Park Gryficki In the area of Gryfice the Battle of Niekładź took plcace in 1121, in which Polish ruler Bolesław III Krzywousty defeated Wartislaw I, Duke of Pomerania and Swantopolk I, Duke of Pomerania In 1262, throughout the German Ostsiedlung, Wartislaw III, Duke of Pomerania founded a town under Lübeck law on the Rega river. After his death, his successor, Barnim I, Duke of Pomerania, named the settlement Civitat Griphemberch super Regam (Griffinsmountain) after the coat of arms symbol of the Dukes of Pomerania. In 1365 the town entered the Hansa and prospered due to the right of free navigation on the Rega. A town wall was built and in the end of 13th century the construction of the St. Mary’s church was begun. In a document of 1386 a Latin school is mentioned, which is generally called the oldest in Pomerania. After the death of the last Pomeranian Duke and by the Treaty of Westphalia Greifenberg became part of Brandenburg-Prussia in 1648 and part of Imperial Germany in 1871. In 1818 the town became the capital of the Greifenberg district (Kreis Greifenberg). In 1894 the town was connected to the railway line Altdamm - Kolberg. On July 1, 1896 the Greifenberger Kleinbahn was opened, a narrow-gauge railway today used as a railway Museum. At the end of World War II Soviet Red Army conquered the town, approximately 40 percent of the town was destroyed by a fire. Following the post-war boundary changes, Greifenberg was renamed Gryfice and became Polish. Its German population was expelled and the town was populated with Poles, many themselves expellees from Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union.
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.