View from Lindenhof hill, Zurich, Switzerland
This panorama was taken from the top of the fortificantion on Lindenhof hill in the Lindenhof historic quarter in Zurich, Switzerland. It shows the beautiful view this little park provides of Zurich, including the Grossmünster church, the rathaus (city hall), and the quai with historical Guild houses along the Limat river.
The park itself in which the panorama was taken is also very wortwhile including the Hedwig Fountain from 1688 which recalls the legend of the siege of Zurich in 1292 by Duke Albert I of Habsburg, which can be seen on this panorama. You can also see the 1851 Masonic Lodge 'Modestia cum Libertate', the orange building on the square.
In the early 21st century, it serves as a recreational space, a green oasis, and automobile free space in the old historic city center. Its elevated position makes it a favorite point for tourists to get an overview of the geography of old Zürich.(from wikipedia article about Lindenhof)-
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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.