Culture of Europe
The culture of Europe might better be described as a series of multiple cultures, often competing; geographical regions opposing one another, Orthodoxy as opposed to Catholicism as opposed to Protestantism as opposed to Judaism as opposed to Secularism as opposed to Islam; many have claimed to identify cultural fault lines across the continent. There are many cultural innovations and movements, often at odds with each other, such as Christian proselytism or Humanism. Thus the question of "common culture" or "common values" is far more complex than it seems to be.
Upon the pagan cultures of aboriginal Europe, the foundations of modern European cultures were laid by the Greeks, strengthened by the Romans, stabilized by Christianity, added to by the rest of Europe, reformed and modernized by the fifteenth-century Renaissance and Reformation, and globalized by successive European empires between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries. Thus the European Culture developed into a very complex phenomenon of wider range of philosophy, Judeo-Christian and secular humanism, rational ways of life and logical thinking developed through a long age of change and formation with the experiments of enlightenment, naturalism, romanticism, science, democracy, fascism, communism, and socialism. Because of its global connection, the European culture grew with an all-inclusive urge to adopt, adapt and ultimately influence other trends of culture. As a matter of fact, therefore, from the middle of the nineteenth century with the expansion of European education and the spread of Christianity, European culture and way of life, to a great extent, turned into "global culture," if anything has to be so named.]
The oldest known cave paintings are at the El Castillo cave (Spain), older than 40,800 years. The history of Western painting represents a continuous, though disrupted, tradition from antiquity. Until the mid 19th century it was primarily concerned with representational and Classical modes of production, after which time more modern, abstract and conceptual forms gained favor. Developments in Western painting historically parallel those in Eastern painting, in general a few centuries later.
The earliest European sculpture to date portrays a female form, and has been estimated at dating from 35,000 years ago. See Classical sculpture, Ancient Greek sculpture, Gothic art, Renaissance, Mannerist, Baroque, Neoclassicism, Modernism, Postminimalism, found art, Postmodern art, Conceptual art.
- Classical Music : Important classical composers from Europe include Hildegard von Bingen, Guillaume de Machaut, Pérotin, Guillaume Dufay, Orlande de Lassus, Jean-Baptiste Lully, J.S. Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Rameau, Haydn, Mozart, Grieg, Beethoven, Schubert, Berlioz, Schumann, Liszt, Chopin, Wagner, Rimsky-Korsakov, Bruckner, Camille Saint-Saëns, Tchaikovsky, Verdi, Mahler, Richard Strauss, Falla, Granados, Albéniz, Rodrigo, Schoenberg, Bartok, Benjamin Britten, Edward Elgar, Nielsen, Sibelius, Prokofiev, Puccini, Debussy, Rossini, Ravel, Stravinsky, Shostakovich and Penderecki. Luciano Pavarotti was a contemporary popular opera singer. Orchestras such as the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra are considered to be amongst the finest ensembles in the world. The Salzburg Festival, the Bayreuth Festival, the Edinburgh International Festival and the BBC Proms are major European classical music festivals, and International Chopin Piano Competition is the world's oldest monographic music competition.
- Folk Music : Europe has a wide and diverse range of indigenous music, sharing common features in rural, travelling or maritime communities. Folk music is embedded in an unwritten, aural tradition, but was increasingly transcribed from the nineteenth century onwards. Many classical composers used folk melodies, and folk has influenced some popular music in Europe.
