|The Mediterranean Portal|
|The Mediterranean Portal|
1. Continent – A continent is one of several very large landmasses on Earth. Generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are regarded as continents. Ordered from largest in size to smallest, they are, Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, in geology, areas of continental crust include regions covered with water. Islands are frequently grouped with a continent to divide all the worlds land into geopolitical regions. Under this scheme, most of the countries and territories in the Pacific Ocean are grouped together with the continent of Australia to form a geopolitical region called Oceania. By convention, continents are understood to be large, continuous, discrete masses of land, many of the seven most commonly recognized continents identified by convention are not discrete landmasses separated completely by water. Earths major landmasses all have coasts on a single, continuous World Ocean, the most restricted meaning of continent is that of a continuous area of land or mainland, with the coastline and any land boundaries forming the edge of the continent. From this perspective the edge of the shelf is the true edge of the continent. In this sense the islands of Great Britain and Ireland are part of Europe, while Australia, as a cultural construct, the concept of a continent may go beyond the continental shelf to include oceanic islands and continental fragments. In this way, Iceland is considered part of Europe and Madagascar part of Africa, extrapolating the concept to its extreme, some geographers group the Australasian continental plate with other islands in the Pacific into one continent called Oceania. This divides the land surface of Earth into continents or quasi-continents. The ideal criterion that each continent be a discrete landmass is commonly relaxed due to historical conventions, of the seven most globally recognized continents, only Antarctica and Australia are completely separated from other continents by ocean. Several continents are defined not as absolutely distinct bodies but as more or less discrete masses of land, Asia and Africa are joined by the Isthmus of Suez, and North and South America by the Isthmus of Panama. In both cases, there is no separation of these landmasses by water. Both these isthmuses are very narrow compared to the bulk off the landmasses they unite, North America and South America are treated as separate continents in the seven-continent model. However, they may also be viewed as a continent known as America or the Americas. This viewpoint was common in the United States until World War II and this remains the more common vision in Latin American countries, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Greece, where they are taught as a single continent. The criterion of a landmass is completely disregarded if the continuous landmass of Eurasia is classified as two separate continents, Europe and AsiaContinent – The Ancient Greek geographer Strabo holding a globe showing Europa and Asia
2. Europe – Europe is a continent that comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Europe is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, yet the non-oceanic borders of Europe—a concept dating back to classical antiquity—are arbitrary. Europe covers about 10,180,000 square kilometres, or 2% of the Earths surface, 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 population of about 740 million as of 2015. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast, Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization. The fall of the Western Roman Empire, during the period, marked the end of ancient history. Renaissance humanism, exploration, art, and science led to the modern era, from the Age of Discovery onwards, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at times the Americas, most of Africa, Oceania. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to economic, cultural, and social change in Western Europe. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the west and the Warsaw Pact in the east, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1955, the Council of Europe was formed following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill and it includes all states except for Belarus, Kazakhstan and Vatican City. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, the EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The European Anthem is Ode to Joy and states celebrate peace, in classical Greek mythology, Europa is the name of either a Phoenician princess or of a queen of Crete. The name contains the elements εὐρύς, wide, broad and ὤψ eye, broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion and the poetry devoted to it. For the second part also the divine attributes of grey-eyed Athena or ox-eyed Hera. The same naming motive according to cartographic convention appears in Greek Ανατολή, Martin Litchfield West stated that phonologically, the match between Europas name and any form of the Semitic word is very poor. Next to these there is also a Proto-Indo-European root *h1regʷos, meaning darkness. Most major world languages use words derived from Eurṓpē or Europa to refer to the continent, in some Turkic languages the originally Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or EvropaEurope – Reconstruction of Herodotus ' world map
3. Asia – Asia covers an area of 44,579,000 square kilometres, about 30% of Earths total land area and 8. 7% of the Earths total surface area. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the population, was the site of many of the first civilizations. Asia is notable for not only its large size and population. In general terms, Asia is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean, the western boundary with Europe is a historical and cultural construct, as there is no clear physical and geographical separation between them. The most commonly accepted boundaries place Asia to the east of the Suez Canal, the Ural River, and the Ural Mountains, and south of the Caucasus Mountains, China and India alternated in being the largest economies in the world from 1 to 1800 A. D. The accidental discovery of America by Columbus in search for India demonstrates this deep fascination, the Silk Road became the main East-West trading route in the Asian hitherland while the Straits of Malacca stood as a major sea route. Asia has exhibited economic dynamism as well as robust population growth during the 20th century, given its size and diversity, the concept of Asia—a name dating back to classical antiquity—may actually have more to do with human geography than physical geography. Asia varies greatly across and within its regions with regard to ethnic groups, cultures, environments, economics, historical ties, the boundary between Asia and Africa is the Red Sea, the Gulf of Suez, and the Suez Canal. This makes Egypt a transcontinental country, with the Sinai peninsula in Asia, the border between Asia and Europe was historically defined by European academics. In Sweden, five years after Peters death, in 1730 Philip Johan von Strahlenberg published a new atlas proposing the Urals as the border of Asia, the Russians were enthusiastic about the concept, which allowed them to keep their European identity in geography. Tatishchev announced that he had proposed the idea to von Strahlenberg, the latter had suggested the Emba River as the lower boundary. Over the next century various proposals were made until the Ural River prevailed in the mid-19th century, the border had been moved perforce from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea into which the Ural River projects. The border between the Black Sea and the Caspian is usually placed along the crest of the Caucasus Mountains, the border between Asia and the loosely defined region of Oceania is usually placed somewhere in the Malay Archipelago. The terms Southeast Asia and Oceania, devised in the 19th century, have had several different geographic meanings since their inception. The chief factor in determining which islands of the Malay Archipelago are Asian has been the location of the possessions of the various empires there. Lewis and Wigen assert, The narrowing of Southeast Asia to its present boundaries was thus a gradual process, Asia is larger and more culturally diverse than Europe. It does not exactly correspond to the borders of its various types of constituents. From the time of Herodotus a minority of geographers have rejected the three-continent system on the grounds there is no or is no substantial physical separation between themAsia – Two-point equidistant projection of Asia and surrounding landmasses.
4. Africa – Africa is the worlds second-largest and second-most-populous continent. At about 30.3 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earths total surface area and 20.4 % of its land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the human population. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos and it contains 54 fully recognized sovereign states, nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition. Africas population is the youngest amongst all the continents, the age in 2012 was 19.7. Algeria is Africas largest country by area, and Nigeria by population, afarensis, Homo erectus, H. habilis and H. ergaster – with the earliest Homo sapiens found in Ethiopia being dated to circa 200,000 years ago. Africa straddles the equator and encompasses numerous climate areas, it is the continent to stretch from the northern temperate to southern temperate zones. Africa hosts a diversity of ethnicities, cultures and languages. In the late 19th century European countries colonized most of Africa, Africa also varies greatly with regard to environments, economics, historical ties and government systems. However, most present states in Africa originate from a process of decolonization in the 20th century, afri was a Latin name used to refer to the inhabitants of Africa, which in its widest sense referred to all lands south of the Mediterranean. This name seems to have referred to a native Libyan tribe. The name is connected with Hebrew or Phoenician ʿafar dust. The same word may be found in the name of the Banu Ifran from Algeria and Tripolitania, under Roman rule, Carthage became the capital of the province of Africa Proconsularis, which also included the coastal part of modern Libya. The Latin suffix -ica can sometimes be used to denote a land, the later Muslim kingdom of Ifriqiya, modern-day Tunisia, also preserved a form of the name. According to the Romans, Africa lay to the west of Egypt, while Asia was used to refer to Anatolia, as Europeans came to understand the real extent of the continent, the idea of Africa expanded with their knowledge. 25,4, whose descendants, he claimed, had invaded Libya, isidore of Seville in Etymologiae XIV.5.2. Suggests Africa comes from the Latin aprica, meaning sunny, massey, in 1881, stated that Africa is derived from the Egyptian af-rui-ka, meaning to turn toward the opening of the Ka. The Ka is the double of every person and the opening of the Ka refers to a womb or birthplaceAfrica – Map of Africa
