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Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the continental landmass of Eurasia, and is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and Asia to the east. Europe is commonly considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed of the Ural Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian Sea, the Greater Caucasus, the Black Sea, and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Although much of this border is over land, Europe is generally accorded the status of a full continent because of its great physical size and the weight of history and tradition.

Europe covers about 10,180,000 km2 (3,930,000 sq mi), or 2% of the Earth's surface (6.8% of land area), making it the second smallest continent (using the seven-continent model). Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states, of which Russia is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a total population of about 741 million (about 11% of the world population), as of 2018. The European climate is largely affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent, even at latitudes along which the climate in Asia and North America is severe. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast.

The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of written records. During the Neolithic era and the time of the Indo-European migrations, Europe saw human inflows from east and southeast and subsequent important cultural and material exchange. The period known as classical antiquity began with the emergence of the city-states of ancient Greece. Later, the Roman Empire came to dominate the entire Mediterranean basin. The fall of the Roman Empire in AD 476 traditionally marks the start of the Middle Ages. Beginning in the 14th century a Renaissance of knowledge challenged traditional doctrines in science and theology. Simultaneously, the Protestant Reformation set up Protestant churches primarily in Germany, Scandinavia and England. After 1800, the Industrial Revolution brought prosperity to Britain and Western Europe. The main European powers set up colonies in most of the Americas and Africa, and parts of Asia. In the 20th century, World War I and World War II resulted in massive numbers of deaths. The Cold War dominated European geo-politics from 1947 to 1989. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, the European countries grew together.

The culture of Europe is rooted in the art, architecture, film, different types of music, economic, literature, and philosophy that originated from the continent of Europe. European culture is largely rooted in what is often referred to as its "common cultural heritage".

The economy of Europe comprises more than 744 million people in 50 countries. The formation of the European Union (EU) and in 1999, the introduction of a unified currency, the Euro, brings participating European countries closer through the convenience of a shared currency and has led to a stronger European cash flow. The difference in wealth across Europe can be seen roughly in former Cold War divide, with some countries breaching the divide (Greece, Estonia, Portugal, Slovenia and the Czech Republic). Whilst most European states have a GDP per capita higher than the world's average and are very highly developed (Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Andorra, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany), some European economies, despite their position over the world's average in the Human Development Index, are poorer.

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Painting of a panoramic view from the Spanish lines, showing four men, two in British Army uniform, looking across a sandy isthmus towards the Rock of Gibraltar with the bay and the African coast visible in the background
North View of Gibraltar from Spanish Lines by John Mace (1782)

The history of Gibraltar, a small peninsula on the southern Iberian coast near the entrance of the Mediterranean Sea, spans over 2,900 years. The peninsula has evolved from a place of reverence in ancient times into "one of the most densely fortified and fought-over places in Europe", as one historian has put it. Gibraltar's location has given it an outsized significance in the history of Europe and its fortified town, established in the Middle Ages, has hosted garrisons that sustained numerous sieges and battles over the centuries.

Gibraltar was first inhabited over 50,000 years ago by Neanderthals and archaeological evidence suggests that Gibraltar may have been one of their last places of habitation before evidence of Neanderthal disappears around 25,000 years later. Gibraltar's recorded history began around 950 BC with the Phoenicians amongst the first to recognise and worship the genius loci of the place, followed by various evidence from the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Carthaginians and Romans. There is also evidence of shrines built on the Rock of Gibraltar to Hercules. The Romans named the jutting protrusion of limestone Mons Calpe, the "Hollow Mountain", they regarded it as one of the twin Pillars of Hercules. (Full article...)
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Dorset (/ˈdɔːrsɪt/ DOR-sit; archaically: Dorsetshire /ˈdɔːrsɪt.ʃɪər, -ʃər/ DOR-sit-sheer, -⁠shər) is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is bordered by Somerset to the north-west, Wiltshire to the north and the north-east, Hampshire to the east, the Isle of Wight across the Solent to the south-east, the English Channel to the south, and Devon to the west. The largest settlement is Bournemouth, and the county town is Dorchester.

