If you think you know all about Europe, you’re probably wrong. Many residents of Europe are not familiar with all the facts about Europe and only a few know where the name of this continent actually comes from.
Europe or also called The small continent has rich culture and history. Enjoy reading these interesting facts and information about Europe!
The meaning of the word Europe
According to ancient Greek mythology, Europa was a gorgeous Phoenician princess and the daughter of Agenor, the Phoenician king in Tyre. Zeus fell in love with her so decided to appear as a magnificent white bull in front of her to win her trust. He took the princess on Crete, where he resumed his human form. The god Zeus and Europa get married and had three children named Sarpedon, Minos and Radamantis. From the etymological point of view the word Europe comes from the ancient Greek language and means “broad”.
Istanbul – a city of two continents
Even in ancient times Istanbul has united Asia and Europe through the Bosporus river. This incredible city is the only metropolitan area in the world that lies on two continents. Throughout history this city was the capital of many empires and Napoleon Bonaparte once said:”If the world was only one country, Istanbul would be its capital.” So, if you would like to have breakfast in Asia and lunch in Europe, than you must travel in Europe and visit this amazing city.
The largest and the smallest state in the world
Europe is a home to the world’s smallest state in the world, Vatican and the largest state – Russia. Although China is the country with the largest number of neighbors (15), Russia is right behind her and is bordered by 14 countries. Vatican is the only city-state in the world and is on the list of world cultural heritage by UNESCO.
The Mediterranean Sea was a desert in the past
In the last 40 years, there have been evidence that the Mediterranean Sea was completely dry in the past. The vast sea between Europe, Asia and Africa dried up frequently and this was known as the Messinian salinity crisis, which represents the most dramatic change of environmental.
The migration period of Europe
The great migration of Europe is perhaps one of the most known facts about this continent. The great migration was a period in the history when different tribes flooded Europe. The first stage of migration completed around 500 BC when German tribes (Goths, Saxons, Vandals, Lombards…) established kingdoms in central, western, eastern and southeastern Europe. After this period followed the second migration in 500 by 700 BC – the migration of Slavic people. The invasion of Avaris and Bulgarians, the Muslim conquest of Sicily, the invasion of the Hungarians and the Vikings are also significant moments in the European history.
Most major historical empires were established in Europe.The British empire at one point was the largest empire in the world and covered more than 36 million square kilometers with a population between 480 and 570 million people. Other significant European colonial powers are the Spanish, the Russian, the French, the Portuguese and the Roman empire.
Get ready to find out which is the longest officially recorded name in the world. The name of a village in Wales in the United Kingdom contains 58 letters and is the longest official name in a word for a place. Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch means:”The church of St. Mary in a hollow of white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and near St. Tysilio’s church by the red cave”.
The Statue of Liberty was made in France
The Statue of Liberty – the pride of New York and the United States, was designed by Frederick Barthold. But the neoclassical sculpture was made in France and given to the U.S. as a friendly gift. The statue is about 93 meters high and seven spokes of the crown are representing the seven continents in the world.
The most famous active volcanoes in the world
Etna is the largest active European volcano. High 3,350 metres and located in the south of Italy, this is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. The eruptions of Etna have been documented since antiquity, 1,500 years BC.
Stromboli is also one of the world’s most active volcanoes and according to some experts it is the only active volcano on the European mainland.
Vesuvius in Italy is best known for its eruption that destroyed completely the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
The happy cemetery in Romania
Cemeteries are sad places, but sometimes they can be interesting. The village of Sapanta is located in the north of Romania and is worldwide known for its Happy Cemetery which is protected by UNESCO as a world heritage. The village of Sapanta is a major touristic attraction. But what is so unusual about these cemeteries? Gravestones in the cemetery are in the form of large crosses carved from oak. They are hand painted in vivid colors such as red, blue, green, yellow and they are decorated with funny and interesting scenes and poems which describe the life of the deceased. The Happy Cemetery dates back to 1935 and contains around 800 headstones. The man behind this unique cemeteries is the sculptor and wood artist Stan Patras, and after his death his apprentice took over the job. Interesting place to visit which leaves an impression that life is cherished and remembered even in death.
Most of the European countries use the Euro
Most of the countries in Europe use the universal currency which is the euro. However the U.K. still use the British pound and the only country in Europe that is not part of the European Union (formed in 1957) is Switzerland.
There are five peninsulas in Europe
There are five peninsulas in Europe: the Iberian peninsula, the Balkan peninsula, the Scandinavian peninsula, the Jutland peninsula and the Apennines peninsula.