Pomeranian Dukes Castle - in the years 1346-1347 duke Barnim III built "The Stone House" and the chapel of St. Otto. The castle was extended under the reign of Pomeranian dukes Boguslaw X and Barnim XI. Under the order of Jan Fryderyk in the years 1571-1582 it was rebuilt in the spirit of Renaissance and took the present shape. In the years 1616-1619 under the reign of Philip II and Francis I the Museum Wing (Mint) was built. It was severely destroyed by the air raids in 1944. At present there exist the Opera in The Castle and the Operetta, cultural institutions, offices: the Speaker's Office, the Registry Office, the Centre of Tourist and Culture Information. On elevations on the eastern wing - the erection plaque of duke Barnim XI from1538, on the northern wing - the plaque of duke Barnim III from 1543. On the Clock Tower there is the astronomical clock from 1693, plaques commemorated to priest Boleslaw Domanski - during the period between the wars the chairman of the Polish Society in Germany and to the Polish king Stanislaw Leszczyriski, who stayed in the castle in 1711. It is recommended to visit the exhibition halls, the exhibition of dukes' sarcophagus-es and connected with the history of the castle the vantage point in the Ring Tower, where there is a copy of the gothic statue of St. Otto.
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.