- Popular Music : Europe has also imported many different genres of music, mainly from America, ranging from Blues, Jazz, Soul, Pop, Rap, Hip-Hop, R'n'B and Dance. The UK has been most successful in re-exporting this type of music and also creating many of its own genres via notable movements including the British Invasion, the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (that has been compared to Beatlemania.) and Britpop. Some major UK acts include The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Elton John, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Deep Purple, Sex Pistols, Eric Clapton, The Clash, Van Morrison, Dire Straits, The Police, Fleetwood Mac, Genesis, George Michael, Pet Shop Boys, Phil Collins, Rod Stewart, The Who, Eurythmics, Dusty Springfield, The Cure, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Duran Duran, Oasis, Radiohead, Coldplay, One Direction, Muse, Gorillaz, Robbie Williams, Seal, Bee Gees, Spice Girls, UB40, Adele, Jessie J, Amy Winehouse; Also very important European musicians are Joan Manuel Serrat (Catalunya), Lluis Llach (Catalunya), U2 (Ireland), Björk (Iceland), ABBA (Sweden), a-ha (Norway), Alizée (France), Andrea Bocelli (Italy), Luis Eduardo Aute, Julio Iglesias (Spain), Mylène Farmer (France), Nana Mouskouri (Greece/France), Édith Piaf (France), Kati Wolf (Hungary), Boney M. (Germany), Daft Punk (France), Charles Aznavour (France), Johnny Hallyday (France), Modern Talking (Germany), Scorpions (Germany), Rammstein (Germany), Ace of Base (Sweden), t.A.T.u. (Russia), Enya (Ireland), James Last (Germany), Doda (Poland), Jean Michel Jarre (France), Aqua (Denmark/Norway), Rasmus Seebach (Denmark), Roxette (Sweden). Main festivals: Glastonbury (UK), Fête de la Musique (France), Wacken (Germany), Benicassim (Spain), Roskilde (Denmark), Rock Werchter (Belgium). EMI is the largest European music company.
Neolithic architecture : Born in the Levant, Neolithic architecture spread to Europe. The Mediterranean neolithic cultures of Malta worshiped in megalithic temples. In Europe, long houses built from wattle and daub were constructed. Elaborate tombs for the dead were also built. These tombs are particularly numerous in Ireland, where there are many thousand still in existence. Neolithic people built long barrows and chamber tombs for their dead and causewayed camps, henges flint mines and cursus monuments., Architecture of ancient Greece, Roman architecture, Medieval architecture, Renaissance architecture, Baroque architecture, Beaux-Arts architecture, Expressionist architecture, Stalinist architecture, Deconstructivism.
Europe has produced some of the most prominent or popular fiction and nonfiction writers of all time : Homer, Sappho (Greece) Virgil, Francesco Petrarca, Dante Alighieri, Salvatore Quasimodo, Umberto Eco (Italy) François Rabelais, Alexandre Dumas, Racine, Molière, Voltaire, Jules Verne, Honoré de Balzac, Marcel Proust, Daniel Pennac, Albert Camus, JMG Le Clézio, Victor Hugo, Charles Baudelaire, Arthur Rimbaud, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Jean-Paul Sartre (France) Garcilaso de la Vega, Miguel de Cervantes, Pedro Calderón de la Barca, Lope de Vega, Francisco de Quevedo, Luis de Góngora, Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, Benito Pérez Galdós, Pío Baroja, Federico García Lorca, Antonio Machado, Miguel Hernández (Spain) Luís de Camões, José Maria de Eça de Queiroz, Fernando Pessoa, José Saramago (Portugal) William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Geoffrey Chaucer, Jane Austen, H. G. Wells, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, J. R. R. Tolkien, J. K. Rowling, Beatrix Potter, J. M. Barrie, Walter Scott, D. H. Lawrence, George Orwell, Virginia Woolf, C. S. Lewis, John Milton, Terry Pratchett, Mary Shelley, Roald Dahl, Lewis Carroll, Agatha Christie, Daniel Defoe, Alan Moore, Rudyard Kipling (UK) Salvador Espriu, Mercè Rodoreda, Joan Salvat-Papasseit, Josep Carner (Catalunya) Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Mikhail Sholokhov, Anton Chekhov, Alexander Pushkin (Russia) Laurence Sterne, Bram Stoker, James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift, Samuel Beckett, William Butler Yeats (Ireland) Brothers Grimm, Anne Frank, Patrick Süskind (Germany) Joseph Conrad, Czesław Miłosz, Zbigniew Herbert, Witold Gombrowicz, Henryk Sienkiewicz, (Poland) Franz Kafka (Czech Republic) Hans Christian Andersen (Denmark) Sigrid Undset, Henrik Ibsen, Knut Hamsun (Norway) Nikolai Gogol, Taras Shevchenko, Ivan Franko (Ukraine) Stieg Larsson (Sweden)
Antoine Lumière realized, on 28 December 1895, the first projection, with the Cinematograph, in Paris. Philippe Binant realized, on 2 February 2000, the first digital cinema projection in Europe, with the DLP CINEMA technology developed by Texas Instruments, in Paris. In 1897, Georges Méliès established the first cinema studio on a rooftop property in Montreuil, near Paris. Some notable European film movements include German Expressionism, Italian neorealism, French New Wave, Polish Film School, New German Cinema, Portuguese Cinema Novo, Czechoslovak New Wave, Dogme 95, New French Extremity, and Romanian New Wave. The cinema of Europe has its own awards, the European Film Awards. Main festivals : Cannes Film Festival (France), Berlin International Film Festival (Germany). The Venice Film Festival (Italy) or Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica di Venezia, is the oldest film festival in the world.
