Culture of Europe
The culture of Europe is rooted in the art, architecture, music, literature, and philosophy that originated from the European cultural region. European culture is largely rooted in what is often referred to as its "common cultural heritage".
Because of the great number of perspectives which can be taken on the subject, it is impossible to form a single, all-embracing conception of European culture. Nonetheless, there are core elements which are generally agreed upon as forming the cultural foundation of modern Europe. One list of these elements given by K. Bochmann includes:
- A common cultural and spiritual heritage derived from Greco-Roman antiquity, Christianity, the Renaissance and its Humanism, the political thinking of the Enlightenment, and the French Revolution, and the developments of Modernity, including all types of socialism;
- A rich and dynamic material culture that has been extended to the other continents as the result of industrialization and colonialism during the "Great Divergence";
- A specific conception of the individual expressed by the existence of, and respect for, a legality that guarantees human rights and the liberty of the individual;
- A plurality of states with different political orders, which are feeding each other with new ideas;
- Respect for peoples, states and nations outside Europe.
Berting says that these points fit with "Europe's most positive realisations". The concept of European culture is generally linked to the classical definition of the Western world. In this definition, Western culture is the set of literary, scientific, political, artistic and philosophical principles which set it apart from other civilizations. Much of this set of traditions and knowledge is collected in the Western canon. The term has come to apply to countries whose history has been strongly marked by European immigration or settlement during the 18th and 19th centuries, such as the Americas, and Australasia, and is not restricted to Europe..
The Nobel Prize laureate in Literature Thomas Stearns Eliot in his 1948 book Notes Towards the Definition of Culture, credited the prominent Christian influence upon the European culture: "I am talking about the common tradition of Christianity which has made Europe what it is, and about the common cultural elements which this common Christianity has brought with it. If Asia were converted to Christianity tomorrow, it would not thereby become a part of Europe. It is in Christianity that our arts have developed; it is in Christianity that the laws of Europe have--until recently--been rooted. It is against a background of Christianity that all our thought has significance. An individual European may not believe that the Christian Faith is true, and yet what he says, and makes, and does, will all spring out of his heritage of Christian culture and depend upon that culture for its meaning. Only a Christian culture could have produced a Voltaire or a Nietzsche. I do not believe that the culture of Europe could survive the complete disappearance of the Christian Faith.[. . .] The Western World has its unity in this heritage, in Christianity and in the ancient civilisations of Greece, Rome, and Israel, from which, owing to two thousand years of Christianity, we trace our descent."
The oldest known cave paintings are at the El Castillo cave (Spain), and are more than 40,800 years old. 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 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 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, J.S. Bach, Handel, Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Wagner,
Richard Strauss, von Weber, Offenbach, Stockhausen, Mendelssohn (Germany), Glinka, Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Rachmaninov, Scriabin, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, (Russia), Schubert, Haydn, Mozart, Bruckner, Mahler, Schoenberg, Strauss (Austria), Berlioz, Machaut, Pérotin, Couperin, Lully, Rameau, Saint-Saëns, Bizet, Debussy, Ravel (France), Palestrina, Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Donizetti, Cavalli, Paganini, Bellini, Verdi, Puccini, Rossini (Italy), Tomás Luis de Victoria, Falla, Granados, Albéniz, Rodrigo (Spain), Smetana, Dvořák, Janáček, Martinů (Czech Republic), Dufay, des Prez, Lassus (Belgium), Sweelinck, Unico Wilhelm van Wassenaer, Willem Pijper, Louis Andriessen, Tristan Keuris (the Netherlands), Grieg (Norway), Liszt, Bartók (Hungary), Purcell, Elgar, Britten, Holst (UK), Nielsen (Denmark), Sibelius (Finland), Chopin, Penderecki (Poland), George Enescu, Sergiu Celibidache (Romania). 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. See the list of European folk musics.
- Popular music: Europe has also imported many different genres of music, mainly from the United States, 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.
- The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Queen, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, David Bowie, Deep Purple, Sex Pistols, Eric Clapton, The Clash, Van Morrison, Dire Straits, The Police, Joy Division, Fleetwood Mac, Genesis, George Michael, Phil Collins, Rod Stewart, The Who, Eurythmics, Dusty Springfield, The Cure, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Def Leppard, Duran Duran, Oasis, Radiohead, Coldplay, Mumford & Sons, The Smiths, Muse, Gorillaz, Bonnie Tyler, Seal, Elvis Costello, Bee Gees, Spice Girls, Depeche Mode, The Kinks, The Animals, Motörhead, UB40, One Direction, Adele, Amy Winehouse (UK), U2, The Undertones, Thin Lizzy, My Bloody Valentine, Sinéad O'Connor (Ireland).
