The Metropolis Building is a famous building in Madrid (Spain), French-inspired, located on the corner of Calle de Alcala to the Gran Via Opened in 1911, was designed by Jules and Raymond Février for the insurance company and the Union Phoenix.
It was built on the land released during the construction of the Gran Via, to crumble popularly known as the "Coffin House", named after the narrowness of the site where it was located between the streets of Alcala and Caballero de Gracia.
On the austere ground floor, upper floors are decorated with columns that serve as a pedestal for allegorical statues of Commerce, Agriculture, Industry and Mining.
The circular tower is crowned by a dome of gold inlaid with slate. Originally, it bore the symbol of the company (a bronze statue of the Phoenix on which there was a human figure with upraised arm representing Ganymede).
In the early seventies, the company sold the building to its current owners, the insurer "Metropolis." The new owners decided to take the statue (then familiar feature of the landscape Madrid) to the building in the Paseo de la Castellana. Finally, the statue was replaced by another that represents laVictoria Winged, the original Phoenix is now in the garden of the modern building and the Phoenix Union Spanish.
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.