
yourinfo/km² (yourinfo/sq mi)
|Administrative Divisions||20 Neighborhoods|
|Time Zones||XCT (Xianbian Central Time) (AMT +1)|
The word Bekarion comes from the name of its founder, King Bekar I, and the Evanian suffix -ion, meaning port or coastal settlement. A resident of Bekarion is called a Bekarionite in Ingliz, and a Bekarionado in Aspenish.
Bekarion has received many nicknames. Many refer to the artistic nature of the city, such as the City of Lights and Music, City of the Five Arts, and Aurora's Cultural Capital. Other names include the City by the Gulf, the City of Marvels, and Aurora's Melting Pot. A name that has recently gained popularity is "Cosmopolis." Outsiders within Kantonia sometimes derogatorily call the city "Bekar," "Bekon," or "Beki" (the worst of all three). Locals often simply call it "the City," as is common with many cities.
Bekarion first evolved past being a group of small villages in 1381, when King Bekar I of Aramon built a coastal fortress there. The families of the soldiers often came along, forming a sizable town.
In 1567, the Aspenish took the fortress as their own and built a trading post. Over the next two centuries Bekarion continued to grow and changed hands many times between Kantonia's different colonizers. The city grew in importance and became a major trading center.
In the 1900s large waves of immigrants came to Kantonia. Zarka did not have enough room to hold them all so they came to cheap new neighborhoods in Bekarion, further boosting its population. In 1950, the city's main thoroughfare Avenida Oro was built to connect the main city in the south with the port in the north, only contributing to the city's growth, and by 1970, Bekarion had surpassed Zarka in both population and importance. In 2011, a great fire destroyed much of the city, paving way for future development. During the War of Independence, Bekarion became a major center of the independence movement.
After independence, Bekarion declined in quality and became a poor, industrial town before it was rejuvenated and restored to its former glory during what is known as the "Bekarion Renaissance." But the city returned to shambles after the stock market crash of 2062 and stayed that way through the regime of Sepulveda. The secret police of the dictators often conducted purges of entire neighborhoods. 2,000 people died during the 2087 shelling of Bekarion in the Kantonian Civil War.
During the Banderas regime, much of Bekarion was rebuilt. During the Sanchez regime, Bekarion became the center of the Hibiscus Revolution, leading to what is known as the "Invasion of Bekarion," in which Sanchez's troops stormed the city and attacked people in the streets.
During the past decade, Bekarion has gone through the greatest rebirth of all, setting in stone its cosmopolitan character. Some have even claimed that Bekarion is in the midst of a "Second Bekarion Renaissance."
San Armando (pictured above) is Bekarion's main business district. A multitude of Kantonian businesses have their headquarters here and many foreign businesses have their Kantonian or Xianbian offices here. Many skyscrapers have been built here over the last decade and many more are planned or under construction.
Avenida Plata is the premiere shopping center in Bekarion and one of the most notable in the world. It is world-renowned for its cafes, restaurants, boutiques, galleries, bookstores, museums, theaters, and markets. Much of Bekarion's cosmopolitan culture revolves around "La Nida," as it is referred to colloquially.
Mirdela, the capital of Kantonia's avant-garde bohemian subculture, is another neighborhood essential to Bekarionite subculture. Many artists of all types had their start in Mirdela. As well as offering more bohemian versions of the facilities offered at Avenida Plata, Mirdela, home to the world-famous Purple Hibiscus Club, is regarded as the center of Bekarion's nightlife. A contributor to this neighborhood's distinctive atmosphere is the number of university students who live here in more affordable housing. This has led to many new political and artistic movements being centered in Mirdela.
Porto Jose is Bekarion's seaport. It was formerly the busiest and most important in Kantonia and remains to be the busiest and most important on Kantonis Gulf. It is also the main port of entry for immigrants after they leave the immigration stations. The area is home to the important Wharf Station and the northern end of Avenida Oro.
Aronnia is notable for its high Anadili population. Most residents are the descendants of Etrurian and Antaran immigrants who arrived in Kantonia during the mid-20th century. Many signs in Aronnia are written in Antaran and the area host many Anadili cultural venues, as well as the Temple of Divine Redemption, the largest Ecclesiast temple on Xianbia.
Arenas is often called Kantonia's ethnic stew. Directly to the south of Porto Jose, the apartments in this area are quite cheap and thus attract many new immigrants. This diversity is reflected in the names of some of Arenas' neighborhoods, which include Catai Town, Little Sinoptikon, and New Indirian. Arenas is bisected by Avenida Oro, that particlar stretch often called Holy Boulevard for its high concentration of houses of worship.
The area where Rosado currently stands was once covered by wooden slums, which were destroyed in the grea 2011 fire. The colonial government took advantage of this opportunity, rebuilding Rosado in baroque neoclassical style and making it the new center of city life, with government buildings, cathedrals, theatres, and a university. In 2038, the Declaration of Liberty was signed in the square now known as Plaza Independencia, and Rosado still contains many government, educational, cultural, and religious institutions. Rosado, including Plaza Independencia, is bisected by Avenida Oro. Plaza Independencia is also the western end of Avenida Plata.
Colina Real is Bekarion's main industrial area. However, much of the neighborhood is also residential. Colina Fuerte forms part of the area known as the Wedge, a group of neighborhoods in the central north of the city that are largely residential.
