The Glozhene Monastery is an Eastern Orthodox monastery located on the northern slopes of Stara Planina in Bulgaria, near the village of Glozhene and the Cherni Vit river, 12 km from Teteven.
According to the legend, the monastery was built in the 13th century, when Ukrainian knyaz Georgi Glozh settled in the area with Ivan Asen II's approval. The knyaz founded a monastery carrying the name of St George, whose icon he had brought with himself. The icon then disappeared numerous times only to be found on a hill not far from the village of Glozhene, which was interpreted by the monks as a divine sign to move the monastery there. This was eventually done near the end of the 14th century. The two monasteries existed in parallel for a short time, being connected by a tunnel to each other, but the tunnel, used many times by Vasil Levski during his secret missions, was destroyed by an earthquake in 1928.
The monastery church was erected after the creation of the monastery in the 14th century, but was destroyed by another earthquake in 1913 along with its frescoes. The modern church was constructed in 1951 on the grounds of the old one.
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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.