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Panoramic photo by Vil Muhametshin PRO EXPERT MAESTRO Taken 12:28, 24/02/2007 - Views loading...

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Natural ice sculpture at Bolderaja beach in Riga, Latvia

The World > Europe > Latvia

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Nearby images in Latvia

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A: Windy day at the seaside in Bolderaja, Riga

by Vil Muhametshin, 570 meters away

Windy day at the seaside in Bolderaja, Riga

B: Riga, Bolderaja

by Aleksandr Reznik, 980 meters away

Riga, Bolderaja

C: Birdwacher tower

by Валерий Иванюта, 1.4 km away

Birdwacher tower

D:

by Валерий Иванюта, 1.5 km away

E: Reconstruction of battle

by Vil Muhametshin, 1.6 km away

Reconstruction of Napoleon time battle during the historic war festival Dunamunde 2010 in Bolderaja, ...

Reconstruction of battle

F: View from the "balcony" over reconstruction of Napoleon battle with Russian and Prussian forces

by Vil Muhametshin, 1.6 km away

In Riga's Bolderaja, at the site of the former fortress, it's the second International War History Fe...

View from the "balcony" over reconstruction of Napoleon battle with Russian and Prussian forces

G: Daugavgriva Fortress - soviet army barracks

by Ojārs Strauts, 1.6 km away

Daugavgriva Fortress - soviet army barracks

H: Before the battle

by Vil Muhametshin, 1.6 km away

At the camp of Russian, French and Prussian armies getting ready for a reconstruction battle during t...

Before the battle

I: Daugavgrivas Fortress - Tower

by Ojārs Strauts, 1.6 km away

Daugavgrivas Fortress - Tower

J: Vecdaugava Nature Reserve (Vecdaugavas dabas liegums)

by Uldis Bardins, 4.7 km away

Vecdaugava nature reserve was first founded in 1984, in 1987 it was taken under protection of the sta...

Vecdaugava Nature Reserve (Vecdaugavas dabas liegums)

This panorama was taken in Latvia, Europe

This is an overview of Europe

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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