The Evangelical church
The Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of Puchov was founded around 1560. Around 1600 the majority of Puchov's population was Lutheran. During the time of the Counter-Reformation, the congregation went out of existence. From 1709, Lutherans from Puchov had to go to the congregation in Sulov for worship services. After the Edict of Toleration in 1783, the congregation was restored. The members immediately began construction of a building using stone and unburned bricks. On the same site as the previous church, the present church was constructed in Neo-Gothic style, completed in 1880. It houses an altar that dates back to 1643. After the Battle of the White Mountain in the early 17th Century, Bohemian and Moravian Brethren came to Puchov as a place of exile. This United Brethren Community of Bohemians and Moravians (Unitas Fratrorum) gathered into its own street and there was self-governed.
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.