Some of the most popular games of all time come from Europe: the Grand Theft Auto (series), Tomb Raider, Cossacks: European Wars, The Settlers, The Patrician, Brain Challenge, Block Breaker Deluxe, Europa Universalis.
- CERN (pron.: //; French: [sɛʀn]) : The European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the birthplace of the World Wide Web and home of the world's largest machine : the Large Hadron Collider. It is the world's largest particle physics laboratory, situated in the northwest suburbs of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border, established in 1954. In November 2010, the collisions obtained were able to generate the highest temperatures and densities ever produced in an experiment, creating a "mini-Big Bang" a million times hotter than the centre of the Sun.
- ESA : The European Space Agency's space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observations, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana and designing launch vehicles. The main European launch vehicle Ariane 5 is operated through Arianespace with ESA sharing in the costs of launching and further developing this launch vehicle.
Europe has produced some of the greatest scientists, inventors and intellectuals in history. Germany; Albert Einstein, Johannes Kepler, Johannes Gutenberg, Gottfried Leibniz, Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, Max Planck, Karl Benz. United Kingdom; Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Robert Hooke, Michael Faraday, James Joule, Edward Jenner, John Dalton, George Stephenson, Florence Nightingale, George Cayley, Frank Whittle, Alan Turing, Stephen Hawking, Tim Berners Lee, James Watt, Alexander Fleming, Alexander Graham Bell, John Logie Baird, James Clerk Maxwell, Adam Smith. Russia: Dmitri Mendeleev, Nikolai Lobachevsky, Mikhail Lomonosov, Lev Landau, Aleksandr Butlerov, Alexander Stepanovich Popov, Nikolay Basov. France; Pierre Abelard, Michel de Montaigne, Louis Pasteur, Antoine Lavoisier, Henri Becquerel, René Descartes, Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot, Pierre de Fermat, Blaise Pascal, the Montgolfier brothers, Denis Diderot, Jean le Rond d'Alembert, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, Léon Foucault, Auguste and Louis Lumière, Pierre Curie, Marie Curie, Jacques Lacan, Luc Montagnier, Albert Jacquard. Italy; Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo Galilei, Evangelista Torricelli, Niccolò Machiavelli, Alessandro Volta, Guglielmo Marconi, Enrico Fermi. Poland; Nicolaus Copernicus, Maria Skłodowska-Curie, Ignacy Łukasiewicz, Rudolf Weigl. Greece: Archimedes, Euclid, Ptolemy. Hungary: Ottó Bláthy, Leó Szilárd, Edward Teller, Ányos Jedlik. Austria: Sigmund Freud, Ludwig Boltzmann. Ireland; Lord Kelvin, Robert Boyle, William Rowan Hamilton Spain; Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Isaac Peral, Leonardo Torres Quevedo. Sweden; Alfred Nobel, Anders Celsius. Denmark; Niels Bohr. Serbia; Nikola Tesla, Mihajlo Pupin, Milutin Milanković, Miomir Vukobratović. Switzerland; Carl Jung.
The Greek schools of philosophy in antiquity provide the basis of philosophical discourse that extends to today. Christian thought had a huge influence on many fields of European philosophy (as European philosophy has been on Christian thought too), sometimes as a reaction.
Perhaps one of the most important single philosophical periods since the classical era were the Renaissance, the Age of Reason and the Age of Enlightenment. There are many disputes as to its value and even its timescale. What is indisputable is that the tenets of reason and rational discourse owe much to René Descartes, John Locke and others working at the time.
Other important European philosophical strands include: Analytic philosophy, Anarchism, Christian Democracy, Communism, Conservatism, Constructionism, Deconstructionism, Empiricism, Epicureanism, Existentialism, Fascism, Humanism, Idealism, Internationalism, Liberalism, Logical positivism, Marxism, Materialism, Monarchism, Nationalism, Perspectivism, Platonism, Positivism, Postmodernism, Protestantism, Rationalism, Relativism, Republicanism, Romanticism, Scepticism, Scholasticism, Social Democracy, Socialism, Stoicism, Structuralism, Thomism, Utilitarianism, Spenglerism.
