Sunday, January 11, 2015

10 most beautiful passports in the world

Passport is a symbol of freedom, whole new travel possibilities, something to be proud of. While certain countries’ passports give more freedom of movement cause of their level of visa exemptions, there is another reason to appreciate a few of them even more for their looks.

Here are the top 10 best looking passports in the world to be envy of.

10. USA:
United States passport is simple cover is quite eye catching the blue background with the government seal of an eagle holding 13 arrows in its left talon and an olive branch in its right talon with simple inscriptions ‘PASSPORT’ on top and ‘United States of America’ on the bottom. The beauty of this passport lies in its simple design and its insignia. The 13 arrows representing the 13 original British colonies which are the founding settlement states of North America and collectively they later formed the United States of today now with 50 states stretching from coast to coast. The olive branch itself has 13 leaves and 13 olives, it’s interesting that for a country where number 13 is considered bad luck it has been widely used in its symbolize. The olive has another meaning as well it represents the Olive Branch Petition adopted in 1775 to avoid a war between the original 13 colonies.

9. India:
Indian passport is of a deep dark blue cover with inscriptions in Hindi and English and Emblem of India at the center. On the top is the inscription ‘पासपोर्ट’ followed by its translation ‘PASSPORT’ and on the bottom ‘भारत गणराज्य (Bhārat Ganarājya) followed by its translation ‘REPUBLIC OF INDIA’. The emblem is the most beautiful aspect of the Indian passport symbolizing power, courage, pride, and confidence as four lions facing the four directions, which is why you only see the three loins in the front. Below the four lions is the Ashoka Chakra which is also at the center of the Indian flag along with a horse on its left and a Bull on its right. The emblem is adapted Lion Capital of Ashoka placed on top one of the Ashoka pillars erected by the great Emperor Ashoka of the Maurya Dynasty. Also in the center right below the Emblem is the national motto ‘सत्यमेव जयते’ (Satyamēva jayatē) which can roughly be translated as ‘Truth Alone Triumphs’. The golden color of the inscription and the emblem gives it a royal look.

8. Russia:
Russian Federation has two passports one is the internal passport as identity proof and international passports for travel, they both look almost the same with a few minor differences. The red color passport of The Russian Federation has the coat of arms of the Russian Federation at the center with the inscription ‘РОССИЙСКАЯ ФЕДЕРАЦИЯ’ (Rossiyskaya Federatsiya) and ‘RUSSIAN FEDERATION’ on the top with ‘ПАСПОРТ’ (Pasport) and ‘PASSPORT’ at the bottom. The coat of arms depicts Gules, a crowned double-headed Imperial Eagle grasping the imperial sceptre in the dexter claw, and an imperial orb in the sinister claw. The double headed eagle has a long history of being associated with many great empires throughout history, notably with the Byzantine Empire and the Holy Roman Empire and is presently also used by many other countries on their coat of arms like Coat of arms of Albania and Coat of arms of Montenegro.

7. Palestine:
Palestinian passport is one of the weakest passports to travel with as only 36 countries grant visa free or visa on arrival access on this passport. Palestine itself is not fully recognized as a country as of October 2014 there are 135 countries that international recognize it. The dark green color passport with gold inscription in both Arabic and English has a mystic touch to it. On the top is the inscription is Arabic ‘السلطة الفلسطينية’ (As-Sulṭah Al-Filasṭīniyyah) with its translation ‘THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY’ below it and on the bottom is the inscription ‘جواز سفر‎’ (Jawaz Safar) with its translation ‘PASSPORT’ followed by the English text ‘TRAVEL DOCUMENT’. On the center is the symbol of an eagle with a shield at the center, the slant shape of this eagle gives it a Middle Eastern appeal. This eagle is the Eagle of Saladin but unlike Russian coat of arms it’s not double-headed, here this symbol represents Arab nationalism.

6. Venezuela:
Venezuelan passport of maroon color has the inscriptions in gold at top ‘República Bolivariana de Venezuela’ (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela) and at bottom ‘PASAPORTE’ and ‘PASSPORT’. At the center is the coat of arms of Venezuela which has a shield divided into three parts in the tri-color of the national flag, the bottom part takes up the whole bottom of the shield in an arch shape with a horse running free that represents freedom. The upper half is vertically divided into two parts on the left side has a stack of wheat representing the union of the states and the wealth of the nation, while the right side has three lances with two national tri-color flags and a sword and a saber which represent power and triumph. On the top of the shield are two horns pouring out wealth and at the sides there is an olive branch on the left and a palm branch that tie the ribbon at the bottom of the shield. On the ribbon is inscribed at top left ‘19 de Abril de 1810’ (April 19, 1810), center left ‘Independencia’ (Independence), top right ‘20 de Febrero de 1859’ (February 20, 1859), center right ‘Federación’ (Federation) and at the bottom ‘República Bolivariana de Venezuela’ (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela).

