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Built between in 1370. and 1380s, Ravanica is the famous Prince Lazar's foundation, where he was buried after his death in the Kosovo battle. Since then, Ravanica has been a pilgrim's destination and an important center of cultural activities and the Serbian people's assemblies. The monastery has been assaulted and injured by the Turks several times, in 1386, 1398. and 1436. In the great war after the second siege of Vienna a number of monks got killed and the rest of them, in 1690, took the relics of the sainted Prince Lazar withdrawing, in front of the Turkish offensive. Only in 1717. the only survived among the monks, Teacher Stefan came back in Ravanica and found the monastery looted and deserted. With the help of the local inhabitants he restored the monastery and built a new narthex. The monastery suffered repeated assaults during the Serbian revolution, at the beginnings of the XIX c. The new restoration took place in the mid of the XIXth century. During the World War II Germans violated and damaged the monastery once more time, and detained, tortured and killed its archimandrite Makarije on February 24. 1943.
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.