Troops encampment beside the battlefield of Almansa
We are in one of the historic encampment that have formed part of the acts of the Second Historical Recreation of the Battle of Almansa.
The Battle of Almansa (1707) occurred during the international conflict of the War of the Spanish Succession, which faced two European dynasties, Bourbons against Hapsburgs. More than 20,000 men from each side came from different parts of Europe met in the town of Almansa, and the final victory was of the Bourbon troops.
Now, we commemorate the unity of all the peoples of Europe, and between acts being made is the recreation of the battle itself. Panoramic view of the Battle
To make this possible it has been made with groups of participants that came from various European countries, well dressed, for a total of over 300 people with their cavalry and artillery.
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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.