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Mali Stapar Lock on the canal Bezdan - Vrbas is the oldest lock in Vojvodina which is still in use. It was constructed in 1802 during construction of the Grand Backa Canal which is considered the true forerunner of the Danube-Tisa-Danuba hydrosystem. The Grand Backa Canal was designed by the brothers Joszef and Gabor Kiss and at the time it represented the largest hydrosystem in the Danube region and south-east Europe by which the Danube and the Tisa were connected in the period from 1793 to 1802. When the state administration in Vienna authorized the construction of mills using the difference in water level at the lock, the first and the largest mill was then constructed in Mali Stapar. It looks the same as in 1848 when it was opened for navigation and it remained in operation until 1976. Mali Stapar was also chosen as the site for building the technical head office for management for canal construction in 1898.
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.