Anyone who has
been to Europe or dreamed of going
will recognize the great cultural variation within relatively small
areas. Soon every traveler will develop admiration for culture and
the fascinating Old World.
a long history
of cultural and economic achievement, starting as far back as the
although this is true for the rest of the Old World as well.
origins of Western democratic
and individualistic culture are often attributed to Ancient Greece,
numerous other distinct influences, in particular Christianity, can
be credited with the spread of concepts like egalitarianism and
Europe defies easy categorization, with
its compact size and complex history. The following are five (loosely
defined) regions in Europe:
Europe - Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, the United
Ireland and France;
Europe - Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark;
Europe - Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary,
Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Switzerland;
Europe - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Estonia,
Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Romania, Russia and Ukraine;
and in terms of shape, Europe is a collection of connected peninsulas.
The two largest of these are "mainland" Europe and Scandinavia to the
divided from each other by the Baltic Sea. Three smaller peninsulas
Italy and the Balkans) emerge from the southern margin of the mainland
into the Mediterranean Sea, which separates Europe from Africa.
mainland Europe widens much like the mouth of a funnel, until the
with Asia is reached at the Ural Mountains.
Europe - Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,
Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Portugal,
San Marino, Serbia, Spain, Turkey and Vatican City.
relief in Europe shows
great variation within relatively small areas. The southern regions,
are more mountainous, while moving north the terrain descends from the
high Alps, Pyrenees and Carpathians, through hilly uplands, into broad,
low northern plains, which are vast in the east. This extended lowland
is known as the Great European Plain, and at its heart lies the North
Plain. An arc of uplands also exists along the northwestern seaboard,
in the western British Isles and continuing along the mountainous,
spine of Norway.
and geographical differences, there are various descriptions of
boundary. Therefore, in some sources, some countries are not included
Europe, while the other sources do include them.