The Byzantine Rotonda in Thessaloniki
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Panoramic photo by Branimir Minkov Taken 14:07, 31/12/2012 (Athens) - Views loading...

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The Byzantine Rotonda in Thessaloniki

The World > Europe > Greece

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The image is shot in the early afternoon of New Year's eve. The Rotunda "St. George" is one of the places which tourists do not miss when visiting Thessaloniki. This Orthodox Church is elongated and built in the 3rd century. It is considered the oldest church in the city. In 1590 the church was turned into a mosque and a minaret was added. The mosque was used until 1912. Nowadays, the minaret still exists. In 1978 the Rotunda was destroyed by an earthquake, but soon after it had been restored. It is the oldest religious monument in Greece, which is added in the list of the UNESCO World Heritage. At the opposite end is the Arc of Triomphe. Made by LazyWeaver

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This panorama was taken in Greece, 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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