A church on Gotland
Day 16-17: Gotland — OMG, Gotland is fantastic! The weather didn't cooperate in the end, but never mind: This island must have among the highest per capita cultural patrimony in Europe — every hamlet, no matter how small, has a church that elsewhere would be the highlight of a trip. Read on...
During August 2008 I spent 17 days driving around Sweden in the single-minded pursuit of one good 360-degree panorama per day, posting the results daily to the Panoramic Sweden blog.
The Swedish island of Gotland had rail road traffic between 1878 and 1960. In 1972 the Gotland Train ...
Defunct military installation in Tingstäde, Gotland, Sweden
Österport, the East Gate, is one of the main gates in the city wall of Visby. Just outside is the mod...
"Norderport" is the "north gate" in the city wall surrounding the old parts of the Hanseatic town of ...
This lookout point is located at Trappgatan on the edge of "Klinten" which is the higher northern par...
Stora Torget means "the Great Square" was until some decades ago the center of the town. There was a ...
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.