Dunnottar Castle
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Panoramic photo by Graeme Davidson Taken 14:00, 05/10/2013 - Views loading...


Dunnottar Castle

The World > Europe > UK > Scotland

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Dunnottar Castle is a ruined medieval fortress built on a rocky outcrop near Stonehaven, Scotland. It played an important role in Scottish history spanning over 1000 years. Once home to the Earls Marischal of Scotland, responsible for the security for the Scottish Crown Jewels, it suffered badly due to cannon damage inflicted by Oliver Cromwell in 1651 when he laid siege to the castle attempting to steal the jewels. In 1751 the government confiscated the castle from last Earl Marischal, executed for his involvement with the Jacobite Rising. The castle remained derelict until 1925 when the 1st Viscountess Cowdray began a programme of repair. The castle is now open to the public.

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This panorama was taken in Scotland, 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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