5. Switzerland:
The Swiss passport is of the red color with inscriptions in five languages, four of the official languages of Switzerland which are German, French, Italian, Romansh along with an English inscription. These five inscription are on the top right side arranged vertically from top to bottom 'Schweizer Pass' (German), 'Passeport suisse' (French), 'Passaporto svizzero' (Italian), 'Passaport svizzer' (Romansh) and 'Swiss passport' (English) followed by the Swiss cross. But the most distinguish feature of the Swiss passport and attributes most to its beauty is the pattern of raised Swiss crosses done through relief printing on the front cover.  This is an extremely simple yet beautiful design the raised crosses are arranged in circular succession in multiple arcs. This is probably one of the most simple design passports that look so good, as this whole pattern with minimalistic text on one corner presents itself with elegance. Since Swiss coat of arts is just a simple Swiss Cross they didn’t have a lot to present unlike the other countries’ passport in this list but still they presented a case of taking the simple things you have and present it beautifully.

4. Norway:
While the Old Norwegian passports have nothing remarkable the new redesigned passports are quite extraordinary. The old passports were just simple and boring without much to present but the new passports created by Neue Design Studio these are still in the process of replacing the old design passports. The new passport is of a lighter maroon color with the Norwegian coat of arms of the top left side which consists of a shield that has a crown on top, at the center of the shield is a standing golden lion bearing a golden crown and holding an axe. At the left bottom side are the inscriptions 'NORGE' 'NOREG' 'NORWAY' 'PASS' 'PASSPORT' in that sequence. But the most attractive feature is not on passport but inside the passport, the pages of the depicts a daytime Lakeside Mountain view on an double page spread which when placed under UV light transform into a nighttime view of the same with the purple and blue northern lights glowing in the sky and a few security text that can’t be read otherwise. 

3. New Zealand:
The passport of this former Dutch colony is of black color and silver inscriptions that alone set it apart from other passports and give it a distinctive and elegant look. The silver ferns dominate the design as they are embossed on the right edge of the cover, they vary in size as they grow bigger from top to the bottom. These silver ferns on the edges of both front and back cover give its most beautifying feature. On the front there are the inscriptions 'NEW ZEALAND PASSPORT' and 'URUWHENUA AOTEAROA' which is the Maori translation, below them is the coat of arms of New Zealand. Other great thing about this passport is on the back cover, aside from the silver ferns on the left side there is an embossed impression of the country’s map and the inscription ‘NZL’. Everything combined it makes a beautifully crafted passport that combines most of the nationalistic symbolism from the black background and silver ferns to the outline of the country itself.

2. Maldives:
The small island nation of Maldives has a stunningly beautiful passport everything about it fit very well together to make an excellent work of art. The deep blue color of the cover reminds of the ocean water with the schools of raised fishes printed in the middle. On the top right side is the inscription in Maldivian Dhivehi written in Thaana script ‘ދިވެހިރާއްޖޭގެ ޖުމްހޫރިއްޔާ’ followed by the English translation of it ‘REPUBLIC OF MALDIVES’ followed by the Maldivian National Emblem which consists of a palm tree at the center with two national flags on both sides and an Islamic crescent above a ribbon with the motto inscribed on it in Arabic ‘الدولة المحلديبية‎’ (Ad-Dawlat Al-Mahaldheebiyya) in the middle. Below that is the PASSPORT inscribed in Maldivian Dhivehi written in Thaana script and English. All this gives it an Islamic feel as well as a tropical appeal and it represents the country beautifully. 

1. Portugal:
In the first place is the Portuguese passport as this deep red colored and golden print is a royal looking passport and has the best balanced and overly appealing look. On the top left is the coat of arms of Portugal which consists of a shield on an armillary sphere between two olive branches bounded together at base by a ribbon. On the shield are seven castles and five blue escutcheons azure. Right alongside the coat of arms on the right is the inscriptions ‘UNIÃO EUROPEIA’ (European Union) below that is ‘PORTUGAL’ and ‘PASSAPORTE’ and the most distinguishing feature is a semi circle of interwoven branches on the bottom right edge. It gives the passport a unique appeal the golden print of this semi circle of a branch that is growing upwards is quite eye catching. Another thing about this passport is the invisible print which is visible under UV light.

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