- Édith Piaf, Serge Gainsbourg, Léo Ferré, Charles Trenet, George Brassens, Jean Ferrat, Renaud, Noir Désir, Daft Punk, David Guetta, Justice, Bob Sinclar, Martin Solveig, Étienne de Crécy, M83, C2C, Jean Michel Jarre (France), Jacques Brel, Stromae (Wallonia).
- Denmark : Gasolin, DAD (Disneyland After Dark), Magtens Korridorer
- Poland : Edyta Gorniak
- Germany : Kraftwerk, Scorpions, Tangerine Dream, Neu!, Rammstein, Paul Kalkbrenner, Accept, Nina Hagen
- Italy : Giorgio Moroder, Andrea Bocelli, Ennio Morricone, Benny Benassi
- Sweden : ABBA, Björn Skifs, Europe, The Cardigans, The Hives, Roxette, Yngwie Malmsteen
- Netherlands : Armin van Buuren, Tiësto, Afrojack
- Others : Julio Iglesias, Enrique Iglesias (Spain), Björk, Sigur RósLepa Brena, (Iceland) Ceca Ražnatović, Jelena Karleuša, Seka Aleksić, Indira Radić, Dragana Mirković (Serbia), Vangelis, Demis Roussos, Helena Paparizou (Greece), Kati Wolf (Hungary), Eduard Artemyev, Eduard Khil, Kino, Mumiy Troll, Leningrad, Zemfira, t.A.T.u., PPK (Russia), Doda (Poland), Amália Rodrigues, The Legendary Tigerman, The Gift (Portugal), Rasmus Seebach, The Raveonettes, Agnes Obel, WhoMadeWho (Denmark), Bijelo Dugme (Yugoslavia), Alexandra Stan, Inna, Edward Maya (Romania), HIM, The Rasmus, Nightwish (Finland), Soulwax (Flanders).
- Main festivals includes: Sanremo Music Festival, Coca-Cola Summer Festival (Italy), Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds Festivals, Isle of Wight Festival, T in the Park (UK), Fête de la Musique, Eurockéennes, Vieilles Charrues Festival, Hellfest (France), Wacken (Germany), Festival Internacional de Benicàssim, Primavera Sound (Spain), Exit Festival (Serbia), Sziget Festival (Hungary), Roskilde Festival (Denmark), Rock Werchter, Tomorrowland (Belgium) & Eurovision (music competition between European countries).
- Main music companies : Domino Recording Company, Bertelsmann Music Group, PolyGram, EMI, Universal Music Group (Subsidiary of French company Vivendi).
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, Hesiod, Sappho, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Xenophon, Aristophanes, Menander, Polybius, Arrian, Plutarch, Longus (Ancient Greece)
- Plautus, Terence, Cicero, Sallust, Virgil, Livy, Ovid, Tacitus, Horace, Catullus, Pliny the Elder, Quintilian, Seneca the Younger, Pliny the Younger (Ancient Rome)
- Guido Guinizelli, Guido Cavalcanti, Marco Polo, Francesco Petrarca, Dante Alighieri, Giovanni Boccaccio, Niccolò Machiavelli, Ludovico Ariosto, Torquato Tasso, Luigi da Porto, Carlo Goldoni, Carlo Gozzi, Carlo Collodi, Giacomo Leopardi, Alessandro Manzoni, Giosuè Carducci, Gabriele D'Annunzio, Italo Svevo, Giovanni Verga, Primo Levi, Luigi Pirandello, Italo Calvino, Eugenio Montale, Salvatore Quasimodo, Andrea Camilleri, Giuseppe Ungaretti, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Umberto Eco, Dario Fo (Italy)
- Chrétien de Troyes, Rabelais, Montaigne, Dumas, Pierre Corneille, Racine, Molière, Jean de La Fontaine, Verne, Balzac, Flaubert, Stendhal, Proust, Camus, Le Clézio, Hugo, Baudelaire, Verlaine, Aragon, Rimbaud, Mallarmé, Anatole France, Saint-Exupéry, Apollinaire, de Beauvoir, Sartre, Rolland, Diderot, Foucault, Gautier, Mauriac, Gide, (France)
