Wikipedia: "The town's name comes from her Roman founder, Cornelius Palma (Palmella). Palmela, once a fortress, was conquered by the Portuguese in the 12th century, from Muslim invaders. It is located up a hill in the Arrábida area, and it's a semi-rural town, right in the middle of Portugal's biggest urban area, though the fact that many people are moving in from big cities like Lisbon represents a problem. Wild fires in the region are another threat to the environment.
The town's ex libris is the castle (Castelo de Palmela), which offers a unique view over the whole region of Setúbal's Peninsula, Lisbon, and the Atlantic Coast. It was a strategic place in past centuries, and today it is still a main knot of Portugal's road and rail networks.
Palmela is home to many multinational industrial plants like Volkswagen or Coca-Cola, and a significant number of foreign families live in the area. The local radio often broadcasts in Ukrainian.
Palmela's traditional products are the wine, which has achieved international awards in several festivals like Bordeaux's, and the Queijo de Azeitão (Azeitão's cheese), also very appreciated. There are several festivals dedicated to these products, being the most famous the Festa das Vindimas (Vines' Festival) and the Festival do Queijo, Pão e Vinho (Festival of Cheese, Bread and Wine)."
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.