5. Southern European – Southern Europe is the southern region of the European continent. Most definitions of Southern Europe, also known as Mediterranean Europe, include the countries of the Iberian peninsula, different methods can be used to define Southern Europe, including its political, economic, and cultural attributes. Southern Europe can also be defined by its natural features — its geography, climate, geographically, Southern Europe is the southern half of the landmass of Europe. This definition is relative, with no clear limits and those areas of Mediterranean climate present similar vegetations and landscapes throughout, including dry hills, small plains, pine forests and olive trees. Cooler climates can be found in parts of Southern European countries, for example within the mountain ranges of Spain. Additionally, the north coast of Spain experiences a wetter Atlantic climate, Southern Europes flora is that of the Mediterranean Region, one of the phytochoria recognized by Armen Takhtajan. The period known as classical antiquity began with the rise of the city-states of Ancient Greece, Greek influence reached its zenith under the expansive empire of Alexander the Great, spreading throughout Asia. The Roman Empire came to dominate the entire Mediterranean basin in a vast empire based on Roman law and it promoted trade, tolerance, and Greek culture. By 300 AD the Roman Empire was divided into the Western Roman Empire based in Rome, during the Middle Ages, the Eastern Roman Empire survived, though modern historians refer to this state as the Byzantine Empire. In Western Europe, Germanic peoples moved into positions of power in the remnants of the former Western Roman Empire and established kingdoms, the period known as the Crusades, a series of religiously motivated military expeditions originally intended to bring the Levant back into Christian rule, began. Several Crusader states were founded in the eastern Mediterranean, the Crusaders would have a profound impact on many parts of Europe. Their Sack of Constantinople in 1204 brought an end to the Byzantine Empire. Though it would later be re-established, it would never recover its former glory, the Crusaders would establish trade routes that would develop into the Silk Road and open the way for the merchant republics of Genoa and Venice to become major economic powers. The Reconquista, a movement, worked to reconquer Iberia for Christendom. The Late Middle Ages represented a period of upheaval in Europe, the epidemic known as the Black Death and an associated famine caused demographic catastrophe in Europe as the population plummeted. Dynastic struggles and wars of conquest kept many of the states of Europe at war for much of the period, in the Balkans, the Ottoman Empire, a Turkish state originating in Anatolia, encroached steadily on former Byzantine lands, culminating in the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. An unprecedented series of wars and political revolutions took place around Europe. Observers at the time, and many historians since, have argued that wars caused the revolutions, galileo Galilei, invented the telescope and the thermometer which allowed him to observe and describe the solar systemSouthern European – Geographic features of countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea
6. Iberian Peninsula – The Iberian Peninsula /aɪˈbɪəriən pəˈnɪnsjᵿlə/, also known as Iberia /aɪˈbɪəriə/, is located in the southwest corner of Europe. The peninsula is divided between Portugal and Spain, comprising most of their territory. With an area of approximately 582,000 km2, it is the second largest European peninsula, at that time, the name did not describe a single political entity or a distinct population of people. Strabos Iberia was delineated from Keltikē by the Pyrenees and included the land mass southwest of there. The ancient Greeks reached the Iberian Peninsula, of which they had heard from the Phoenicians, hecataeus of Miletus was the first known to use the term Iberia, which he wrote about circa 500 BC. Herodotus of Halicarnassus says of the Phocaeans that it was they who made the Greeks acquainted with. According to Strabo, prior historians used Iberia to mean the country side of the Ἶβηρος as far north as the river Rhône in France. Polybius respects that limit, but identifies Iberia as the Mediterranean side as far south as Gibraltar, elsewhere he says that Saguntum is on the seaward foot of the range of hills connecting Iberia and Celtiberia. Strabo refers to the Carretanians as people of the Iberian stock living in the Pyrenees, according to Charles Ebel, the ancient sources in both Latin and Greek use Hispania and Hiberia as synonyms. The confusion of the words was because of an overlapping in political, the Latin word Hiberia, similar to the Greek Iberia, literally translates to land of the Hiberians. This word was derived from the river Ebro, which the Romans called Hiberus, hiber was thus used as a term for peoples living near the river Ebro. The first mention in Roman literature was by the annalist poet Ennius in 200 BC. Virgil refers to the Ipacatos Hiberos in his Georgics, the Roman geographers and other prose writers from the time of the late Roman Republic called the entire peninsula Hispania. As they became interested in the former Carthaginian territories, the Romans began to use the names Hispania Citerior. At the time Hispania was made up of three Roman provinces, Hispania Baetica, Hispania Tarraconensis, and Lusitania, Strabo says that the Romans use Hispania and Iberia synonymously, distinguishing between the near northern and the far southern provinces. Whatever language may generally have been spoken on the peninsula soon gave way to Latin, except for that of the Vascones, the Iberian Peninsula has always been associated with the Ebro, Ibēros in ancient Greek and Ibērus or Hibērus in Latin. The association was so known it was hardly necessary to state, for example. Pliny goes so far as to assert that the Greeks had called the whole of Spain Hiberia because of the Hiberus River, the river appears in the Ebro Treaty of 226 BC between Rome and Carthage, setting the limit of Carthaginian interest at the Ebro. The fullest description of the treaty, stated in Appian, uses Ibērus, with reference to this border, Polybius states that the native name is Ibēr, apparently the original word, stripped of its Greek or Latin -os or -us terminationIberian Peninsula – Satellite image of the Iberian Peninsula.
7. Italian Peninsula – The Italian Peninsula or Apennine Peninsula is the central and the smallest of the three large peninsulas of Southern Europe. It extends 1,000 km from the Po Valley in the north to the central Mediterranean Sea in the south, the peninsulas shape gives it the nickname lo Stivale. Three smaller peninsulas contribute to this shape, namely Calabria, Salento. Geographically, the Italian peninsula consists of the south of a line extending from the Magra to the Rubicon rivers. It excludes the Po Valley and the slopes of the Alps. All of the lies within the territory of the Italian Republic except for the microstates of San Marino. Additionally, Sicily, Elba and other islands, such as Palagruža, are usually considered as islands off the peninsula. The peninsula lies between the Tyrrhenian Sea on the west, the Ionian Sea on the south, and the Adriatic Sea on the east, the backbone of the Italian peninsula consists of the Apennine Mountains, from which it takes one of its names. Most of its coast is lined with cliffs, the Italian Peninsulas location between the centre of Europe and the Mediterranean Sea made it the target of many conquests. The peninsula has mainly a Mediterranean climate, though in the parts the climate is much cooler. Its natural vegetation includes macchia along the coasts and deciduous and mixed coniferous forests in the interior. Political divisions of the peninsula sorted by area, Apennine Mountains Roman Republic Roman Italy Insular Italy Media related to Italian Peninsula at Wikimedia CommonsItalian Peninsula – Satellite view of the peninsula in March 2003.
8. Balkan Peninsula – The Balkan Peninsula, or the Balkans, is a peninsula and a cultural area in Eastern and Southeastern Europe with various and disputed borders. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch from the Serbia-Bulgaria border to the Black Sea, the highest point of the Balkans is Mount Musala 2,925 metres in the Rila mountain range. In Turkish, Balkan means a chain of wooded mountains, the name is still preserved in Central Asia with the Balkan Daglary and the Balkan Province of Turkmenistan. A less popular hypothesis regarding its etymology is that it derived from the Persian Balā-Khāna, from Antiquity through the Middle Ages, the Balkan Mountains had been called by the local Thracian name Haemus. According to Greek mythology, the Thracian king Haemus was turned into a mountain by Zeus as a punishment, a reverse name scheme has also been suggested. D. Dechev considers that Haemus is derived from a Thracian word *saimon, a third possibility is that Haemus derives from the Greek word haema meaning blood. The myth relates to a fight between Zeus and the monster/titan Typhon, Zeus injured Typhon with a thunder bolt and Typhons blood fell on the mountains, from which they got their name. The earliest mention of the name appears in an early 14th-century Arab map, the Ottomans first mention it in a document dated from 1565. There has been no other documented usage of the word to refer to the region before that, there is also a claim about an earlier Bulgar Turkic origin of the word popular in Bulgaria, however it is only an unscholarly assertion. The word was used by the Ottomans in Rumelia in its meaning of mountain, as in Kod̲j̲a-Balkan, Čatal-Balkan, and Ungurus-Balkani̊. The concept of the Balkans was created by the German geographer August Zeune in 1808, during the 1820s, Balkan became the preferred although not yet exclusive term alongside Haemus among British travelers. Among Russian travelers not so burdened by classical toponymy, Balkan was the preferred term, zeunes goal was to have a geographical parallel term to the Italic and Iberian Peninsula, and seemingly nothing more. The gradually acquired political connotations are newer and, to a large extent, after the dissolution of Yugoslavia beginning in June 1991, the term Balkans again received a negative meaning, especially in Croatia and Slovenia, even in casual usage. A European Union initiative of 1999 is called the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, and its northern boundary is often given as the Danube, Sava and Kupa Rivers. The Balkan Peninsula has an area of about 470,000 km2. It is more or less identical to the known as Southeastern Europe. As of 1920 until World War II, Italy included Istria, the current territory of Italy includes only the small area around Trieste inside the Balkan Peninsula. However, the regions of Trieste and Istria are not usually considered part of the Balkans by Italian geographers, the Western Balkans is a neologism coined to describe the countries of ex-Yugoslavia and AlbaniaBalkan Peninsula – The Balkan Peninsula, as defined by the Danube - Sava - Kupa line
9. Pyrenees – The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain. For the most part, the main crest forms a divide between France and Spain, with the microstate of Andorra sandwiched in between. The Crown of Aragon and the Kingdom of Navarre have historically extended on both sides of the range, with smaller northern portions now in France and larger southern parts now in Spain. The demonym for the noun Pyrenees in English is Pyrenean, in Greek mythology, Pyrene is a princess who gave her name to the Pyrenees. The Greek historian Herodotus says Pyrene is the name of a town in Celtic Europe, Hercules, characteristically drunk and lustful, violates the sacred code of hospitality and rapes his hosts daughter. Pyrene gives birth to a serpent and runs away to the woods, alone, she pours out her story to the trees, attracting the attention of wild beasts who tear her to pieces. After his victory over Geryon, Hercules passes through the kingdom of Bebryx again, and all the rock-cliffs and wild-beast haunts echo back Pyrene. … The mountains hold on to the name through the ages. Pliny the Elder connects the story of Hercules and Pyrene to Lusitania, the Spanish Pyrenees are part of the following provinces, from east to west, Girona, Barcelona, Lleida, Huesca, Navarra and Gipuzkoa. The French Pyrenees are part of the following départements, from east to west, Pyrénées-Orientales, Aude, Ariège, Haute-Garonne, Hautes-Pyrénées, the independent principality of Andorra is sandwiched in the eastern portion of the mountain range between the Spanish Pyrenees and French Pyrenees. Physiographically, the Pyrenees may be divided into three sections, the Atlantic, the Central, and the Eastern Pyrenees, together, they form a distinct physiographic province of the larger Alpine System division. In the Western Pyrenees, from the Basque mountains near the Bay of Biscay of the Atlantic Ocean, at the eastern end on the southern side lies a distinct area known as the Sub-Pyrenees. On the French side the slopes of the range descend abruptly. The Pyrenees are older than the Alps, their sediments were first deposited in coastal basins during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras, the intense pressure and uplifting of the Earths crust first affected the eastern part and moved progressively to the entire chain, culminating in the Eocene Epoch. The eastern part of the Pyrenees consists largely of granite and gneissose rocks, the massive and unworn character of the chain comes from its abundance of granite, which is particularly resistant to erosion, as well as weak glacial development. Low passes are lacking, and the roads and the railroads between France and Spain run only in the lowlands at the western and eastern ends of the Pyrenees. A notable visual feature of mountain range is La Brèche de Roland, a gap in the ridge line. Coal deposits capable of being profitably worked are situated chiefly on the Spanish slopes, the open pit of Trimoun close to the commune of Luzenac is one of the greatest sources of talc in EuropePyrenees – Central Pyrenees
