Saborna Crkva Svetog Georgija – the Church Cathedral of Saint George in Smederevo is one of the largest and the most beautiful churches erected in Serbia in the 19th century. The church was built between 1850 and 1854 by Andreja Damjanov (aka Andrey Damyanov), a Macedonian Bulgarian, one of the most famous builders of sacred objects in the Balkans. It was based on the slightly modified plans of Czech architect Jan Nevola. Although it is not very obvious, the church is reminiscent of the 15th century Church of Holy Trinity in Manasija monastery. The bell tower is of the late baroque style. Above the church portal is marble relief depicting Saint George Killing the Dragon. The relief was donated to the church in 1892 by Vladimir Ljotic, known as father of Dimitrije Ljotic, but also the prominent Serbian politician and diplomat of the late 19th century, Serbian consul in Thessaloníki, mayor of Smederevo and a Member of the Parliament.
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.