Astrid of Sweden (Astrid Sofia Lovisa Thyra of Sweden; 17 November 1905 – 29 August 1935) was Queen of the Belgians as the wife of King Leopold III. Tragically, at age 29, Queen Astrid was killed in a car accidentin the mountains, at Kussnacht am Rigi, near Lake Lucerne, Schwyz, Switzerland, on 29 August 1935. She was deeply mourned by her husband, King Leopold, by the Belgians, and by the Swedes. A commemorative chapel was built in Switzerland at the site of the crash.
On 29 August 2010, King Albert II of Belgium visited the site where his mother died in the tragic car accident to put down flowers at the site and attend a commemorative mass. This panorama shows three distinct activities the King participated in during his visit: his arrival, the greeting of the invited guests and his attendance of the mass. The three activities were combined in one panorama showing the beautiful setting of the chappel.
Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights. In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. Text by Steve Smith.