- Alexander Pushkin, Nikolai Gogol, Ivan Goncharov, Mikhail Bakunin, Mikhail Lermontov, Ivan Turgenev, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Peter Kropotkin, Anton Chekhov, Maxim Gorky, Ivan Bunin, Yevgeny Zamyatin, Boris Pasternak, Anna Akhmatova, Mikhail Bulgakov, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Sergei Yesenin, Vladimir Nabokov, Mikhail Sholokhov, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Joseph Brodsky (Russia)
- Jorge Manrique, Garcilaso de la Vega, Miguel de Cervantes, Pedro Calderón de la Barca, Lope de Vega, Francisco de Quevedo, Luis de Góngora, Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, Leopoldo Alas, Juan Ramón Jiménez, Pío Baroja, José Echegaray, Miguel de Unamuno, Federico García Lorca, Vicente Aleixandre, Camilo José Cela, Mario Vargas Llosa (Spain)
- Luís de Camões, José Maria de Eça de Queiroz, Fernando Pessoa, José Saramago (Portugal)
- Salvador Espriu, Mercè Rodoreda, Joan Salvat-Papasseit, Josep Carner (Catalan language)
- Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Johann Gottfried Herder, Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, Heinrich von Kleist, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Heinrich Heine, Gerhart Hauptmann, Thomas Mann, Bertolt Brecht, Rudolf Christoph Eucken, Anne Frank, Hermann Hesse, Nelly Sachs, Günter Grass, Patrick Süskind (Germany)
- Adam Mickiewicz, Juliusz Słowacki, Zygmunt Krasiński, Joseph Conrad, Czesław Miłosz, Zbigniew Herbert, Witold Gombrowicz, Jan Kochanowski, Mikołaj Rej, Henryk Sienkiewicz, Wisława Szymborska, Stanisław Lem, Andrzej Sapkowski (Poland)
- William IX, Duke of Aquitaine, Bernart de Ventadorn, Arnaut Daniel, Comtessa de Dia, Frédéric Mistral (Occitan language)
- Lajos Kossuth, Imre Kertész (Hungary)
- Franz Kafka, Jaroslav Seifert, Milan Kundera (Czech Republic)
- 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, Aldous Huxley, Harold Pinter (United Kingdom)
- Laurence Sterne, Maria Edgeworth, Bram Stoker, James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett, John Millington Synge, W.B. Yeats, Frank O'Connor, Seán Ó Ríordáin, Sean O'Casey, Máire Mhac an tSaoi, Brian Friel, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Seamus Heaney (Ireland)
- Karl Adolph Gjellerup, Hans Christian Andersen, Johannes Vilhelm Jensen (Denmark)
- Georges Simenon, Emile Verhaeren, Maurice Maeterlinck (Belgium)
- Sigrid Undset, Henrik Ibsen, Knut Hamsun, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (Norway)
- Ivo Andric (Yugoslavia)
- Frans Eemil Sillanpää (Finland)
- Elfriede Jelinek (Austria)
- Heinrich von Veldeke, Hadewijch, Jacob Cats, Joost van den Vondel, Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft, Gerbrand Bredero, Multatuli, Louis Couperus, Gerard Reve, Martinus Nijhoff, Gerard Reve, Lucebert, H. H. ter Balkt, Harry Mulisch. Willem Frederik Hermans (The Netherlands)
- Halldór Laxness (Iceland)
- Taras Shevchenko, Ivan Franko (Ukraine)
- Eugène Ionesco, Mircea Eliade, Mihai Eminescu, Paul Celan, Emil Cioran, Herta Muller, Elie Wiesel (Romania)
- Verner von Heidenstam, Stieg Larsson, Pär Lagerkvist, August Strindberg, Emanuel Swedenborg, Eyvind Johnson (Sweden)
Antoine Lumière realized, on 28 December 1895, the first projection, with the Cinematograph, 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.
Cinecittà film studios
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. Philippe Binant realized, on 2 February 2000, the first digital cinema projection in Europe.
- CERN (//; 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. On 12 November 2014, ESA's Philae probe achieved the first-ever soft landing on a comet.
