Portal:Europe

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Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the continental landmass of Eurasia, and is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and Asia to the east. Europe is commonly considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed of the Ural Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian Sea, the Greater Caucasus, the Black Sea, and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Although much of this border is over land, Europe is generally accorded the status of a full continent because of its great physical size and the weight of history and tradition.

Europe covers about 10,180,000 km2 (3,930,000 sq mi), or 2% of the Earth's surface (6.8% of land area), making it the second smallest continent (using the seven-continent model). Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states, of which Russia 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 2018. 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.

The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of written records. During the Neolithic era and the time of the Indo-European migrations, Europe saw human inflows from east and southeast and subsequent important cultural and material exchange. The period known as classical antiquity began with the emergence of the city-states of ancient Greece. Later, the Roman Empire came to dominate the entire Mediterranean basin. The fall of the Roman Empire in AD 476 traditionally marks the start of the Middle Ages. Beginning in the 14th century a Renaissance of knowledge challenged traditional doctrines in science and theology. Simultaneously, the Protestant Reformation set up Protestant churches primarily in Germany, Scandinavia and England. After 1800, the Industrial Revolution brought prosperity to Britain and Western Europe. The main European powers set up colonies in most of the Americas and Africa, and parts of Asia. In the 20th century, World War I and World War II resulted in massive numbers of deaths. The Cold War dominated European geo-politics from 1947 to 1989. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, the European countries grew together.

The culture of Europe is rooted in the art, architecture, film, different types of music, economic, literature, and philosophy that originated from the continent of Europe. European culture is largely rooted in what is often referred to as its "common cultural heritage".

The economy of Europe comprises more than 744 million people in 50 countries. The formation of the European Union (EU) and in 1999, the introduction of a unified currency, the Euro, brings participating European countries closer through the convenience of a shared currency and has led to a stronger European cash flow. The difference in wealth across Europe can be seen roughly in former Cold War divide, with some countries breaching the divide ( Greece, Estonia, Portugal, Slovenia and the Czech Republic). Whilst most European states have a GDP per capita higher than the world's average and are very highly developed ( Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Andorra, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany), some European economies, despite their position over the world's average in the Human Development Index, are poorer.

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"The Silent Highwayman" (1858). Death rows on the Thames, claiming the lives of victims who have not paid to have the river cleaned up.

The Great Stink was an event in Central London in July and August 1858 during which the hot weather exacerbated the smell of untreated human waste and industrial effluent that was present on the banks of the River Thames. The problem had been mounting for some years, with an ageing and inadequate sewer system that emptied directly into the Thames. The miasma from the effluent was thought to transmit contagious diseases, and three outbreaks of cholera before the Great Stink were blamed on the ongoing problems with the river.

The smell, and fears of its possible effects, prompted action from the local and national administrators who had been considering possible solutions for the problem. The authorities accepted a proposal from the civil engineer Joseph Bazalgette to move the effluent eastwards along a series of interconnecting sewers that sloped towards outfalls beyond the metropolitan area. Work on high-, mid- and low-level systems for the new Northern and Southern Outfall Sewers started at the beginning of 1859 and lasted until 1875. To aid the drainage, pumping stations were placed to lift the sewage from lower levels into higher pipes. Two of the more ornate stations, Abbey Mills in Stratford and Crossness on the Erith Marshes, with architectural designs from the consultant engineer, Charles Driver, are listed for protection by English Heritage. Bazalgette's plan introduced the three embankments to London in which the sewers ran—the Victoria, Chelsea and Albert Embankments. ( Full article...)

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St Giles Church, Wormshill

Wormshill ( /wɜːrmzˈhɪl/ wurmz-HIL), historically Wormsell, is a small village and civil parish within the Borough of Maidstone, Kent, England. The parish is approximately 7 miles (11 km) south of the Swale and 8 miles (13 km) east of Maidstone. The village of Frinsted lies 0.6 miles (1 km) to the east and Bicknor 1+12 miles (2.4 km) to the north-west; while Hollingbourne is 3 miles (5 km) to the south-west. The village lies on an exposed high point of the North Downs, within the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Archaeological and toponymic evidence of Wormshill's existence predates its appearance in the Domesday survey of 1086. The village contains a number of heritage-listed buildings, which include a Norman church, a public house and one of the oldest surviving post office buildings in the United Kingdom. The fields and woodland surrounding Wormshill have changed little in the past 500 years, and the village itself remains rural with a low population density compared to the national average. The population of 200 is a mixture of agricultural workers employed by local farms and professional residents who commute to nearby towns. ( Full article...)

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In the News

18 June 2021 –
Five construction workers are killed and nine more wounded after a school building site collapse pulling down the scaffolding supporting it, in Antwerp, Belgium. (BBC)
18 June 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Europe
COVID-19 pandemic in Russia
Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin closes the Euro 2020 fan zone due to an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the Russian capital. (DW)
COVID-19 pandemic in Spain
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announces that as of June 26, it will no longer be mandatory to wear a face mask outdoors. (La Vanguardia)

Updated: 15:33, 20 June 2021

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Image of a man from the shoulders up. He is wearing a fur hat and looks directly at the camera
Lakoba in 1931

Nestor Apollonovich Lakoba (1 May 1893 – 28 December 1936) was an Abkhaz communist leader. Lakoba helped establish Bolshevik power in Abkhazia in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, and served as the head of Abkhazia after its conquest by the Bolshevik Red Army in 1921. While in power, Lakoba saw that Abkhazia was initially given autonomy within the USSR as the Socialist Soviet Republic of Abkhazia. Though nominally a part of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic with a special status of " union republic," the Abkhaz SSR was effectively a separate republic, made possible by Lakoba's close relationship with Joseph Stalin. Lakoba successfully opposed the extension of collectivization of Abkhazia, though in return Lakoba was forced to accept a downgrade of Abkhazia's status to that of an autonomous republic within the Georgian SSR.

Popular in Abkhazia due to his ability to resonate with the people, Lakoba maintained a close relationship with Stalin, who would frequently holiday in Abkhazia during the 1920s and 1930s. This relationship saw Lakoba become the rival of one of Stalin's other confidants, Lavrentiy Beria, who was in charge of the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, which included Georgia. During a visit to Beria in Tbilisi in December 1936, Lakoba was poisoned, allowing Beria to consolidate his control over Abkhazia and all of Georgia and to discredit Lakoba and his family as enemies of the state. Rehabilitated after the death of Stalin in 1953, Lakoba is now revered as a national hero in Abkhazia. ( Full article...)

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Christmas icon, Adoration of the Shepherds, from the Ivan Honchar Museum collection. Artist unknown, c. 1670.
Credit: Unknown
The History of Christianity in Ukraine dates back to the earliest centuries of the apostolic church. It has remained the dominant religion in the country since its acceptance in 988 by Vladimir the Great (Volodymyr the Great), who instated it as the state religion of Kievan Rus', a medieval East Slavic state and establishment of the Kiev Metropolis.

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Averbode Abbey
Credit: JH-man
Averbode Abbey, founded about 1134–35 by Count Arnold II of Loon, is a Premonstratensian monastery situated in the Archdiocese of Mechelen-Brussels in Belgium. The abbey reached its peak in the 16th and 17th centuries, though over the past hundred years it has been in a state of decline.

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