The county has an area of 2,653 km2 (1,024 sq mi) and a population of 772,268. Around half of the population lives in the South East Dorset conurbation, which contains three of the county's largest settlements: Bournemouth (183,491), Poole (151,500), and Christchurch (31,372). The remainder of the county is largely rural, and its principal towns are Weymouth (53,427) and Dorchester (21,366). Dorset contains two unitary authority areas: Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, and Dorset. The county did not historically include Bournemouth and Christchurch, which were part of Hampshire. (Full article...)
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Portrait of Cardinal Richelieu wikidata:Q26492852
Portrait of Cardinal Richelieu wikidata:Q26492852
Armand Jean du Plessis, best known as Cardinal Richelieu (1585–1642) was a French clergyman, noble and statesman. Born to a family of the Poitou lesser nobility, by 1607 he had become Bishop of Luçon, and he soon entered politics. He worked to consolidate the royal power of King Louis XIII, and in 1624 – two years after being elevated to cardinal – he was made the King's chief minister. Richelieu was also a patron of the arts, establishing the Académie française, which is responsible for matters pertaining to the French language.

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29 January 2024 – Russian invasion of Ukraine
Russia claims control of the village of Tabaivka in Kharkiv Oblast. However, Ukraine denies this claim. (Kyiv Independent)
28 January 2024 – Turkey–Islamic State conflict
A Turkish man is shot dead by two masked gunmen at an Italian Roman Catholic church in Sarıyer, Istanbul, Turkey. The Islamic State claims responsibility. (AP)
28 January 2024 –
Protesters throw pumpkin soup at the Mona Lisa in the Louvre in Paris, France. The painting is protected by bulletproof glass and was not damaged. (BBC News)
28 January 2024 – 2024 ATP Tour
In tennis, Jannik Sinner defeats Daniil Medvedev in the final, 3–6, 3–6, 6–4, 6–4, 6–3, to win the men's singles title at the 2024 Australian Open. It is Sinner's first major singles title and the first for an Italian player at the tournament. (CNN)
27 January 2024 – Red Sea crisis
Houthi missiles hit the British Trafigura oil tanker Marlin Luanda in the Gulf of Aden. (CNN)
27 January 2024 – Israel–Hamas war
The United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Italy, Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Germany suspend humanitarian aid to UNRWA over allegations that UNRWA staff members were involved in the Hamas-led attack on Israel. (BBC News) (CBS News)

Updated: 4:33, 30 January 2024


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Portrait c. 1888

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (/ˈkɒfski/ chy-KOF-skee; 7 May 1840 – 6 November 1893) was a Russian composer of the Romantic period. He was the first Russian composer whose music would make a lasting impression internationally. Tchaikovsky wrote some of the most popular concert and theatrical music in the current classical repertoire, including the ballets Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, the 1812 Overture, his First Piano Concerto, Violin Concerto, the Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy, several symphonies, and the opera Eugene Onegin.

Although musically precocious, Tchaikovsky was educated for a career as a civil servant as there was little opportunity for a musical career in Russia at the time and no system of public music education. When an opportunity for such an education arose, he entered the nascent Saint Petersburg Conservatory, from which he graduated in 1865. The formal Western-oriented teaching that Tchaikovsky received there set him apart from composers of the contemporary nationalist movement embodied by the Russian composers of The Five with whom his professional relationship was mixed. (Full article...)
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An aerial view of the fortress
An aerial view of the fortress
Credit: Godot13
The Peter and Paul Fortress (located on and fully occupying Zayachy Island), Saint Petersburg, Russia. Designed by Domenico Trezzini, the fortress was constructed from 1703–40. It is home to the Peter and Paul Cathedral and burial place of many of the Russian tsars.

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Major Religions in Europe

Northern Europe

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Central Europe

Eastern Europe and Caucasus

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Balkans and Cyprus

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Albert Bridge at night, looking south across the Thames to Battersea, a suburb in South West London.
Albert Bridge at night, looking south across the Thames to Battersea, a suburb in South West London.
Credit: David Iliff
The Albert Bridge is a road bridge over the River Thames in West London, connecting Chelsea on the north bank to Battersea on the south bank. Designed and built by Rowland Mason Ordish in 1873 as an Ordish–Lefeuvre system modified cable-stayed bridge, it proved to be structurally unsound, so between 1884 and 1887 Sir Joseph Bazalgette incorporated some of the design elements of a suspension bridge. In 1973 the Greater London Council added two concrete piers, which transformed the central span into a simple beam bridge. As a result, today the bridge is an unusual hybrid of three different design styles. It is an English Heritage Grade II* listed building.


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