Maps of Europe
Europe's rich and varied culture, history and geography means that every country offers a different experience. From the flat lands of the Netherlands to the mighty Alpine peaks, from the crashing Atlantic breakers to the warm waters of the Mediterranean, from the sandy beaches of Brittany to the great forests of Germany, there's something for everybody.
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Europe is more a reflection of human culture than of the Earth's geography. Physically, it is little more than a large, irregular peninsula hanging off the enormous Eurasian landmass that stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. It is less than one-fourth the size of Asia, and only slightly larger than the United States. Of all the continents, only Australia is smaller. Still, Europe's role in world history has been great. At one time or another, Europeans have controlled the vast majority of land on Earth. As a result, some traces of European culture - languages, customs, or systems of government - are visible nearly everywhere in the world.
Europe's most important geographical distinction is that no point is very far from an arm of the ocean. This has been a key to its development, for it has given Europeans easy access to the rest of the world.
Europe is also blessed with a large number of navigable rivers, scoured out of the landscape when the glaciers retreated at the end of the Ice Age. Most of Europe's major cities, as well as its factories, are on rivers, some of which are fed by the remnants of these glaciers.
There are five basic regions of Europe: (1) Eastern Europe; (2) Western Europe; (3) Southern Europe; (4) Northern Europe; and (5) British Isles. These regions are based on such factors as cultural commonalties, social parallels, economic linkages, and environmental similarities.
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What's New in Europe!Events & Festivals
London events highlights: Japanese crafts, ‘Pop Art’ and gardening all feature in London’s cultural events calendar this summer and beyond.
Royal wedding dress at Buckingham Palace: A special exhibition at Buckingham Palace this summer will recreate the day in 1947 when Princess Elizabeth - now Queen Elizabeth II - married the Duke of Edinburgh in a glittering ceremony at London’s Westminster Abbey.Attractions
Shrewsbury recreates its summer season: Performances by Jools Holland, George Melly and Beverly Knight are among the 370 cultural and artistic events over 100 days at the 'Shrewsbury Summer Season' this year (May 19-Sept. 9).
Scotland’s oldest house marks 900 years: The longest continually inhabited house in Scotland is 900 years old. Once a hunting lodge for the kings and queens of Scotland (it hosted 27 monarchs over the years), the Stuarts of Traquair House supported Mary, Queen of Scots and the doomed Jacobite cause.News
Ceramics Festival in The Potteries: Designers, studio potters, experts and collectors will be making their way to The Potteries this autumn for the Stoke-on-Trent Ceramics Festival 2007 (Oct.5-7).
Macdonald Hotels transforms Cheshire golf venue: Three championship golf courses and the largest indoor golf academy in Europe at The Portal Golf Club venue are to be part of the new four star Macdonald Portal Hotel, Golf and Spa in Cheshire when it opens in July.