The Eurobarometer Poll 2005 found that, on average, 52% of the citizens of EU member states state that they "believe in God", 27% believe there is some sort of spirit or life force while 18% do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force. 3% declined to answer.
Christianity has been the dominant religion shaping European culture for at least the last 1700 years. Modern philosophical thought has very much been influenced by Christian philosophers such as St Thomas Aquinas and Erasmus. And throughout most of its history, Europe has been nearly equivalent to Christian culture, The Christian culture was the predominant force in western civilization, guiding the course of philosophy, art, and science.
The most popular religions of Europe are the following (by dominant religion):
- Christianity is the largest religion in Europe, with 76.2% of Europeans considering themselves Christian,
There are significant Catholic minorities in the Netherlands, southern Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, western and central Belarus, western Ukraine, Hungarian-speaking Romania, Albania, parts of Russia, the Latgale region of Latvia, The Netherlands Croatian-speaking Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, England (UK) and Wales (UK), and indeed small minorities in most of the other European countries.
- Protestantism: Countries with significant Protestant populations are Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland. There are significant minorities in France, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, and indeed small minorities in most European countries.
- Islam: Countries with significant Muslim population are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Turkey, several republics of Russia and Crimea in Ukraine. There are significant minorities in Cyprus, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. as of 2010[update], about 5.2% of European citizens identified themselves as Muslims, with many of them living in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Georgia, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. PEW Research Centre
Other religions have long existed in Europe, but do not consist of a majority of the population of any country:
- Judaism, mainly in France, United Kingdom, and Russia.
- Indigenous European pagan traditions and beliefs, many countries.
The cuisines of Western countries are diverse by themselves, although there are common characteristics that distinguishes Western cooking from cuisines of Asian countries and others. Compared with traditional cooking of Asian countries, for example, meat is more prominent and substantial in serving-size. Steak in particular is a common dish across the West. Similarly to some Asian cuisines, Western cuisines also put substantial emphasis on sauces as condiments, seasonings, or accompaniments (in part due to the difficulty of seasonings penetrating the often larger pieces of meat used in Western cooking). Many dairy products are utilized in the cooking process, except in nouvelle cuisine. Wheat-flour bread has long been the most common sources of starch in this cuisine, along with pasta, dumplings and pastries, although the potato has become a major starch plant in the diet of Europeans and their diaspora since the European colonization of the Americas.
The earliest definite examples of needles originate from the Solutrean culture, which existed in France from 19,000 BC to 15,000 BC. The earliest dyed flax fibers have been found in a cave the Republic of Georgia and date back to 36,000 BP. See Clothing in ancient Rome, 1100–1200 in fashion, 1200–1300 in fashion, 1300–1400 in fashion, 1400–1500 in fashion, 1500–1550 in fashion, 1550–1600 in fashion, 1600–1650 in fashion, 1650–1700 in fashion, Textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution.
Europe's influence on sport is enormous. Indeed, it is difficult to think of a modern sport, apart from basketball and related sports, that does not have its origins in Europe. European sports include:
- Association football, which has contested origins between United Kingdom and Italy (where Benito Mussolini insisted the game be called by the name Calcio[disambiguation needed]). What is uncontestable is that the oldest association is The Football Association of England (1863) and the first international match was between Scotland and England (1872). It is now the world's most popular sport and is played throughout Europe.
- Cricket has its origins in south eastern Britain. It's popular throughout England and Wales, and parts of Netherlands. It is also popular in other areas and also played in Northwest Europe. It is however very popular worldwide, especially in Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Indian subcontinent.
- Cycling, which is immensely popular as a means of transport, has most of its sporting adherents in Europe, particularly Central Europe. Tour de France is the world's most watched live annual sporting event. The bicycle itself is probably from France (see History of the bicycle).
- The discus throw, javelin throw and shot put have their origins in ancient Greece. The Olympics, both ancient and modern, have their origins too in Europe, and have a massive influence globally.
- Field Hockey as a modern game, began in 18th Century Britain with Ireland having the oldest federation. It is popular in the British Isles, the Indian subcontinent, Australia and East Asia. Ice hockey, popular in Europe and North America may derive from this sport.
