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Belchite is a village in the province of Zaragoza, Spain, about 40 km southeast of Zaragoza. It is the capital of Campo de Belchite comarca and is located in a plain surrounded by low hills, the highest of which is Lobo. The area around Belchite is one of the most arid places of Aragon.
In 1122 Alfonso the Battler founded the Confraternity of Belchite to defend the frontier.
On June 15, 1809, French and Spanish forces in the Peninsular War fought the Battle of María near Belchite.
Between August 24 and September 7, 1937, loyalist Spanish Republican and rebel General Franco's forces in the Spanish Civil War fought the Battle of Belchite in and around the town. After 1939 a new village of Belchite was built adjacent to the ruins of the old, which remain a ghost town as a memorial to the war.
The remains of the old village have been used as filming locations in films including Terry Gilliam's 1988 film The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and Guillermo Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth.
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.