The Vismarkt ("Fish-market") in the center of the city of Groningen, the Netherlands. It is the seconds largest square of the city (the largest is the "Grote Markt") and its name refers to the fish-markets that were held on this square. In the far distance, the 75 meters high church called Der Aa-Kerk is visible.
An evening view on the Vismarkt ("Fish-market") in the center of the city of Groningen, the Netherlan...
The garden on top of the underground parking-garage of the office building (designed by UNStudio) of ...
Muziekorgel De Pronkjewail, Groningen
Pleintjesbasketbal, Waagstraat, Groningen
The Waagplein in the city's center of Groningen. It is one of the oldest streets of the city, but com...
Pleintjesbasketbal, Grote Markt, Groningen
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.