10. Spain – By population, Spain is the sixth largest in Europe and the fifth in the European Union. Spains capital and largest city is Madrid, other urban areas include Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Bilbao. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago, in the Middle Ages, the area was conquered by Germanic tribes and later by the Moors. Spain is a democracy organised in the form of a government under a constitutional monarchy. It is a power and a major developed country with the worlds fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP. Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the span is the Phoenician word spy. Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean the land where metals are forged, two 15th-century Spanish Jewish scholars, Don Isaac Abravanel and Solomon ibn Verga, gave an explanation now considered folkloric. Both men wrote in two different published works that the first Jews to reach Spain were brought by ship by Phiros who was confederate with the king of Babylon when he laid siege to Jerusalem. This man was a Grecian by birth, but who had given a kingdom in Spain. He became related by marriage to Espan, the nephew of king Heracles, Heracles later renounced his throne in preference for his native Greece, leaving his kingdom to his nephew, Espan, from whom the country of España took its name. Based upon their testimonies, this eponym would have already been in use in Spain by c.350 BCE, Iberia enters written records as a land populated largely by the Iberians, Basques and Celts. Early on its coastal areas were settled by Phoenicians who founded Western Europe´s most ancient cities Cadiz, Phoenician influence expanded as much of the Peninsula was eventually incorporated into the Carthaginian Empire, becoming a major theater of the Punic Wars against the expanding Roman Empire. After an arduous conquest, the peninsula came fully under Roman Rule, during the early Middle Ages it came under Germanic rule but later, much of it was conquered by Moorish invaders from North Africa. In a process took centuries, the small Christian kingdoms in the north gradually regained control of the peninsula. The last Moorish kingdom fell in the same year Columbus reached the Americas, a global empire began which saw Spain become the strongest kingdom in Europe, the leading world power for a century and a half, and the largest overseas empire for three centuries. Continued wars and other problems led to a diminished status. The Napoleonic invasions of Spain led to chaos, triggering independence movements that tore apart most of the empire, eventually democracy was peacefully restored in the form of a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Spain joined the European Union, experiencing a renaissance and steady economic growthSpain – Lady of Elche
11. France – France, officially the French Republic, is a country with territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The European, or metropolitan, area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, Overseas France include French Guiana on the South American continent and several island territories in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. France spans 643,801 square kilometres and had a population of almost 67 million people as of January 2017. It is a unitary republic with the capital in Paris. Other major urban centres include Marseille, Lyon, Lille, Nice, Toulouse, during the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by the Gauls, a Celtic people. The area was annexed in 51 BC by Rome, which held Gaul until 486, France emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages, with its victory in the Hundred Years War strengthening state-building and political centralisation. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a colonial empire was established. The 16th century was dominated by civil wars between Catholics and Protestants. France became Europes dominant cultural, political, and military power under Louis XIV, in the 19th century Napoleon took power and established the First French Empire, whose subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and later dissolved in the course of the Algerian War, the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, was formed in 1958 and remains to this day. Algeria and nearly all the colonies became independent in the 1960s with minimal controversy and typically retained close economic. France has long been a centre of art, science. It hosts Europes fourth-largest number of cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites and receives around 83 million foreign tourists annually, France is a developed country with the worlds sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, France remains a great power in the world, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a member state of the European Union and the Eurozone. It is also a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, originally applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name France comes from the Latin Francia, or country of the FranksFrance – One of the Lascaux paintings: a horse – Dordogne, approximately 18,000 BC
12. Alps – The mountains were formed over tens of millions of years as the African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided. Extreme shortening caused by the event resulted in marine sedimentary rocks rising by thrusting and folding into high mountain peaks such as Mont Blanc, Mont Blanc spans the French–Italian border, and at 4,810 m is the highest mountain in the Alps. The Alpine region area contains about a hundred peaks higher than 4000 metres, the altitude and size of the range affects the climate in Europe, in the mountains precipitation levels vary greatly and climatic conditions consist of distinct zones. Wildlife such as live in the higher peaks to elevations of 3,400 m. Evidence of human habitation in the Alps goes back to the Palaeolithic era, a mummified man, determined to be 5,000 years old, was discovered on a glacier at the Austrian–Italian border in 1991. By the 6th century BC, the Celtic La Tène culture was well established, Hannibal famously crossed the Alps with a herd of elephants, and the Romans had settlements in the region. In 1800 Napoleon crossed one of the passes with an army of 40,000. The 18th and 19th centuries saw an influx of naturalists, writers, in World War II, Adolf Hitler kept a base of operation in the Bavarian Alps throughout the war. The Alpine region has a cultural identity. The Winter Olympic Games have been hosted in the Swiss, French, at present, the region is home to 14 million people and has 120 million annual visitors. The English word Alps derives from the Latin Alpes, maurus Servius Honoratus, an ancient commentator of Virgil, says in his commentary that all high mountains are called Alpes by Celts. The term may be common to Italo-Celtic, because the Celtic languages have terms for high mountains derived from alp and this may be consistent with the theory that in Greek Alpes is a name of non-Indo-European origin. According to the Old English Dictionary, the Latin Alpes might possibly derive from a pre-Indo-European word *alb hill, Albania, a name not native to the region known as the country of Albania, has been used as a name for a number of mountainous areas across Europe. In Roman times, Albania was a name for the eastern Caucasus, in modern languages the term alp, alm, albe or alpe refers to a grazing pastures in the alpine regions below the glaciers, not the peaks. An alp refers to a mountain pasture where cows are taken to be grazed during the summer months and where hay barns can be found. The Alps are a crescent shaped geographic feature of central Europe that ranges in a 800 km arc from east to west and is 200 km in width, the mean height of the mountain peaks is 2.5 km. The range stretches from the Mediterranean Sea north above the Po basin, extending through France from Grenoble, the range continues onward toward Vienna, Austria, and east to the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia. To the south it dips into northern Italy and to the north extends to the border of Bavaria in GermanyAlps – Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps, view from the Savoy side
13. Italy – Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a unitary parliamentary republic in Europe. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, San Marino, Italy covers an area of 301,338 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. Due to its shape, it is referred to in Italy as lo Stivale. With 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth most populous EU member state, the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom, which eventually became a republic that conquered and assimilated other nearby civilisations. The legacy of the Roman Empire is widespread and can be observed in the distribution of civilian law, republican governments, Christianity. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science, exploration, Italian culture flourished at this time, producing famous scholars, artists and polymaths such as Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Michelangelo and Machiavelli. The weakened sovereigns soon fell victim to conquest by European powers such as France, Spain and Austria. Despite being one of the victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil. The subsequent participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in defeat, economic destruction. Today, Italy has the third largest economy in the Eurozone and it has a very high level of human development and is ranked sixth in the world for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military, cultural and diplomatic affairs, as a reflection of its cultural wealth, Italy is home to 51 World Heritage Sites, the most in the world, and is the fifth most visited country. The assumptions on the etymology of the name Italia are very numerous, according to one of the more common explanations, the term Italia, from Latin, Italia, was borrowed through Greek from the Oscan Víteliú, meaning land of young cattle. The bull was a symbol of the southern Italic tribes and was often depicted goring the Roman wolf as a defiant symbol of free Italy during the Social War. Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus states this account together with the legend that Italy was named after Italus, mentioned also by Aristotle and Thucydides. The name Italia originally applied only to a part of what is now Southern Italy – according to Antiochus of Syracuse, but by his time Oenotria and Italy had become synonymous, and the name also applied to most of Lucania as well. The Greeks gradually came to apply the name Italia to a larger region, excavations throughout Italy revealed a Neanderthal presence dating back to the Palaeolithic period, some 200,000 years ago, modern Humans arrived about 40,000 years ago. Other ancient Italian peoples of undetermined language families but of possible origins include the Rhaetian people and Cammuni. Also the Phoenicians established colonies on the coasts of Sardinia and Sicily, the Roman legacy has deeply influenced the Western civilisation, shaping most of the modern worldItaly – The Colosseum in Rome, built c. 70 – 80 AD, is considered one of the greatest works of architecture and engineering of ancient history.
