Jastrabska Skala / Jastrabska Rock
Jastraba rock is a significant geological object on the right hand side of the road from Žiar nad Hronom to Kremnica over the village Bartošová Lehôtka. You can see Little Rock from the road as well, located about 200 meters to the north. Jastrabská rock is named after the village Jastraba (village of goshawks), which is located very close to this rock. Typical shape of the rock was created by basaltic rock fill with one of the youngest volcanoes in Kremnicka Mountains, which was active from about two million years younger at the end of the Cenozoic era. The rock is exposed lava, rhyolite flow that ends up as steep, strong perpendicular wall. It's a perfect example of selective weathering, by which firmer rhyoliths were exposed at the surface after erosion of less resistant volcanic pyroclastic. The eastern side of the rock does not differ from the surrounding hills, but the west side due to natural elements and weathering plummeted into the valley, where they are now rocky seas and rocky rubble. There is a fantastic view of the entire Ziar valley from the top of the Jastraba Rock.
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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.