Welwyn Garden City was the brain child of Ebenezer Howard (later Sir Ebenezer Howard), a self contained town providing an escape from overcrowded London to a pleasant environment with wide streets with grassy verges and trees and affordable comfortable houses, each with its own garden. People were to work within easy reach of their homes in either agriculture, the town is surrounded by farms and pastures, or at the many factories which were established to provide employment. And so it remains today, although it has to a large extent become a middle class neighbourhood many of its inhabitants working in the City of London with frequent trains. Kings Cross Station is just 26 minutes away, and Findsbury Park where the main line meets the London Undergroung just 20 minutes away. Not quite what Sir Ebenezer had in mind perhaps, but a very pleasant place to live with an excellent shopping centre and lot a large park and woods for outdoor activities.
This panorama was made in a street named for the founder of Welwyn Garden City. It is Howards Gate, a wide avenue with gardens at its centre and surrounded by shops. At one end is a fairly recent addition, the Howard Centre shopping mall (which also houses the railway station) and at the other the a fountain commemorating the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
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.