Portal:Europe

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Introduction

Europe orthographic Caucasus Urals boundary (with borders).svg

Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.

Since around 1850, Europe is most commonly considered as separated from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Though the term "continent" implies physical geography, the land border is somewhat arbitrary and has moved since its first conception in classical antiquity. The division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East-West cultural, linguistic and ethnic differences, some of which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The border does not follow political boundaries, with Turkey, Russia and Kazakhstan being transcontinental countries.

Europe covers about 10,180,000 square kilometres (3,930,000 sq mi), or 2% of the Earth's surface (6.8% of land area). Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation 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 2016. 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.

Featured panorama

Grimsel Pass
Credit: Heinrich Pniok

The Grimsel Pass is a mountain pass in Switzerland which crosses the Bernese Alps at an elevation of 2,164 metres (7,100 ft). It connects the Haslital, the upper valley of the river Aare, with the upper valley of the Rhone. A 38-kilometre (24 mi) paved road between Gletsch and Meiringen follows the pass; owing to high snowfall, this road is generally closed between October and May.



Featured article

Vasa's port bow
Vasa is a Swedish warship built between 1626 and 1628. The ship foundered after sailing about 1,300 m (1,400 yd) into her maiden voyage on 10 August 1628. She fell into obscurity after most of her valuable bronze cannons were salvaged in the 17th century until she was located again in the late 1950s in a busy shipping lane just outside the Stockholm harbor. Salvaged with a largely intact hull in 1961, she was housed in a temporary museum called Wasavarvet ("The Wasa Shipyard") until 1988 and then moved to the Vasa Museum in Stockholm. The ship is one of Sweden's most popular tourist attractions and has been seen by over 35 million visitors since 1961.Since her recovery, Vasa has become a widely recognized symbol of the Swedish "great power period" and is today a de facto standard in the media and among Swedes for evaluating the historical importance of shipwrecks.

The ship was built on the orders of the King of Sweden Gustavus Adolphus as part of the military expansion he initiated in a war with Poland-Lithuania (1621–1629). She was constructed at the navy yard in Stockholm under a contract with private entrepreneurs in 1626–1627 and armed primarily with bronze cannons cast in Stockholm specifically for the ship. Richly decorated as a symbol of the king's ambitions for Sweden and himself, upon completion she was one of the most powerfully armed vessels in the world. However, Vasa was dangerously unstable and top-heavy with too much weight in the upper structure of the hull. Despite this lack of stability she was ordered to sea and foundered only a few minutes after encountering a wind stronger than a breeze.


Featured portrait

Kiril Lazarov, Macedonian handball player, playing for RK Zagreb, on August 22nd, 2009 in Ehingen (Germany), during the Schlecker Cup 2009.
Credit: Armin Kübelbeck

Kiril Lazarov (b. 10 May 1980) is a Macedonian handball player active since 1991.He is also the captain of the Macedonia national handball team.Lazarov was top scorer of the EHF Champions League two times with MVM Veszprém and RK Zagreb. In 2011–12, he was top scorer for Velux EHF Final 4 runner-up Atlético Madrid.

Featured picture

Stained glass windows by Jean-Baptiste Capronnier
Credit: Windows: Jean-Baptiste Capronnier; photograph: Joaquim Alves Gaspar

Three scenes of the legend of the Miraculous Sacrament in stained glass windows in the Cathédrale Saints-Michel-et-Gudule of Brussels by Jean-Baptiste Capronnier (c. 1870). The contributions of Capronnier (1814–1891) helped lead to a revival in glass painting.

Featured biography

Anne Frank pictured in 1940
Annelies Marie Frank ( 12 June 1929 – February or March 1945) was a German-born diarist and writer. One of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust, she gained fame posthumously following the publication of her diary, The Diary of a Young Girl (originally Het Achterhuis; [The Secret Annex] error: {{lang-xx}}: text has italic markup (help)), which documents her life in hiding from 1942 to 1944, during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. It is one of the world's most widely known books and has been the basis for several plays and films.

Born in Frankfurt, Germany, she lived most of her life in or near Amsterdam, Netherlands, having moved there with her family at the age of four-and-a-half when the Nazis gained control over Germany. Born a German national, Frank lost her citizenship in 1941 and thus became stateless. By May 1940, the Franks were trapped in Amsterdam by the German occupation of the Netherlands. As persecutions of the Jewish population increased in July 1942, the family went into hiding in some concealed rooms behind a bookcase in the building where Anne's father worked. From then until the family's arrest by the Gestapo in August 1944, Anne kept a diary she had received as a birthday present, and wrote in it regularly. Following their arrest, the Franks were transported to concentration camps. In October or November 1944, Anne and her sister, Margot, were transferred to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp from Auschwitz, where they died (probably of typhus) a few months later. They were originally estimated by the Red Cross to have died in March, with Dutch authorities setting 31 March as their official date of death, but research by the Anne Frank House in 2015 suggests they more likely died in February.


Featured location

The Royal Crescent in Bath
Bath is a city in the ceremonial county of Somerset, England, known for its Roman-built baths. In 2011, the population was 88,859. Bath is in the valley of the River Avon, 97 miles (156 km) west of London and 11 miles (18 km) south-east of Bristol. The city became a World Heritage Site in 1987.

The city became a spa with the Latin name Aquæ Sulis ("the waters of Sulis") c. AD 60 when the Romans built baths and a temple in the valley of the River Avon, although hot springs were known even before then. Bath Abbey was founded in the 7th century and became a religious centre; the building was rebuilt in the 12th and 16th centuries. In the 17th century, claims were made for the curative properties of water from the springs, and Bath became popular as a spa town in the Georgian era. Georgian architecture, crafted from Bath stone, includes the Royal Crescent, Circus, Pump Room and Assembly Rooms where Beau Nash presided over the city's social life from 1705 until his death in 1761. Many of the streets and squares were laid out by John Wood, the Elder, and in the 18th century the city became fashionable and the population grew. Jane Austen lived in Bath in the early 19th century. Further building was undertaken in the 19th century and following the Bath Blitz in World War II.


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