14. Central Europe – Central Europe lies between Eastern Europe and Western Europe. The concept of Central Europe is based on a historical, social and cultural identity. Central Europe is going through a phase of strategic awakening, with such as the CEI, Centrope. While the regions economy shows high disparities with regard to income, elements of unity for Western and Central Europe were Roman Catholicism and Latin. According to Hungarian historian Jenő Szűcs, foundations of Central European history at the first millennium were in connection with Western European development. The keyword of Western social development after millennium was the spread of liberties and autonomies in Western Europe and these phenomena appeared in the middle of the 13th century in Central European countries. There were self-governments of towns, counties and parliaments, in 1335 under the rule of the King Charles I of Hungary, the castle of Visegrád, the seat of the Hungarian monarchs was the scene of the royal summit of the Kings of Poland, Bohemia and Hungary. They agreed to cooperate closely in the field of politics and commerce, in the Middle Ages, countries in Central Europe adopted Magdeburg rights. Before 1870, the industrialization that had developed in Western and Central Europe, even in Eastern Europe, industrialization lagged far behind. Russia, for example, remained rural and agricultural. The concept of Central Europe was already known at the beginning of the 19th century, an example of that-time vision of Central Europe may be seen in J. Partsch’s book of 1903. On 21 January 1904, Mitteleuropäischer Wirtschaftsverein was established in Berlin with economic integration of Germany, another time, the term Central Europe became connected to the German plans of political, economic and cultural domination. The bible of the concept was Friedrich Naumann’s book Mitteleuropa in which he called for a federation to be established after the war. The concept failed after the German defeat in World War I, the revival of the idea may be observed during the Hitler era. According to Emmanuel de Martonne, in 1927 the Central European countries included, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, italy and Yugoslavia are not considered by the author to be Central European because they are located mostly outside Central Europe. The author use both Human and Physical Geographical features to define Central Europe, the interwar period brought new geopolitical system and economic and political problems, and the concept of Central Europe took a different character. The centre of interest was moved to its eastern part – the countries that have appeared on the map of Europe, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, however, the conflict of interests was too big and neither Little Entente nor Intermarium ideas succeeded. The interwar period brought new elements to the concept of Central Europe, after the war, the Eastern part of Central Europe was placed at the centre of the conceptCentral Europe – Certain and disputed borders of Great Moravia under Svatopluk I (AD 870–894)
15. Dinaric Alps – The Dinaric Alps or Dinarides is a mountain chain which spans from Italy in the northwest, over Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania to Kosovo in the southeast. They extend for 645 kilometres along the coast of the Adriatic Sea, from the Julian Alps in the northwest down to the Šar-Korab massif, where the mountain direction changes to north-south. The highest mountain of the Dinaric Alps is Mount Triglav, a located in Julian Alps in north west Slovenia. The Dinaric Alps are the fifth most rugged and extensively mountainous area of Europe after the Caucasus Mountains, Alps, Pyrenees and Scandinavian Mountains. They are formed largely of Mesozoic and Cenozoic sedimentary rocks of dolomite, limestone, sand and conglomerates formed by seas and lakes that had once covered the area. During the Alpine earth movements that occurred 50–100 million years ago, immense lateral pressures folded, the Dinarides are named after Mount Dinara, a prominent peak in the center of the mountain range on the border of Croatia and Bosnia. The Mesozoic limestone forms a distinctive region of the Balkans, notable for features such as the Karst. The Quaternary ice ages had relatively little direct influence on the Balkans. No permanent ice caps existed, and there is evidence of extensive glaciation. Only the highest summits of Durmitor, Orjen and Prenj have glacial valleys, however, in the Prokletije, a range on the northern Albanian border that runs east to west, there is evidence of major glaciation. One geological feature of great importance to the landscape of the Dinarides must be considered in more detail. They are hard and slow to erode, and often persist as steep jagged escarpments, through which steep-sided gorges, the partially submerged western Dinaric Alps form the numerous islands and harbors along the Croatian coast. The most extensive example of limestone mountains in Europe are those of the Karst of the Dinaric Alps, here, all the characteristic features are encountered again and again as one travels through this wild and underpopulated country. Limestone is a porous rock, yet very hard and resistant to erosion. Water is the most important corrosive force, dissolving the limestone by chemical action of its natural acidity, as it percolates down through cracks in the limestone it opens up fissures and channels, often of considerable depth, so that whole systems of underground drainage develop. During subsequent millennia these work deeper, leaving in their wake enormous waterless caverns, sinkholes and grottoes and forming underground labyrinths of channels, the roofs of some of these caverns may eventually fall in, to produce great perpendicular-sided gorges, exposing the water to the surface once more. The Dinaric rivers carved many canyons characteristic for Dinaric Alps, only along the Dinaric gorges is communication possible across the Karst, and roads and railways tunnel through precipitous cliffs and traverse narrow ledges above roaring torrents. A number of springs and rivers rise in the Dinaric range, at the same time, the purity of these rocks is such that the rivers are crystal clear, and there is little soil-making residueDinaric Alps – Orjen at the Bay of Kotor is the most heavily karstified range of the Dinarides
16. Adriatic – The Adriatic Sea /ˌeɪdriˈætᵻk/ is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan peninsula and the Apennine Mountains from the Dinaric Alps and adjacent ranges. The Adriatic is the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea, extending from the Strait of Otranto to the northwest, the countries with coasts on the Adriatic are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro and Slovenia. The Adriatic contains over 1,300 islands, mostly located along its eastern, Croatian and it is divided into three basins, the northern being the shallowest and the southern being the deepest, with a maximum depth of 1,233 metres. The Otranto Sill, a ridge, is located at the border between the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. The prevailing currents flow counterclockwise from the Strait of Otranto, along the eastern coast, tidal movements in the Adriatic are slight, although larger amplitudes are known to occur occasionally. The Adriatics salinity is lower than the Mediterraneans because the Adriatic collects a third of the water flowing into the Mediterranean. The surface water temperatures range from 30 °C in summer to 12 °C in winter. The Adriatic Sea sits on the Apulian or Adriatic Microplate, which separated from the African Plate in the Mesozoic era, the plates movement contributed to the formation of the surrounding mountain chains and Apennine tectonic uplift after its collision with the Eurasian plate. In the Late Oligocene, the Apennine Peninsula first formed, separating the Adriatic Basin from the rest of the Mediterranean, all types of sediment are found in the Adriatic, with the bulk of the material transported by the Po and other rivers on the western coast. The western coast is alluvial or terraced, while the eastern coast is indented with pronounced karstification. There are dozens of protected areas in the Adriatic, designed to protect the seas karst habitats. The sea is abundant in flora and fauna—more than 7,000 species are identified as native to the Adriatic, many of them endemic, rare and threatened ones. The Adriatics shores are populated by more than 3.5 million people, the earliest settlements on the Adriatic shores were Etruscan, Illyrian, and Greek. By the 2nd century BC, the shores were under Romes control, following Italian unification, the Kingdom of Italy started an eastward expansion that lasted until the 20th century. Following World War I and the collapse of Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire, the former disintegrated during the 1990s, resulting in four new states on the Adriatic coast. Italy and Albania agreed on their maritime boundary in 1992, Fisheries and tourism are significant sources of income all along the Adriatic coast. Adriatic Croatias tourism industry has grown faster economically than the rest of the Adriatic Basins, maritime transport is also a significant branch of the areas economy—there are 19 seaports in the Adriatic that each handle more than a million tonnes of cargo per year. The largest Adriatic seaport by annual cargo turnover is the Port of Trieste, in the southeast, the Adriatic Sea connects to the Ionian Sea at the 72-kilometre wide Strait of OtrantoAdriatic – Bay of Kotor, a ria in the Southern Adriatic
