Russia's European part is 1.54 million square miles making it the largest country in the continent. Vatican City is the smallest and covers an area of 0.17 sq miles. Some important cities in Europe are London, Berlin, Paris, Prague, Copenhagen, Zurich, Madrid, Amsterdam, Moscow, Istanbul, Venice, Rome, and Vienna, to name a few. The most populated metros in Europe are Moscow (16,200,000), Ruhr-Essen-Dusseldorf (13,400,000), Paris (10,900,000), London (10,200,000), Amsterdam (7,500,000). The most popular languages spoken in Europe include English, French, Russian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and Turkish.
History of Europe
- 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 the continent's rich culture and architecture.
- After the collapse of the Roman Empire in the west, Byzantine Empire emerged and survived (285-1450) in the east.
- In Western Europe, several tribal groups assumed power, giving rise to smaller, faction kingdoms. The geography of Western Europe went through a major 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 March 18, 2014.
- Brexit – an abbreviation for “British Exit” referring to the June 23, 2016 referendum – was the decision of the UK (citizens) to leave the European Union.
- You can still look for a comprehensive Timeline of European History.
Geography of Europe
Europe is the second smallest of all continents with a total land area of 3,930,000 sq miles and represents 6.80% of the global landmass.
Europe is connected by land to Asia on its east and oceans and seas on its south-east and south-west, west and North side. The continent features a 24,000 mile coastline, mostly irregular, with some of the oldest mountains that stand to the north-western side.The mountains of Alps were formed later when the continent of Africa moved north to collide with Europe. The great Hungarian plain lies between the Carpathian Mountains and the Alps.
Islands and Archipelagoes
Europe is dotted with archipelagoes and islands and include the British Isles, Svalbard, Faroe Islands, Novaya Zemlya, Iceland, Franz Josef Land, Sicily, Cyprus and Crete among others.
As per UN Population Division 2016 estimates, Europe is home to 738 million people. The population distribution are Eastern Europe: 292 million. Western Europe: 191 million, Southern Europe: 152 million and Northern Europe: 103 million.
|Highest Point||Mount Elbrus, Russia: 5,642 meters|
|Lowest Point||Caspian Sea, Russia: -28 meters|
|Geographic Center||Vilnius, Lithuania - 54° 54' N 25° 19' E|
|Vertical length||2,076 miles|
|Horizontal length||1,339 miles|
|Largest countries by area||Ukraine: 233,090 sq miles|
|Largest lake||Lake Ladoga, Russia: 6,834 sq miles|
|Longest River||Volga: 2,293 miles|
|Largest Active Volcano||Mount Etna, Italy|
Where is Europe
Europe is the smallest of all continents and shares its landmass with Asia that lies to its east.
Europe has the Atlantic Ocean on its western side, Arctic Sea on the north side, Mediterranean Sea on its south-west and south side, black Sea to its south-east and Caspian Sea to its east. Europe’s eastern border lies along the Ural Mountains, running north to south and then along the Emba river, also known as Zhem, on the south-west side. The furthest border on the eastern side finishes along the northern coast of Caspian Sea. Click to see Europe Location Map
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 in the center of Athens.
- Sagrada Familia - A renowned attraction in Spain, it is a masterpiece designed 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.
- Vatican City - This small city is steeped in history and rich in artwork.
- Louvre - This museum in France is one of most important ones in the world. When you plan your itinerary, you should not forget the castles in Europe that are worth visiting.
Transport and Communication in Europe
- Europe was the first continent to have railways and motorways.
- Belgium, one of the smallest countries of Europe, has the world's densest rail network.
- The busiest airport in Europe is Heathrow Airport (London, UK) followed by Charles de Gaulle Airport (Paris, France), Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Frankfurt Airport (Frankfurt, Germany) and Ataturk Airport (Istanbul, Turkey), in that order.
- Some of the largest international airports in Europe are 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 and Moscow Metro are some of the best metro systems in Europe.
The Central and Eastern Europe experience humid continental climate and cool summers. In Western Europe, summers are mild, but winters are harsh, with snowfall being a commonality.
A continent of great diversity, Europe 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.
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 an 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 and written about.
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, and churches in Rome and Paris are appealing to any traveler.
Soccer is the most popular sport across Europe. From the UEFA Champions League to Spanish La Liga, 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
Economy and Industry
Germany and France continue to drive the European economy with the United Kingdom. UK has opted to exit the EU but will continue to remain an active driver of the European economy. Russia's economy is mainly driven by oil refining and defence manufacturing. Switzerland continues to be the focal country for banking and investment, along with the UK, Germany and France. With Brexit looming, London’s status as a financial hub is now being challenged by Frankfurt and Paris.
In the manufacturing sector, Germany, France, Italy and Sweden continue to remain strong in their respective areas of dominance. France, UK, Germany and Russia remain dependent on a growing defence industry.
Interesting Facts about Europe
Know Geography facts
- 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 the continent.
- 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...
Last Updated on: May 27, 2017