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Panoramic photo by Victor-Paulino EXPERT Taken 12:22, 17/04/2012 - Views loading...

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Spring

The World > Europe > Switzerland

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Nearby images in Switzerland

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A: Summer Residence in Vex

by Christian Elser, 2.0 km away

Summer Residence in Vex

B: Château de Tourbillon, Sion, Switzerland

by Martin Banks, 2.4 km away

Château de Tourbillon, Sion, Switzerland

C: Castel Valère and Tourbillon full moon 2

by Victor-Paulino, 2.5 km away

Castel Valère and Tourbillon full moon 2

D: Castel Valère and Tourbillon 1

by Victor-Paulino, 2.5 km away

Castel Valère and Tourbillon 1

E: In Sion, Switserland; Basilique de Valère

by René van Gageldonk, 2.7 km away

This well preserved church stands on top of the mountain in Sion, Switserland. It's a pitty that it's...

In Sion, Switserland; Basilique de Valère

F: sion full moon

by Victor-Paulino, 2.7 km away

sion full moon

G: sion by nigth

by Victor-Paulino, 3.0 km away

sion by nigth

H: Rue des Remparts

by Isabel Marques, 3.0 km away

Rue des Remparts situated in the pedestrian area from the center of Sion in Switzerland. At the top o...

Rue des Remparts

I: place des remparts sion

by Victor-Paulino, 3.0 km away

place des remparts sion

J: Sion Cathedral

by Isabel Marques, 3.0 km away

Sion Cathedral, or Cathedral of Notre-Dame du Glarier is located in Cathedral Square in Sion, Switzer...

Sion Cathedral

This panorama was taken in Switzerland, Europe

This is an overview of Europe

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.

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