17. Balkan – The Balkan Peninsula, or the Balkans, is a peninsula and a cultural area in Eastern and Southeastern Europe with various and disputed borders. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch from the Serbia-Bulgaria border to the Black Sea, the highest point of the Balkans is Mount Musala 2,925 metres in the Rila mountain range. In Turkish, Balkan means a chain of wooded mountains, the name is still preserved in Central Asia with the Balkan Daglary and the Balkan Province of Turkmenistan. A less popular hypothesis regarding its etymology is that it derived from the Persian Balā-Khāna, from Antiquity through the Middle Ages, the Balkan Mountains had been called by the local Thracian name Haemus. According to Greek mythology, the Thracian king Haemus was turned into a mountain by Zeus as a punishment, a reverse name scheme has also been suggested. D. Dechev considers that Haemus is derived from a Thracian word *saimon, a third possibility is that Haemus derives from the Greek word haema meaning blood. The myth relates to a fight between Zeus and the monster/titan Typhon, Zeus injured Typhon with a thunder bolt and Typhons blood fell on the mountains, from which they got their name. The earliest mention of the name appears in an early 14th-century Arab map, the Ottomans first mention it in a document dated from 1565. There has been no other documented usage of the word to refer to the region before that, there is also a claim about an earlier Bulgar Turkic origin of the word popular in Bulgaria, however it is only an unscholarly assertion. The word was used by the Ottomans in Rumelia in its meaning of mountain, as in Kod̲j̲a-Balkan, Čatal-Balkan, and Ungurus-Balkani̊. The concept of the Balkans was created by the German geographer August Zeune in 1808, during the 1820s, Balkan became the preferred although not yet exclusive term alongside Haemus among British travelers. Among Russian travelers not so burdened by classical toponymy, Balkan was the preferred term, zeunes goal was to have a geographical parallel term to the Italic and Iberian Peninsula, and seemingly nothing more. The gradually acquired political connotations are newer and, to a large extent, after the dissolution of Yugoslavia beginning in June 1991, the term Balkans again received a negative meaning, especially in Croatia and Slovenia, even in casual usage. A European Union initiative of 1999 is called the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, and its northern boundary is often given as the Danube, Sava and Kupa Rivers. The Balkan Peninsula has an area of about 470,000 km2. It is more or less identical to the known as Southeastern Europe. As of 1920 until World War II, Italy included Istria, the current territory of Italy includes only the small area around Trieste inside the Balkan Peninsula. However, the regions of Trieste and Istria are not usually considered part of the Balkans by Italian geographers, the Western Balkans is a neologism coined to describe the countries of ex-Yugoslavia and AlbaniaBalkan – The Balkan Peninsula, as defined by the Danube - Sava - Kupa line
18. Rhodope Mountains – The Rhodopes are a mountain range in Southeastern Europe, with over 83% of its area in southern Bulgaria and the remainder in Greece. Its highest peak, Golyam Perelik, is the seventh highest Bulgarian mountain, the mountain range gives its name to the terrestrial ecoregion Rodope montane mixed forests that belongs in the Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests Biome and the Palearctic ecozone. The region is notable for its karst areas with their deep river gorges, large caves and specific sculptured forms. A significant part of Bulgarias hydropower resources is located in the areas of the range. There are a number of hydro-cascades and dams used for electricity production, irrigation, in Greece there are also the HPPs of Thisavros and Platanovrysi. The name of the Rhodope mountains has a Thracian provenance, rhod-ope is interpreted as the first name of a river, meaning rusty/reddish river, where Rhod- has the same Indo-European root as the Bulgarian руда, ръжда, риж, Latin rufus and German rot. In Greek mythology, Queen Rhodope of Thrace offended the gods, the wife of King Haemus of Thrace, the mountains are associated with the mythic figure of Orpheus. In geomorphological terms, the Rhodopes are part of the Rilo-Rhodope massif, the Rhodopes are spread over 14,735 square kilometers, of which 12,233 square kilometers are on Bulgarian territory. They have the greatest extent of any mountain range in Bulgaria. The mountains are about 240 kilometers long and about 100 to 120 kilometres wide, to the north the mountain slopes descend steeply towards the Upper Thracian Plain. To the west, the Rhodopes reach the Avram saddle, Yundola, to the south and east they extend over the border with Greece. The Rhodopes are a system of ridges and deep river valleys. Fifteen reserves have established in the region, some of which are under UNESCO protection. The location of the Rhodopes in the part of the Balkan Peninsula determines the climate in the region to a great extent. It is influenced both by the air coming from the north and by the warmer breeze from the Mediterranean. The average annual temperature in the Eastern Rhodopes is 13 °C, the precipitation is in December. In the Western Rhodopes, the temperature varies from 5 to 9 °C, the mild climate, combined with some other factors, works in favour of the development of recreation and tourist activities. The Pamporovo resort, where the microclimate permits a heavy snow cover to be preserved for a time, is an excellent exampleRhodope Mountains – Vacha Reservoir.
19. Western Europe – Western Europe, or West Europe, is the region comprising the western part of Europe. Below, some different geographic and geopolitical definitions of the term are outlined, prior to the Roman conquest, a large part of Western Europe had adopted the newly developed La Tène culture. This cultural and linguistic division was reinforced by the later political east-west division of the Roman Empire. The division between these two was enhanced during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages by a number of events, the Western Roman Empire collapsed, starting the Early Middle Ages. By contrast, the Eastern Roman Empire, mostly known as the Greek or Byzantine Empire, survived, in East Asia, Western Europe was historically known as taixi in China and taisei in Japan, which literally translates as the Far West. The term Far West became synonymous with Western Europe in China during the Ming dynasty, the Italian Jesuit priest Matteo Ricci was one of the first writers in China to use the Far West as an Asian counterpart to the European concept of the Far East. In his writings, Ricci referred to himself as Matteo of the Far West, the term was still in use in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Post-war Europe would be divided into two spheres, the West, influenced by the United States, and the Eastern Bloc. With the onset of the Cold War, Europe was divided by the Iron Curtain, behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Although some countries were neutral, they were classified according to the nature of their political. This division largely defined the popular perception and understanding of Western Europe, the world changed dramatically with the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989. The Federal Republic of Germany peacefully absorbed the German Democratic Republic, COMECON and the Warsaw Pact were dissolved, and in 1991, the Soviet Union ceased to exist. Several countries which had part of the Soviet Union regained full independence. Although the term Western Europe was more prominent during the Cold War, it remains much in use, in 1948 the Treaty of Brussels was signed between Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. It was further revisited in 1954 at the Paris Conference, when the Western European Union was established and it was declared defunct in 2011, after the Treaty of Lisbon, and the Treaty of Brussels was terminated. When the Western European Union was dissolved, it had 10 member countries, six member countries, five observer countries. The CIA divides Western Europe into two smaller subregions, regional voting blocs were formed in 1961 to encourage voting to various UN bodies from different regional groups. The European Union is an economic and political union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe, some Western and Northern European countries of Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein are members of EFTA, though cooperating to varying degree with the European UnionWestern Europe – The Great Schism in Christianity, the predominant religion in Western Europe at the time.
20. Western Asia – Western Asia, West Asia, Southwestern Asia or Southwest Asia is the westernmost subregion of Asia. The concept is in limited use, as it overlaps with the Middle East. The term is used for the purposes of grouping countries in statistics. The total population of Western Asia is an estimated 300 million as of 2015, in an unrelated context, the term is also used in ancient history and archaeology to divide the Fertile Crescent into the Asiatic or Western Asian cultures as opposed to ancient Egypt. As a geographic concept, Western Asia almost always includes the Levant, Mesopotamia, the term is used pragmatically and has no correct or generally agreed-upon definition. In contrast to this definition, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation in its 2015 yearbook also includes Armenia and Azerbaijan, unlike the UNIDO, the United Nations Statistics Division excludes Iran from Western Asia and include Turkey, Georgia, and Cyprus in the region. These four countries are listed in the European category of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, the Olympic Council of Asias multi-sport event West Asian Games are contested by athletes representing these thirteen countries. Among the regions sports organisations are the West Asia Basketball Association, West Asian Billiards and Snooker Federation, West Asian Football Federation, Western Asia was in use as a geographical term in the early 19th century, even before Near East became current as a geopolitical concept. Use of the term in the context of contemporary geopolitics or world economy appears to date from the 1960s, Western Asia is located directly south of Eastern Europe. The region is surrounded by seven major seas, the Aegean Sea, the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea. The Dasht-e Kavir and Dasht-e Lut deserts in eastern Iran naturally delimit the region somewhat from Asia itself, three major tectonic plates converge on Western Asia, including the African, Eurasian, and Arabian plates. The boundaries between the plates make up the Azores-Gibraltar Ridge, extending across North Africa, the Red Sea. The Arabian Plate is moving northward into the Anatolian plate at the East Anatolian Fault, several major aquifers provide water to large portions of Western Asia. In Saudi Arabia, two large aquifers of Palaeozoic and Triassic origins are located beneath the Jabal Tuwayq mountains and areas west to the Red Sea. Cretaceous and Eocene-origin aquifers are located beneath large portions of central and eastern Saudi Arabia, including Wasia, flood or furrow irrigation, as well as sprinkler methods, are extensively used for irrigation, covering nearly 90,000 km² across Western Asia for agriculture. Western Asia is primarily arid and semi-arid, and can be subject to drought, the region consists of grasslands, rangelands, deserts, and mountains. Water shortages are a problem in parts of West Asia, with rapidly growing populations increasing demands for water. Major rivers, including the Tigris and Euphrates, provide sources for water to support agricultureWestern Asia – A Lebanese cedar forest in winter.
