Batterie Dietl, Engeløya, Steigen
Batterie Dietl was built during WW2, the works started in 1942. The area had 3 of the largest and most expensive guns ever made by the germans, the Adolf Cannons, with 40.6 cm calibre. The cannon barrel itself was 21.5 meter long, weighing 158 tons! and could shoot its 600 kilo ammunition across the Vest Fjord all the way to Lofoten, effectively covering any access to the harbor of Narvik. The manual labour was done by approx. 2000 russian POWs and 3000 of other nationalities. Of the russian prisoners, 514 died during the construction time. Between 5000 and 7000 germans was stationed on Batterie Dietl during the war. The guns never engaged in actual warfare, only test shots were ever fired from them.
Engeløya in Steigen, Summer 2012. Sheep on the rich grass fields, next to the small private airport.
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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.