- Golf, one of the most popular sports in Europe, Asia and North America, has its origins in Scotland, with the oldest course being at Musselburgh.
- Handball, which is popular in Europe and elsewhere, has its origins in antiquity. The modern game is from Northern Europe with Germany having been involved in both the first women's and men's internationals.
- Rugby League and Rugby Union which both have similar origins to football. Rugby Union is the older of the two codes and has rules that date from 1845 (see articles: History of rugby league and History of rugby union). They acrimoniously split in the late 19th century over the treatment of injured players. Rugby league gradually changed its laws over the next century with the end result that today both sports have little in common, apart from the basics. They have both been carried abroad by colonization, particularly to many former British colonies. American Football and Canadian Football are derivatives of rugby.
- Tennis which originates from United Kingdom and related games such as Table Tennis derive from the game Real Tennis which is from France. It is popular throughout the world.
In addition, Europe has numerous national or regional sports which do not command a large international following outside of emigrant groups. These include:
- Alpine Wrestling in Switzerland.
- Bandy in Russia, Sweden and Finland
- Basque Pelota in parts of Spain and France, and which has been brought to the Americas by emigrants.
- Bullfighting in Spain, Portugal, and parts of southern France near the Spanish Border.
- Gaelic Football in Ireland, which influenced Australian football rules.
- Gaelic Handball (Ireland) which was taken to the United States in the form of American Handball.
- Hurling in Ireland.
- Korfbal in the Netherlands and Belgium.
- Pesäpallo (Boboll) in Finland
- Pétanque, Boules, Petanca, Calitx, Irish Road Bowling, Skittles, Bocce, and Bowls and others are variations of bowling games which are popular throughout Europe and have been spread around the world.
- Rounders from Britain now popular in northwest Europe from which Baseball derives.
- Shinty in Scotland, United Kingdom, which influenced ice hockey in Canada (see also Shinny).
- Trotting in southern Europe.
Some sporting organisations hold European Championships.
- European Cricket Council
- European Rugby Cup (Club/Regional competition)
- European SC Championships
- FIRA - Association of European Rugby
- Mitropa Cup
- Rugby League European Federation - European Nations Cup
- Sport in the European Union
Some sport competitions feature a European team gathering athletes from different European countries. These teams use the European flag as an emblem. The most famous of these competitions is the Ryder Cup in golf.
Capitals of Culture 
Each year since 1985 one or more cities across Europe are chosen as European Capital of Culture. Here are the past years:
1985: Athens 1986: Florence 1987: Amsterdam 1988: Berlin 1989: Paris 1990: Glasgow 1991: Dublin 1992: Madrid 1993: Antwerp 1994: Lisbon 1995: Luxembourg 1996: Copenhagen 1997: Thessaloniki 1998: Stockholm 1999: Weimar 2000: Avignon, Bergen, Bologna, Brussels, Helsinki, Kraków, Prague, Reykjavík, Santiago de Compostela 2001: Rotterdam, Porto 2002: Bruges, Salamanca 2003: Graz 2004: Genoa, Lille 2005: Cork 2006: Patras 2007: Sibiu, Luxembourg, Greater Region 2008: Liverpool, Stavanger 2009: Vilnius Linz 2010: Essen (representing the Ruhr), Istanbul, Pécs 2011: Turku, Tallinn 2012: Guimarães, Maribor
2013 Marseille (Marseille 2013) Košice (Košice 2013)
Future years 2014: Umeå, Riga  2015: Mons, Plzeň 2016: San Sebastián, Wrocław 2017: Aarhus, Paphos 2018: Malta, Netherlands 2019: Italy, Bulgaria
See also 
- Compendium of cultural policies and trends in Europe
- Cultural policies of the European Union
- European Culture
- Romano-Germanic culture
- Czech folklore
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- http://www.pewforum.org/uploadedfiles/Topics/Demographics/Muslimpopulation.pdf Islam in Europe states 3.2% Muslims in European Union, but non-European Union countries harbour even more Muslims so percents go to about 5.2%.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Culture of Europe|
- Europe.org.uk - online European culture magazine (EU London Office)
- TheEuropeanLibrary.org, The European Library, gateway to Europe's national libraries
- Europeana.eu European Digital Library
- Europa.eu, EU Culture Portal (archived)