The Santuari de Lluc is a monastery and pilgrimage site located in the municipality of Escorca in north-west Majorca. It is located in a basin on a height of 525 meters and is surrounded by a number of high mountains such as the Puig de Massanella. The monastery was founded in the 13th century after a Moorish shepherd found a statue of the Virgin Mary on the future location of the monastery.
Lluc is considered to be the most important pilgrimage site on Majorca. It is also known for its boys' choir which has gained international fame and has regular concerts. A boarding school and numerous touristic facilities are part of Lluc. Today former monks' cells are leased as spare rooms. As it is located centrally in the Serra de Tramuntana it is often used as a starting point for walking-tours.
Round the back of the monastery buildings is an interesting botanical garden trail with a small exposition on preserving the environment of the Majorcan mountain region.
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.