Szczecin Waly Chrobrego Hakenterrasse
The 500 meter long Haken Terrace (Polish: Wały Chrobrego) is the most famous architectural ensemble in Szczecin. The terrace got it’s German name „Hakenterrasse“ after the former Mayor of Stettin, Hermann Haken. The terrace was founded on the western bank of the Oder river between 1900-1914 on the grounds of the former Fort Leopold.
The building complex has survived the Second World War without major damage. After the war, the town of Stettin became Polish. The new administration has sought to destroy the traces of German history of the town and instead emphasize the ancient Slavic history of the area. As a result, among others, the engraved names of German cities were replaced by the Polish ones. The Polish name refers to the first King of Poland, Bolesław I Chrobry, who was, among others, famous for working for international harmony between Poland and Germany.
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.