21. Turkey – Turkey, officially the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country in Eurasia, mainly in Anatolia in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. Turkey is a democratic, secular, unitary, parliamentary republic with a cultural heritage. The country is encircled by seas on three sides, the Aegean Sea is to the west, the Black Sea to the north, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. The Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles, Ankara is the capital while Istanbul is the countrys largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Approximately 70-80% of the countrys citizens identify themselves as ethnic Turks, other ethnic groups include legally recognised and unrecognised minorities. Kurds are the largest ethnic minority group, making up approximately 20% of the population, the area of Turkey has been inhabited since the Paleolithic by various ancient Anatolian civilisations, as well as Assyrians, Greeks, Thracians, Phrygians, Urartians and Armenians. After Alexander the Greats conquest, the area was Hellenized, a process continued under the Roman Empire. The Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm ruled Anatolia until the Mongol invasion in 1243, the empire reached the peak of its power in the 16th century, especially during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. During the war, the Ottoman government committed genocides against its Armenian, Assyrian, following the war, the conglomeration of territories and peoples that formerly comprised the Ottoman Empire was partitioned into several new states. Turkey is a member of the UN, an early member of NATO. Turkeys growing economy and diplomatic initiatives have led to its recognition as a regional power while her location has given it geopolitical, the name of Turkey is based on the ethnonym Türk. The first recorded use of the term Türk or Türük as an autonym is contained in the Old Turkic inscriptions of the Göktürks of Central Asia, the English name Turkey first appeared in the late 14th century and is derived from Medieval Latin Turchia. Similarly, the medieval Khazar Empire, a Turkic state on the shores of the Black. The medieval Arabs referred to the Mamluk Sultanate as al-Dawla al-Turkiyya, the Ottoman Empire was sometimes referred to as Turkey or the Turkish Empire among its European contemporaries. The Anatolian peninsula, comprising most of modern Turkey, is one of the oldest permanently settled regions in the world, various ancient Anatolian populations have lived in Anatolia, from at least the Neolithic period until the Hellenistic period. Many of these peoples spoke the Anatolian languages, a branch of the larger Indo-European language family, in fact, given the antiquity of the Indo-European Hittite and Luwian languages, some scholars have proposed Anatolia as the hypothetical centre from which the Indo-European languages radiated. The European part of Turkey, called Eastern Thrace, has also been inhabited since at least forty years ago. It is the largest and best-preserved Neolithic site found to date, the settlement of Troy started in the Neolithic Age and continued into the Iron AgeTurkey – Some henges at Göbekli Tepe were erected as far back as 12,000 BC, predating those of Stonehenge, England by almost ten millennia.
22. Levant – The Levant is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean. The term Levant entered English in the late 15th century from French and it derives from the Italian Levante, meaning rising, implying the rising of the sun in the east. As such, it is equivalent to the Arabic term Mashriq. Eventually the term was restricted to the Muslim countries of Syria-Palestine, in 1581, England set up the Levant Company to monopolize commerce with the Ottoman Empire. The name Levant States was used to refer to the French mandate over Syria and this is probably the reason why the term Levant has come to be used synonymously with Syria-Palestine. Some scholars misunderstood the term thinking that it derives from the name of Lebanon, today the term is typically used in conjunction with prehistoric or ancient historical references. It does not include Anatolia, the Caucasus Mountains, or any part of the Arabian Peninsula proper, the Sinai Peninsula is sometimes included. The Levant has been described as the crossroads of western Asia, the eastern Mediterranean, and northeast Africa, the populations of the Levant share not only the geographic position, but cuisine, some customs, and a very long history. They are often referred to as Levantines, the term Levant, which appeared in English in 1497, originally meant the East in general or Mediterranean lands east of Italy. It is borrowed from the French levant rising, referring to the rising of the sun in the east, the phrase is ultimately from the Latin word levare, meaning lift, raise. Similar etymologies are found in Greek Ἀνατολή, in Germanic Morgenland, in Italian, in Hungarian Kelet, in Spanish and Catalan Levante and Llevant, most notably, Orient and its Latin source oriens meaning east, is literally rising, deriving from Latin orior rise. The notion of the Levant has undergone a process of historical evolution in usage, meaning. While the term Levantine originally referred to the European residents of the eastern Mediterranean region, it came to refer to regional native. The English Levant Company was founded in 1581 to trade with the Ottoman Empire, at this time, the Far East was known as the Upper Levant. In early 19th-century travel writing, the term sometimes incorporated certain Mediterranean provinces of the Ottoman empire, in 19th-century archaeology, it referred to overlapping cultures in this region during and after prehistoric times, intending to reference the place instead of any one culture. The French mandate of Syria and Lebanon was called the Levant states, today, Levant is the term typically used by archaeologists and historians with reference to the history of the region. Scholars have adopted the term Levant to identify the region due to it being a wider, yet relevant, archaeologists seeking a neutral orientation that is neither biblical nor national have used terms such as Levantine archaeology and archaeology of the Southern Levant. Two academic journals were launched, Journal of Levantine Studies, published by the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and The Levantine ReviewLevant – The Levantine Sea, the eastern portion of the Mediterranean.
23. Syrian Desert – To the south it borders and merges into the Arabian Desert. The land is open, gravely desert pavement, cut with occasional wadis, the desert is bounded by the Orontes Valley and volcanic field of Harrat al-Shamah to the west, and by the Euphrates to the east. In the north, the desert gives way to the fertile areas of grass. Several parts of the Syrian Desert have been referred to such as the Palmyrene desert around Palmyra. The name Shamiyah has also used for the Syrian Desert. The 700-900m high region in the middle of the desert is the Hamad Plateau, what little rain arrives on the plateau flows into local salt flats. The highest peaks of the Plateau are those of the 1000m+ Khawr um Wual in Saudi Arabia, together with the other deserts of the Arabian Peninsular, the Hamad Desert has been described as one of the most arid deserts of the world. The Syrian Desert is the origin of the Syrian hamster, storks, herons, cranes, small waders, waterfowl and also raptors visit the seasonal lakes. The large mammals are now no longer to be found, thought to be due to hunting by man, the desert was historically inhabited by Bedouin tribes, and many tribes still remain in the region, their members living mainly in towns and settlements built near oases. Some Bedouin still maintain their way of life in the desert. Safaitic inscriptions, proto-Arabic texts written by literate Bedouin, are throughout the Syrian Desert. These date approximately from the 1st century B. C. to the 4th century A. D, the desert was first traversed by motor vehicle in 1919. A series of Coalition military operations were ineffective at removing the resistance presence in the Desert. Arabian desert Fertile Crescent List of deserts by area Syrian steppeSyrian Desert
24. Negev Desert – The Negev or Naqab is a desert and semidesert region of southern Israel. The regions largest city and administrative capital is Beersheba, in the north, at its southern end is the Gulf of Aqaba and the resort city of Eilat. It contains several development towns, including Dimona, Arad and Mitzpe Ramon, as well as a number of small Bedouin cities, including Rahat and Tel as-Sabi and Lakyah. There are also several kibbutzim, including Revivim and Sde Boker, the origin of the word negev is from the Hebrew root denoting dry. In the Bible, the word Negev is also used for the direction south, during the British Mandate it was called Beersheba sub-district. The Negev covers more than half of Israel, over some 13,000 km² or at least 55% of the land area. It forms a triangle shape whose western side is contiguous with the desert of the Sinai Peninsula. The Negev has a number of interesting cultural and geological features, among the latter are three enormous, craterlike makhteshim, which are unique to the region, Makhtesh Ramon, Makhtesh Gadol, and Makhtesh Katan. The Negev is a rocky desert and it is a melange of brown, rocky, dusty mountains interrupted by wadis and deep craters. It can be split into five different ecological regions, northern, western and central Negev, the high plateau, the northern Negev, or Mediterranean zone, receives 300 mm of rain annually and has fairly fertile soils. The western Negev receives 250 mm of rain per year, with light, sand dunes can reach heights of up to 30 metres here. The high plateau area of Ramat HaNegev stands between 370 metres and 520 metres above sea level with temperatures in summer and winter. The area gets 100 mm of rain per year, with inferior, the Arabah Valley along the Jordanian border stretches 180 km from Eilat in the south to the tip of the Dead Sea in the north. The Arabah Valley is very arid with barely 50 mm of rain annually and it has inferior soils in which little can grow without irrigation and special soil additives. Vegetation in the Negev is sparse, but certain trees and plants there, among them Acacia, Pistacia, Retama, Urginea maritima. A small population of Arabian leopards, an animal in the Arabian peninsula. The Negev Tortoise is a endangered species that currently lives only in the sands of the western. The Negev shrew is a species of mammal of the family Soricidae found only in Israel, hyphaene thebaica or doum palm can be found in the Southern NegevNegev Desert – Ein Avdat in the Zin Valley in the Negev
