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History of Europe

  • Europe was influenced by the Classical Greek culture of the 8th-century B.C.
  • The powerful influences of the Roman Empire 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, the Byzantine Empire emerged and thrived (285-1450) in the eastern Europe.
  • 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 Century, 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 severe damage to Europe, both financially and demographically. Have a look at our maps to see 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 forcibly annexed by the Russian Federation on March 18, 2014.
  • Brexit – an abbreviation for term “British Exit” referrs to the June 23, 2016 referendum – and 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 the 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, while oceans and seas lie to its southeast, southwest, west, and north side. The continent features a 24,000 mile-long coastline.

Europe features some of the oldest mountains on the planet. The Alps were formed when the continent of Africa moved north and collided with Europe.

Islands and Archipelagoes

Europe is dotted with archipelagoes and islands. This includes the British Isles, Svalbard, Faroe Islands, Novaya Zemlya, Iceland, Franz Josef Land, Sicily, Cyprus, and Crete among others.

Europe Geography Facts
Highest PointMount Elbrus, Russia: 5,642 meters
Lowest PointCaspian Sea, Russia: -28 meters
Geographic CenterVilnius, Lithuania - 54° 54' N 25° 19' E
Vertical length2,076 miles
Horizontal length1,339 miles
Largest countries by areaUkraine: 233,090 sq miles
Largest LakeLake Ladoga, Russia: 6,834 sq miles
Longest RiverVolga: 2,293 miles
Largest Active VolcanoMount Etna, Italy


Western experience a semi-humid continental climate, with cool summers. In Central and Eastern Europe, summers are warm, but winters are often harsh, with snowfall being a commonality.


As per UN Population Division 2016 estimates, Europe is home to 738 million people. The population distribution is; Eastern Europe, 292 million, Western Europe, 191 million, Southern Europe, 152 million, and Northern Europe, 103 million.

Last Updated on: August 28th, 2017