Tuesday, January 09, 2007

For Sale: World's Smallest Country

The world's smallest country, Principality of Sealand is up for sale. The island country was founded as a sovereign Principality in 1967 in international waters, six miles off the eastern shores of Britain, by former English major Paddy Roy Bates. He proclaimed the island his own state after occupying it and called himself the Prince and his wife Princess. From Times Online:
After 40 years, the owners of the Principality of Sealand have put it on the market. They hope that investors will be lured by the island’s setting and its status as a tax haven.

But it is not exactly a dream hideaway. Sealand, which was built as a wartime fort called Roughs Tower in 1941, is a 550 sq m (5,920 sq ft) steel platform perched on two concrete towers. Accessible only by helicopter and boat, it sits seven miles (11km) off the coast of Harwich in Essex.

Its living accommodation is less than palatial — long, low buildings made of steel through which the sound of generators reverberates constantly. One American visitor described it as “unbelievably ugly”.

What it lacks in charm and climate it makes up for in a history that includes raiders, hand-to-hand fighting and a kidnapping.
(Thanks Sir Thomas)

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