Castle ruins
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Panoramic photo by Bohdan Repetylo EXPERT Taken 13:26, 26/10/2009 - Views loading...


Castle ruins

The World > Europe > Ukraine

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Its original timber fortifications, first mentioned in 1448, were destroyed by the invading Turks in the late 15th century. A more secure stone fort, intended to defend the Bârlad Road from Lviv to Romania, was built in Stare Selo in the 1580s. Those walls were breached and rendered useless by Khmelnytsky's Cossacks during the Siege of Lviv in 1648.

The existing fortress, almost triangular in shape, with 15-metre high walls and a ceremonial gate on the south side, was commissioned by Prince Władysław Dominik Zasławski, one of the last members of the Ostrogski family. The citadel was erected in 1649-54 and formerly contained the palatial residence of Prince Zaslawski, one of the richest landowners of Eastern Europe and brother-in-law of King John III Sobieski.

After Prince Zaslawski died in Stare Selo in 1656, the fortress gradually fell into disrepair, although it successfully withstood a siege by the Turks in 1674.

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This panorama was taken in Ukraine, Europe

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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.

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