Every year on August 1st, Switzerland celebrates its national day with festivities around the country. One of these festivities is the annual big fireworks in Brunnen which are shown in this panorama. The location of the fireworks is stunning as it takes place on Lake Lucerne (also known as Vierwaldstättersee) a beautiful lake in central Switzerland.
The location is also historically signficant as it is near a mountain meadow called Rütli, where the legendary oath of Rütlischwur took place which was the start of the independence of Switzerland and goes back to the 14th century.
The annual fireworks are attended by thousands of people from the shore as well as from boats on the lake. A flotilla of large boats travel from surrounding towns and cities, including Lucerne, to see the fireworks.
Rütli is behind the fireworks. To the left of the fireworks is Fronalpstock, a 2000m high peak which is a popular skiing destination in winter and walking destination in summer. On the other side of the fireworks, towards the North, you can see the pleasant town of Brunnen which offers beautiful views of the lake. On the westside you can see some remaining light from the dusk.
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.