Portal:Europe

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Satellite image of Europe

Europe is one of the seven continents, and a peninsular sub-continent of the geographic continent Eurasia. Europe covers approximately 2% of the Earth's surface and about 6.8% of the planet's total land area. It hosts around fifty sovereign states, the precise number depending on the underlying definition of Europe's border, as well as on the inclusion or exclusion of states which are not fully recognised internationally. Europe has a population of 731,000,000 or about 11% of the world's population.

Europe is the birthplace of Western culture. European nations played a predominant role in global affairs from the 16th century onwards, especially after the beginning of colonization. By the 17th and 18th centuries European nations controlled most of Africa, the Americas, and large portions of Asia. World War I and World War II led to a decline in European dominance in world affairs as the United States and Soviet Union took prominence. The Cold War between those two superpowers divided Europe along the Iron Curtain. European integration led to the formation of the Council of Europe and the European Union in Western Europe, both of which have been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

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Lanzarote
Credit: Yummifruitbat

Lanzarote, a Spanish island, is the easternmost of the Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 125 km off the coast of Africa and 1,000 km from the Iberian Peninsula. Covering 845.9 km², it stands as the fourth largest of the islands. The first recorded name for the island, given by Angelino Dulcert, was Insula de Lanzarotus Marocelus, after the Genoese navigator Lancelotto Malocello, from which the modern name is derived. The island's name in the native Guanche language was Titero(y)gaca, which may mean "the red mountains".

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Flag of Armenia
The national flag of Armenia consists of three horizontal bands of equal width, red on the top, blue in the middle, and orange on the bottom. The Armenian Supreme Soviet adopted the current flag on August 24, 1990. On June 15, 2006, the Law on the National Flag of Armenia, governing its usage, was passed by the National Assembly of Armenia. Throughout history, there have been many variations of the Armenian flag. In ancient times, Armenian dynasties were represented by different symbolic animals displayed on their flags. In the twentieth century, various Soviet flags represented the Armenian nation. The meanings of the colors have been interpreted in many different ways. For example, red has stood for the blood shed by Armenian soldiers in war, blue for the Armenian sky, and orange represents the fertile lands of Armenia and the workers who work them. Today's tricolor flag bears little resemblance to the earliest Armenian 'flags'; in ancient times, armies went into battle behind carvings mounted on poles. The carvings might represent a dragon, an eagle, a lion or "some mysterious object of the gods." With the advent of Christianity, the Armenian empire adopted many different flags representing various dynasties. The Artaxiad Dynasty's flag, for instance, consisted of a red cloth displaying two eagles gazing at each other, separated by a flower.


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Graz, Austria, City Hall
Credit: Tam

The Rathaus or City Hall of Graz, the second-largest city in Austria after Vienna, at dusk. Graz was the 2003 European Capital of Culture and its "Old Town" is included in the UNESCO list of World Cultural Heritage Sites. Occupying a strategic location, Graz began as Roman fort and survived numerous assaults over the centuries.

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