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The Guildhall in Derry, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, is a building in which the elected members of Derry City Council meet. It was built in 1890.
It was badly damaged by fire in Easter 1908. Only the clock tower survived the fire intact. The whole building was re-built and renovated after the fire and was re-opened in 1912. During the troubles in Northern Ireland the Guildhall was the focus of many terror attacks. The building was badly damaged by two bombs in 1972. The original windows of the Guildhall were destroyed by the two attacks. The windows have been restored to their original glory with replicas.
The Guildhall houses a large hall where many events of social and political nature have been held. It has been home to the Derry Feis – an event which celebrates Irish culture. It was also home to the Saville Inquiry into the events of Bloody Sunday 30 January 1972 in Derry.
The square in front of the Guildhall, Guildhall Square, has played host to many events. It was the stage area for the visit of the US President Bill Clinton when he visited the city in November 1995. It is also the home for many city events, such as the annual Halloween Banks of the Foyle Film Festival and the Christmas Lights Switch-On which is held every mid-November.
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.