Skeppsholmsbron (Swedish: "The Skeppsholm Bridge") is in central Stockholm, Sweden, connecting Blasieholmen to Skeppsholmen. The bridge, 165 metres long and 9.5 metres wide, consists of a 5.5 metre wide roadway flanked by 2 metre pathways, and is divided into 5 compartments. It was the first forging iron bridge to be constructed in Sweden, manufactured by Motala Verkstad in 1861. The first bridge to connect Skeppsholmen to the rest of the city was a wooden bridge on poles, simply called Holmbron ("The Islet Bridge") and provided with a drawbridge, constructed by the admiralty in 1638-1640 when the camp of the Swedish Navy was relocated from Blasieholmen to Skeppsholmen. In 1822 the bridge was damaged in a fire, and subsequently replaced by a temporary pontoon bridge. Funded directly and still owned by the state, the present steel bridge was finally inaugurated in 1861. In 1935 the bridge together with other building and structures on Skeppsholmen and Kastellholmen were classified as historical landmarks, thus prohibiting replacing the bridge or altering its exterior, a decision nevertheless reassessed in the 1990s From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skeppsholmsbron
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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.