Romashka Tower, Chisinau
Panorama by the Romashka Tower in the Centru sector of Chișinău, Moldova. The tower is known for it's unusual architecture, designed by Oleg Vronsky. Construction of the project started in 1978, but stopped soon after. Originally designed as hotel / leisure facilities, the project was completed in 1984 with a change in use to housing.
The building's name, 'Romashka' («Ромашка»), means a camomile flower. It is also known as 'Stone Flower' ('Floare de Piatra') and 'Corn Cob' («кукурузный початок») as it resembles a camomile flower or a corn cob in some aspects.
The nearby soviet era playground is abandoned, but a new one has been built on the land just to the south of the building. The area in front of the building is used for parking. The adjoining road to the south-west is blocked off. The building has 22 floors, plus an additional section on top, which offers excellent views over the local area.
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.