Europe was first inspired by the Classical Greek culture of the 8th-century B.C.
It had a powerful influence on the Roman Empire that spread to Northern and Mediterranean Europe. The Romans had a profound impact on the growth of rich culture and architecture.
After the collapse of Roman Empire in the west, Byzantine Empire emerged and survived (285-1450) in the east.
Western Europe, several tribal groups assumed power, giving rise to small kingdoms. The geography of Western Europe went through a change. The Viking Age continued in Northern Europe from 8th to 13th centuries.
The European colonial period, which spanned from the 16th to the mid-20th century, saw European powers establishing colonies in Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
The European colonial era came to an end with revolts in Africa, India, and the Middle East.
The two World Wars caused a severe damage to Europe both financially and demographically. Have a look at these maps to know how Europe looked during
World War I and World War II. Two major events in Europe's recent history were the fall of Berlin Wall (1989) and the fall of the Soviet Union (1991).
The second-half of 20th century saw integration of several factions and the establishment of the
European Union (EU). The Ukrainian territory of Crimea, regarded as the common legacy of Russia, was annexed by the Russian Federation on 18 March 2014.
You can still look for a comprehensive
Timeline of European History
Interesting Facts about Europe
Europe covers 3.93 million square miles, which is about eight per cent of the Earth's surface.
About 11 per cent of the world's population lives in Europe.
Disneyland in Paris is considered the most visited place in Europe.
Thingvellir National Park of Iceland, one of the
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Europe, was home to the world's first democratic parliament. The famous Statue of Liberty was constructed in France and given to the USA as a gift of friendship.
Mount Etna in southern Italy is Europe's largest active volcano. More Europe Facts...
The Central and Eastern Europe experience humid continental climate and cool summers. In Western Europe, summers are mild, but winters are harsher, with snowfall being a commonality.
A continent of great diversity takes pride in the assimilation of different languages, religions, and ethnicity. Most Europeans follow Christianity with Western Europe being dominated by Roman Catholics, northern Europe by Protestants, and the southeastern Europe by Eastern Orthodox. After Russian, German is the second largest language spoken in Europe. The European Union uses 20 official languages.
The UK is home to some of the top universities in the world with the University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, and London School of Economics always figuring in the top for their academic excellence and stellar quality of teaching and research. EU Business School, Heidelberg University, and University of Copenhagen are other premier educational institutions for higher studies.
From Homer to Shakespeare and George Orwell to Virginia Woolf, Europe's legacy of literary affluence has been carried forward by generation of poets, dramatists, and novelists. As a continent with illustrious past, Europe has been the cradle of renowned musicians, filmmakers, painters, and architects. Over the last few millennia, the Renaissance, French Revolution, and Modernism shaped the political thinking of Europe, brought cultural and social enlightenment, and economic advancement.
Art and Architecture
European Art has evolved through a series of eras championing a particular style. Out of all the different art styles that flourished in Europe, Classical, Medieval, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Modern are most talked out.
When it comes to European architecture, we are reminded of the Gothic churches and monuments that are spread across the continent. The bridges in Amsterdam, colossal Greek architecture in Athens, museums in Berlin, palaces in
, and churches in Rome and
are appealing to any traveler.
Soccer is the most popular sport across Europe. From the UEFA Champions League to Spanish La Liga and the English Premier League, some of the
top football clubs around the world
compete at these prestigious sporting events. Rugby, Cricket, and Ice hockey are other popular sports that almost every European country plays. Europe has also hosted several
summer and winter Olympics
Transport and Communication
Europe was the first in the world to have railways and motorways.
Belgium, one of the smallest countries of Europe, has the world's densest rail network.
It is now home to some of the world's busiest ports and airports.
Some of the largest international airports in Europe include London Heathrow, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Istanbul Atatürk, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam Schiphol.
The TGV in France and the LAV in Spain are some of the high-speed rail networks in Europe.
The Channel Tunnel, which connects the UK with France, Belgium and the entire European rail system, was called one of the seven wonders of the modern world.
Paris Metro, Madrid Metro, Moscow Metro, and London Tube are some of the best
metro systems in Europe.
Top Travel Destinations in Europe
The Eiffel Tower - One of the tallest structures of the 20th century is the symbol of France,
Acropolis - It's perhaps the best acropolis in the world located n the center of Athens.
Sagrada Familia - A renowned attraction in Spain is a masterpiece by architect Antoni Gaudí.
Notre Dame Cathedral - It is one of the best specimens of French Gothic architecture in Europe.
The Colosseum - This impressive building is a widely recognized landmark in Italy.
Buckingham Palace - It's a marvelous residence of Britain's sovereign in the heart of London.
Vatican City - This small city is steeped in history and rich in artwork.
Edinburgh Castle - A must see for anyone visiting Edinburgh.
Louvre - This museum in France is one of most important ones in the world.
Stonehenge - It is an iconic destination in entire Britain.
When you plan your itinerary, you should not forget the
castles in Europe
that are worth visiting.
Last Updated on: December 15, 2016