25. Maghreb – The Maghreb, or the Greater Maghreb, is usually defined as much or most of the region of western North Africa or Northwest Africa, west of Egypt. Historical terms for the region or various portions of the Maghreb include Mauretania, Numidia, Libya, the term maghrib is Arabic for west, from the verb gharaba. In the strict sense, the definite form al-maghrib denotes the country of Morocco in particular and it identified the westernmost territories that fell to the Islamic conquests of the 7th century. Today, it is a noun for the present region of the Maghreb. The Berber languages alternative term for the region, Tamazgha, has been popularized by Berber activists since the second half of the 20th century. As recently as the late 19th century it was used to refer to the Western Mediterranean region of coastal North Africa in general, and to Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia in particular. The region was unified as an independent political entity during the rule of the Berber kingdom of Numidia. The most enduring rule was that of the local Berber empires of the Almoravids, Almohads, Hammadids, Zirids, Marinids, Saadi, the Ottoman Turks ruled the region as well. Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Libya established the Maghreb Union in 1989 to promote cooperation and it was envisioned initially by Muammar Gaddafi as a superstate. The union included Western Sahara implicitly under Moroccos membership, putting Moroccos long cold war with Algeria to a rest, however, this progress was short-lived, and the union is now frozen. Tensions between Algeria and Morocco over Western Sahara re-emerged strongly, reinforced by the unsolved borderline issue between the two countries and these two main conflicts have hindered progress on the unions joint goals and practically made it inactive as a whole. Around 3,500 BC a tilt in the Earths orbit created a rapid desertification of the Sahara, the Maghreb or western North Africa is believed to have been inhabited by Berbers since from at least 10,000 BC. Maghreb coast ports were predominantly occupied or constructed by the Phoenicians, the main Phoenician settlements centered in the Gulf of Tunis along the North African littoral between the Pillars of Hercules and the Libyan coast east of ancient Cyrenaica. They dominated the trade and intercourse of the Western Mediterranean for centuries, Rome was greatly helped by the defection of King Massinissa and Carthaginians eastern Numidian Massylii client-allies. A century later, the Byzantine emperor Justinian I sent a force under General Belisarius that succeeded in destroying the Vandal kingdom, the Berbers contested outside-the-area control although after the 640s-700 AD period the Arabs controlled the entire region. The Arabs reached the Maghreb in early Umayyad times, Arab expansion and the spread of Islam pushed the development of trans-Saharan trade. While restricted due to the cost and dangers, the trade was highly profitable, commodities traded included such goods as salt, gold, ivory, and slaves. Arab control over the Maghreb was quite weak, various Islamic variations, such as the Ibadis and the Shia, were adopted by some Berbers, often leading to scorning of Caliphal control in favour of their own interpretation of IslamMaghreb – Magreb head ornament (Morocco)
26. Sahara Desert – The Sahara is the largest hot desert and the third largest desert in the world after Antarctica and the Arctic. Its area of 9,200,000 square kilometres is comparable to the area of the United States. The desert comprises much of North Africa, excluding the fertile region on the Mediterranean Sea coast, the Atlas Mountains of the Maghreb, and the Nile Valley in Egypt and Sudan. It stretches from the Red Sea in the east and the Mediterranean in the north to the Atlantic Ocean in the west, where the landscape gradually changes from desert to coastal plains. To the south, it is bounded by the Sahel, a belt of tropical savanna around the Niger River valley. The Sahara can be divided into several regions including, the western Sahara, the central Ahaggar Mountains, the Tibesti Mountains, the Aïr Mountains, the Ténéré desert, the name Sahara is derived from ṣaḥārā, the plural of the Arabic word for desert. The Sahara covers large parts of Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Western Sahara, Sudan and it covers 9 million square kilometres, amounting to 31% of Africa. If all areas with an annual precipitation of less than 250 mm were included. It is one of three physiographic provinces of the African massive physiographic division. The Sahara is mainly rocky hamada, Ergs form only a minor part, wind or rare rainfall shape the desert features, sand dunes, dune fields, sand seas, stone plateaus, gravel plains, dry valleys, dry lakes, and salt flats. Unusual landforms include the Richat Structure in Mauritania, several deeply dissected mountains, many volcanic, rise from the desert, including the Aïr Mountains, Ahaggar Mountains, Saharan Atlas, Tibesti Mountains, Adrar des Iforas, and the Red Sea hills. The highest peak in the Sahara is Emi Koussi, a volcano in the Tibesti range of northern Chad. The central Sahara is hyperarid, with sparse vegetation, the northern and southern reaches of the desert, along with the highlands, have areas of sparse grassland and desert shrub, with trees and taller shrubs in wadis, where moisture collects. In the central, hyperarid region, there are subdivisions of the great desert, Tanezrouft, the Ténéré, the Libyan Desert, the Eastern Desert. These extremely arid areas often receive no rain for years, the northern limit also corresponds to the 100 mm isohyet of annual precipitation. To the south, the Sahara is bounded by the Sahel, the southern limit of the Sahara is indicated botanically by the southern limit of Cornulaca monacantha, or northern limit of Cenchrus biflorus, a grass typical of the Sahel. According to climatic criteria, the limit of the Sahara corresponds to the 150 mm isohyet of annual precipitation. The Sahara is the worlds largest low-latitude hot desert and this steady descending airflow causes a warming and a drying effect in the upper troposphereSahara Desert – A satellite image of the Sahara by NASA World Wind.
27. North Africa – North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of Africa. The United Nationss definition of Northern Africa is, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, the countries of Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and Libya are often collectively referred to as the Maghreb, which is the Arabic word for sunset. Egypt lies to the northeast and encompasses part of West Asia, while Sudan is situated on the edge of the Sahel, Egypt is a transcontinental country because of the Sinai Peninsula, which geographically lies in Western Asia. North Africa also includes a number of Spanish possessions, the Canary Islands and Madeira in the North Atlantic Ocean northwest of the African mainland are included in considerations of the region. From 3500 BC, following the abrupt desertification of the Sahara due to changes in the Earths orbit. The Islamic influence in the area is significant, and North Africa is a major part of the Muslim world. Some researchers have postulated that North Africa rather than East Africa served as the point for the modern humans who first trekked out of the continent in the Out of Africa migration. The Atlas Mountains extend across much of Morocco, northern Algeria and Tunisia, are part of the mountain system that also runs through much of Southern Europe. They recede to the south and east, becoming a steppe landscape before meeting the Sahara desert, the sediments of the Sahara overlie an ancient plateau of crystalline rock, some of which is more than four billion years old. Sheltered valleys in the Atlas Mountains, the Nile Valley and Delta, a wide variety of valuable crops including cereals, rice and cotton, and woods such as cedar and cork, are grown. Typical Mediterranean crops, such as olives, figs, dates and citrus fruits, the Nile Valley is particularly fertile, and most of the population in Egypt and Sudan live close to the river. Elsewhere, irrigation is essential to improve yields on the desert margins. The inhabitants of Saharan Africa are generally divided in a manner corresponding to the principal geographic regions of North Africa, the Maghreb, the Nile valley. The edge of the Sahel, to the south of Egypt has mainly been inhabited by Nubians, Ancient Egyptians record extensive contact in their Western desert with people that appear to have been Berber or proto-Berber, as well as Nubians from the south. They have contributed to the Arabized Berber populations, the official language or one of the official languages in all of the countries in North Africa is Arabic. The people of the Maghreb and the Sahara regions speak Berber languages and several varieties of Arabic, the Arabic and Berber languages are distantly related, both being members of the Afroasiatic language family. The Tuareg Berber languages are more conservative than those of the coastal cities. Over the years, Berbers have been influenced by contact with cultures, Greeks, Phoenicians, Egyptians, Romans, Vandals, Arabs, EuropeansNorth Africa – Market of Biskra in Algeria, 1899