Europe has produced some of the most influential scientists and inventors in history.
- Germany: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Alexander von Humboldt, Karl Benz, Carl Bosch, Wernher von Braun, Rudolf Diesel, Albert Einstein, Daniel Fahrenheit, Johannes Gutenberg, Otto Hahn, Werner Heisenberg, Johannes Kepler, Max Planck, Wilhelm Röntgen, Ferdinand von Zeppelin, Konrad Zuse, Gottlob Frege
- France: Pierre Abelard, Louis Pasteur, Antoine Lavoisier, Henri Becquerel, Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot, Pierre de Fermat, the Montgolfier brothers, Jean le Rond d'Alembert, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, Léon Foucault, Auguste and Louis Lumière, Pierre Curie, Jacques Lacan, Luc Montagnier, Albert Jacquard
- The Netherlands; Willebrord Snel van Royen, Adriaan Metius, Christiaan Huygens, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, Jan Swammerdam, C. H. D. Buys Ballot, Martinus Beijerinck, Hendrik Lorentz, Jan Oort, Jacobus van 't Hoff, Johannes Diderik van der Waals, Pieter Zeeman, Willem de Sitter, Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, Gerard Kuiper, Nikolaas Tinbergen, Martinus Veltman, Gerard 't Hooft
- United Kingdom: Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Michael Faraday, Alan Turing, James Joule, Edward Jenner, Robert Hooke, Charles K. Kao, George Stephenson, Florence Nightingale, George Cayley, Frank Whittle, Stephen Hawking, John Dalton, Tim Berners-Lee, James Watt, Alexander Fleming, Alexander Graham Bell, John Logie Baird, James Clerk Maxwell, Adam Smith, John Maynard Keynes
- Russia: Sergey Korolyov, Sofia Kovalevskaya, Lev Landau, Nikolai Lobachevsky, Mikhail Lomonosov, Ilya Mechnikov, Dmitri Mendeleev, Ivan Pavlov, Grigori Perelman, Alexander Popov, Andrei Sakharov, Vladimir Shukhov, Igor Sikorsky, Nikolai Vavilov, Vladimir Zworykin
- Italy: Gerolamo Cardano, Fibonacci, Giovanni Domenico Cassini, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo Galilei, Giordano Bruno, Evangelista Torricelli, Amedeo Avogadro, Alessandro Volta, Guglielmo Marconi, Ettore Majorana, Enrico Fermi, Margherita Hack
- Poland: Sendivogius, Nicolaus Copernicus, Johannes Hevelius, Ignacy Łukasiewicz, Marie Curie, Rudolf Weigl
- Greece: Archimedes, Euclid, Ptolemy
- Hungary: Ottó Bláthy, Ányos Jedlik, John von Neumann, Leó Szilárd, Edward Teller
- Austria: Ludwig Boltzmann, Sigmund Freud, Kurt Gödel, Erwin Schrödinger
- Ireland: Lord Kelvin, Robert Boyle, William Rowan Hamilton
- Spain: Miguel Servet, Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Isaac Peral, Leonardo Torres Quevedo, Severo Ochoa.
- Sweden: Carl Linnaeus, Alfred Nobel, Anders Celsius
- Finland: Artturi Ilmari Virtanen, Ragnar Granit, Johan Gadolin, Linus Torvalds, Elias Lönnrot
- Denmark: Tycho Brahe, Niels Bohr
- Serbia: Nikola Tesla, Mihajlo Pupin, Milutin Milanković, Miomir Vukobratović
- Switzerland; Jacob, Johann and Daniel Bernoulli, Leonhard Euler, Carl Jung, Paracelsus
- Croatia: Andrija Mohorovičić, Roger Joseph Boscovich
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. Many political ideologies were theorised in Europe such as capitalism, communism, fascism, socialism or anarchism.
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.
