Castle of the Moors
Castle of the Moors Castelo dos Mouros (English: Castle of the Moors) is a castle located in the town of Sintra, Portugal. The castle is located on a high hill overlooking the town, being one of its most important tourist attractions. It is part of the Cultural Landscape of Sintra, recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. As implied by its name, the castle is of Moorish origin, but the current building is the result of a romantic renovation carried out in the 19th century. The views from its walls and towers are breathtaking. The town of Sintra with its royal palace, as well as the Pena National Palace, are all visible from the Castle of the Moors. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_of_the_Moors
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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.