Another part of the Wedge, Gilena has recently experienced a genesis as the center of Kantonia's entertainment. 3 major radio stations, 4 major record companies, and 2 major film studios all have their headquarters here, as well as many minor companies.
The final section of the Wedge, Colón remains almost completely residential. Comedians and other entertainers often refer to it as one of the most boring places in the world, and there is generally no argument from locals. The only real point of interest is Consulate Row, where most foreign consulates in the city are located.
Punta Corona is the oldest neighborhood in the city, the site of Old Bekarion National Historic Park, and the southern end of Avenida Oro.
Just outside Bekarion's city limits lies Alejandro Fuentes International Airport (AAF), the largest airport in Kantonia. It offers airplane and airship service to nearby and far away, and serves every continent. It is a relatively new airport: construction started in 2102 and then halted during the Hibiscus Revolution, before the new government restarted building, and opened the airport in 2108. AAF is the main hub of AirKantonia.
Bekarion has the oldest metro system in Xianbia. Construction thereof began just before the Desplome of 2061 and was continued by Sepulveda, and later the Kantonis Republic. Today, most of the city can be reached by metro, though changing lines is usually required. Metro lines now stretch out to immediate suburbs and new lines are always being built. Bekarion is home to two stations of above-ground rail, Plata Central in the city center on Avenida Plata, and Alto Station in Porto Jose.
Due to its position on Kantonis Gulf, Bekarion depends on Kantonia's public ferry system, the most-used in the world, for transportation. Ferries provide transportation to opposite ends of the city and to other locations on both sides of the gulf. The most important ferry lines are the ones to Zarka.
Bekarion is home to two major universities: The Colegio Real, established 1997 in the west of the city, and the University of Bekarion, established 2043 in the east. Both are counted among the top institutions of higher learning in Kantonia, and are considered to have a friendly (or not) rivalry between them. The Colegio is more known for the humanities while the University is more known for the sciences.
The city is also home to the fifth branch of the renowned Antaran Toulani Institute. Toulani Five mainly specializes in life and earth sciences. Its facilities are spread between the two universities, the Museum of Sciences (often called the Toulani Museum) in the City Park, and offices downtown.
As mentioned earlier, Bekarion has a very cosmopolitan culture, due to the wide variety of cultures there, as well as the city's size, importance, and central location. Bekarion could easily be called the cultural capital of Kantonia. It is also one of the main cultural centers in all of Aurora. Bekarion could even be described as having its own distinct culture, with unique cuisine, music, art, fashion, mannerisms, and even distinct dialects of Kantonian and Aspenish almost only spoken in the Bekarion Metropolitan Area. Most Kantonians either admire this culture (forming the "besibe," or "Bekarionite without Bekarion," subculture) or resent it. In recent years, Bekarionite culture has gained popularity in other countries.
Music and Dance
Bekarion is the birthplace of Kantonia's signature music style, the kalano. Kalano is a form of Kantonian music that blends together music from all of the various cultures in Kantonia. It originated during the late 1900s, when immigrants from around the world lived in the city and combined their different musical styles. Kalano is generally lively and up-tempo, with an equal number of major-key and minor-key songs, and often uses instruments such as the guitar, piano, accordion, flute, trumpet, saxophone, and drum kit. The girano is a lively, dramatic, and often romantic dance associated with kalano that also began in Bekarion.
Jazz and rock and roll have recently been introduced to Kantonia, and while the former is popular throughout the country, the latter is still mostly limited to Bekarion. Modern music is a favorite in the clubs of Mirdela. One of the world's most famous nightclubs is the Purple Hibiscus in Mirdela.
Drama has been performed in Kantonia since the 1800s. During the influx of immigration in the 20th century, opera was introduced, and quickly became popular. The colonial government hired famous architect TBD to build a magnificent opera house, and that he did. The Opera Kantonis was completed in 1987 and became world-famous and a city landmark. This only served to further the popularity of opera. Mainstream and bohemian theaters popped up all around the town. Since the Hibiscus Revolution, operas with contemporary music have become popular in Bekarion, and are often performed along Avenida Plata.
Bekarion is known for its street food. Popular choices include kebabs, fried plantains, sweet and savory pastries (involving fruit in the former and vegetables or cheese in the latter, with both usually fried), fried and spiced potatoes, fishcakes, curry, flatbreads, and breadfruits, all of them often wrapped in bread. However, the quintessential street foods are empanadas, buns of dough with ground meat inside, and the zalaron, a tortilla or pita with one end open, stuffed with ground or roasted meat, garlic, potatoes, cheese, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, and various sauces, curries, herbs, and spices.
Bekarion is also known as a center of gourmet cuisine, hosting many fine, upscale restaurants drawing patrons from around the world. The gourmet chocolate industry is also believed to have started here, and many confiterías serve a wide assortment of chocolates, sweets, and candies. Popular items include chocolate combined with other flavors and marzipan molded into different shapes.
Another important institution of Bekarionite cuisine and culture is the café or coffeehouse. Many different kinds of coffee and other beverages, usually warm, are served in these informal restaurants, as well as sandwiches, flatbreads, and pastries. The cafes of Bekarion often attract students, artists, and intellectuals, and are famous as centers of art, learning, and intellectual and political debate.
Bekarion is home to one of Kantonia's most prominent football teams, the Bekarion TBD. They are an average team, having won the Kantonis Cup twice, but they attract a large population of fans, They have a famous rivalry with the Zarka TBD.