- Ockham, More, Bacon, Hobbes, Locke, Smith, Bentham, Stuart Mill, Russel (England)
- Leibniz, Kant, Schopenhauer, Feuerbach, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Fichte, Heidegger, Husserl, Habermas (Germany)
- Montaigne, Descartes, Malebranche, Pascal, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, Comte, Bergson, Bachelard, Lévinas, Merleau-Ponty, Ricœur, Lévi-Strauss, Camus, de Beauvoir, Sartre, Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze (France)
- Siger of Brabant, Geert Groote, Thomas à Kempis, Erasmus, Spinoza, Hugo Grotius, Bernard Mandeville, L. E. J. Brouwer (the Netherlands)
- Popper, Wittgenstein (Austria)
- Aquinas, Pico della Mirandola, Machiavelli, Vico, Beccaria (Italy)
- Kierkegaard (Denmark)
|Dominant religions in Europe;
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. According to new polls about Religiosity in the European Union in 2012 by Eurobarometer, Christianity is the largest religion in the European Union accounting 72% of EU citizens. Non believer/Agnostic account 16%, Atheist account's 7%, and Muslim 2%.
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 notion of "Europe" and the "Western World" has been intimately connected with the concept of "Christianity and Christendom" many even attribute Christianity for being the link that created a unified European identity.
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,
- Catholicism: Countries with significant Catholic populations are Portugal, Spain, Poland, > France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Ireland, Northern Ireland (UK), Italy, Malta, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Slovakia and Lithuania.
- 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, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, England (UK), Scotland (UK), and Wales (UK), and indeed small minorities in most of the other European countries.
- Eastern Orthodoxy: The countries with significant Orthodox populations are Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine.
- Protestantism: Countries with significant Protestant populations are Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia,. the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. There are significant minorities in France, Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Netherlands, Austria, Hungary, and indeed small minorities in most European countries.
- Islam: Country with a majority Muslim population is Albania. The region of East Thrace (Turkey) and Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija also have a majority Muslim population. As of 2010, about 5.2% of European citizens identified themselves as Muslims, with many of them living in EU member states like France, Germany, the UK, Belgium, Austria, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, and Sweden. Outside of the EU also have significant Muslim minorities like Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Crimea, Serbia, parts of European Russia and Georgia.
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 and Spain 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.
Some of the most popular games of all time come from Europe: Grand Theft Auto, Tomb Raider, The Witcher, Cossacks: European Wars, Colin McRae: Dirt, Far Cry 3, Asphalt, The Settlers, The Patrician, Need For Speed, Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, Brain Challenge, Rayman, Beyond Good & Evil, Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, Watch Dogs, Batman: Arkham City, Banjo-Kazooie, LittleBigPlanet, Block Breaker Deluxe, Crysis, Tetris, Assassin's Creed, Europa Universalis, Kinect Sports, Hysteria Project and The Getaway (video game series).
Europe's influence on sport is enormous. 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). 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 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. 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 Western Europe, 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 rules football.
- 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, 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 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. Some sporting organisations hold European Championships like European Cricket Council, the European Games, the European Rugby Cup (Club/Regional competition), the European SC Championships, the FIRA - Association of European Rugby, the IIHF, the Mitropa Cup, the Rugby League European Federation - European Nations Cup, the Sport in the European Union and the UEFA.
Capitals of Culture
Each year since 1985 one or more cities across Europe are chosen as European Capital of Culture. Here are the past and future capitals:
- 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, Košice
- 2014: Umeå, Riga 
- 2015: Mons, Plzeň
- 2016: San Sebastián, Wrocław
- 2017: Aarhus, Paphos
- 2018: Malta, Netherlands
- 2019: Matera, Italy
- 2020: Galway, Ireland and Rijeka, Croatia
- European dances
- Compendium of cultural policies and trends in Europe
- Cultural policies of the European Union
- European Culture
- Romano-Germanic culture
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- Cederman (2001:2) remarks: "Given the absence of an explicit legal definition and the plethora of competing identities, it is indeed hard to avoid the conclusion that Europe is an essentially contested concept." Cf. also Davies (1996:15); Berting (2006:51).
- Cf. Jordan-Bychkov (2008:13), Davies (1996:15), Berting (2006:51-56).
- K. Bochmann (1990) L'idée d'Europe jusqu'au XXè siècle, quoted in Berting (2006:52). Cf. Davies (1996:15): "No two lists of the main constituents of European civilization would ever coincide. But many items have always featured prominently: from the roots of the Christian world in Greece, Rome and Judaism to modern phenomena such as the Enlightenment, modernization, romanticism, nationalism, liberalism, imperialism, totalitarianism."
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94% des édifices sont catholiques (dont 50% églises paroissiales, 25% chapelles, 25% édifices appartenant au clergé régulier)
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