28. Atlas Mountains – The Atlas Mountains are a mountain range in the Maghreb. It stretches around 2,500 km through Algeria, Morocco, the ranges highest peak is Jebel Toubkal, with an elevation of 4,167 metres in southwestern Morocco. It separates the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines from the Sahara Desert, the Atlas mountains are primarily inhabited by Berber populations. The terms for mountain in some Berber languages are adrar and adras, the mountains are home to a number of plant and animal species unique in Africa, often more like those of Europe, many of them are endangered and some have already gone extinct. The basement rock of most of Africa was formed during the Precambrian period, the Atlas was formed during three subsequent phases of Earths geology. The first tectonic deformation phase involves only the Anti-Atlas, which was formed in the Paleozoic Era as the result of continental collisions, North America, Europe and Africa were connected millions of years ago. The Anti-Atlas Mountains are believed to have originally formed as part of Alleghenian orogeny. These mountains were formed when Africa and America collided, and were once a chain rivaling todays Himalayas, today, the remains of this chain can be seen in the Fall Line region in the Eastern United States. Some remnants can also be found in the later formed Appalachians in North America, a second phase took place during the Mesozoic Era. It consisted of an extension of the Earths crust that rifted and separated the continents mentioned above. This extension was responsible for the formation of many thick intracontinental sedimentary basins including the present Atlas, most of the rocks forming the surface of the present High Atlas were deposited under the ocean at that time. Such convergent tectonic boundaries occur where two plates slide towards each other forming a zone, and/or a continental collision. However, there is a lack of evidence for the nature of the subduction in the Atlas region, or for the thickening of the Earths crust generally associated with continental collisions. In fact, one of the most striking features of the Atlas to geologists is the small amount of crustal thickening. Recent studies suggest that deep processes rooted in the Earths mantle may have contributed to the uplift of the High, the Atlas are rich in natural resources. There are deposits of ore, lead ore, copper, silver, mercury, rock salt, phosphate, marble. The range can be divided into four regions, Middle Atlas. The Middle Atlas is a portion of the Atlas mountain range lying completely in Morocco, the Middle Atlas is the westernmost of three Atlas Mountains chains that define a large, plateaued basin extending eastwardAtlas Mountains – Toubkal Mountain in Toubkal National Park in the High Atlas
29. Cyrenaica – Cyrenaica is the eastern coastal region of Libya. Also known as Pentapolis in antiquity, it formed part of the Roman province of Crete and Cyrenaica, later divided into Libya Pentapolis, during the Islamic period, the area came to be known as Barqa, after the city of Barca. In a wider sense, still in use, Cyrenaica includes all of the part of Libya. Cyrenaica borders on Tripolitania in the northwest and on Fezzan in the southwest, the region that used to be Cyrenaica officially until 1963 has formed several shabiyat, the administrative divisions of Libya, since 1995. The 2011 Libyan Civil War started in Cyrenaica, which came largely under the control of the National Transitional Council for most of the war. Geologically, Cyrenaica rests on a mass of Miocene limestone that tilts up steeply from the Mediterranean Sea and this mass is divided into two blocks. The Jebel Akhdar extends parallel to the coast from the Gulf of Sidra to the Gulf of Bomba, there is no continuous coastal plain, the longest strip running from the recess of Gulf of Sidra past Benghazi to Tolmeita. Thereafter, except for deltaic patches at Susa and Derna, the shore is all precipitous, a steep escarpment separates the coastal plain from a relatively level plateau, known as the Marj Plain, which lies at about 300 meters elevation. Above the Marj Plain lies a plateau at about 700 meters elevation. The Jebel Akhdar and its adjacent coast are part of the Mediterranean woodlands and forests ecoregion, the plant communities of this portion of Cyrenaica include forest, woodland, maquis, garrigue, steppe, and oak savanna. Small areas of maquis are found on north-facing slopes near the sea, juniperus phoenicea, Pistacia lentiscus, Quercus coccifera and Ceratonia siliqua are common tree and large shrub species in the maquis. Areas of red soil are found on the Marj Plain, which has borne abundant crops of wheat, plenty of springs issue on the highlands. Wild olive trees are abundant, and large areas of oak savanna provide pasture to the flocks, historically large areas of range were covered in forest. The forested area of the Jebel Akhdar has been shrinking in recent decades, a 1996 report to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimated that the forested area was reduced to 320,000 hectares from 500,000 hectares, mostly cleared to grow crops. The Green Mountain Conservation and Development Authority estimates that the area decreased from 500,000 hectares in 1976 to 180,000 hectares in 2007. The lower Jebel el-Akabah lies to the south and east of the Jebel Akhdar, the two highlands are separated by a depression. This eastern region, known in ancient times as Marmarica, is drier than the Jebel Akhdar. Historically, salt-collecting and sponge fishing were more important than agriculture, Bomba and Tobruk have good harborsCyrenaica – Map of Cyrenaica and Marmarica in the Roman era (Samuel Butler, 1907)
30. Libya – The three traditional parts of the country are Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica. With an area of almost 1.8 million square kilometres, Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa, Libya has the 10th-largest proven oil reserves of any country in the world. The largest city and capital, Tripoli, is located in western Libya, the other large city is Benghazi, which is located in eastern Libya. Libya has been inhabited by Berbers since the late Bronze Age, the Phoenicians established trading posts in western Libya, and ancient Greek colonists established city-states in eastern Libya. Libya was variously ruled by Carthaginians, Persians, Egyptians and Greeks before becoming a part of the Roman Empire, Libya was an early center of Christianity. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the area of Libya was mostly occupied by the Vandals until the 7th century, in the 16th century, the Spanish Empire and the Knights of St John occupied Tripoli, until Ottoman rule began in 1551. Libya was involved in the Barbary Wars of the 18th and 19th centuries, Ottoman rule continued until the Italian occupation of Libya resulted in the temporary Italian Libya colony from 1911 to 1943. During the Second World War Libya was an important area of warfare in the North African Campaign, the Italian population then went into decline. Libya became an independent kingdom in 1951, a military coup in 1969 overthrew King Idris I, beginning a period of sweeping social reform. Since then, Libya has experienced a period of instability, the European Union is involved in an operation to disrupt human trafficking networks exploiting refugees fleeing from wars in Africa for Europe. At least two political bodies claim to be the government of Libya, the Council of Deputies is internationally recognized as the legitimate government, but it does not hold territory in the capital, Tripoli, instead meeting in the Cyrenaica city of Tobruk. Parts of Libya are outside of either governments control, with various Islamist, rebel, the United Nations is sponsoring peace talks between the Tobruk and Tripoli-based factions. An agreement to form an interim government was signed on 17 December 2015. Under the terms of the agreement, a nine-member Presidency Council, the leaders of the new government, called the Government of National Accord, arrived in Tripoli on 5 April 2016. Since then the GNC, one of the two governments, has disbanded to support the new GNA. The name Libya was introduced in 1934 for Italian Libya, reviving the name for Northwest Africa. The name was based on use in 1903 by Italian geographer Federico Minutilli. It was intended to supplant terms applied to Ottoman Tripolitania, the region of what is today Libya having been ruled by the Ottoman Empire from 1551 to 1911Libya – The temple of Zeus in the ancient Greek city of Cyrene.
31. Ceuta – Ceuta is an 18. 5-square-kilometre Spanish autonomous city located on the north coast of Africa, sharing its land border with Morocco, in which it is thus an enclave. Separated from the Iberian peninsula by the Strait of Gibraltar, Ceuta lies along the boundary between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Ceuta, along with the Spanish exclave Melilla, is one of nine populated Spanish territories in Africa and it was part of Cádiz province until 14 March 1995 when the citys Statute of Autonomy was passed. Ceuta, like Melilla and the Canary Islands, was a port before Spain joined the European Union. As of 2011, it has a population of 82,376 and its population consists of Christians, Muslims, and small minorities of Sephardic Jews and ethnic Sindhi Hindus. Spanish is the language, while Moroccan Darija of the northern Jebli variety is spoken by between 40% and 50% of the population which is of Moroccan origin. It was known variously in Ancient Greek as, Ἀβύλη, Ἀβύλα, Ἀβλύξ, or Ἀβίλη στήλη – Abyle, Abila, Ablyx or Abile Stele – Pillar of Abyle), together with Gibraltar on the European side, it formed one of the famous Pillars of Hercules. It changed hands again approximately 400 years later, when Vandal tribes ousted the Romans, after being controlled by the Visigoths, it then became an outpost of the Byzantine Empire. Ceuta was an important Christian center since the fourth century, in the 7th century the Umayyads tried to conquer the region but were unsuccessful. Under the leadership of the Berber general Tariq ibn Ziyad, the Muslims used Ceuta as a ground for an assault on Visigothic Iberian Peninsula. After Julians death, the Berbers took direct control of the city and they destroyed Ceuta during the Kharijite rebellion led by Maysara al-Matghari in 740. Ceuta lay in ruins until it was resettled in the 9th century by Mâjakas, chief of the Majkasa Berber tribe, who started the short-lived Banu Isam dynasty. His great-grandson briefly allied his tribe with the Idrisids, but the Banu Isam rule ended in 931 when he abdicated in favor of Abd ar-Rahman III, Ceuta reverted to Moorish Andalusian rule in 927 along with Melilla, and later Tangier, in 951. Chaos ensued with the fall of the Umayyad caliphate in 1031, following this Ceuta and the rest of Muslim Iberia were controlled by successive North African dynasties. Starting in 1084, the Almoravid Berbers ruled the region until 1147, apart from Ibn Huds rebellion of 1232, they ruled until the Tunisian Hafsids established control. The Hafsids influence in the west rapidly waned, and Ceutas inhabitants eventually expelled them in 1249, after this, a period of political instability persisted, under competing interests from the Kingdom of Fez and the Kingdom of Granada. The Kingdom of Fez finally conquered the region in 1387, with assistance from the Crown of Aragon, in 1415, during the Battle of Ceuta, the city was captured by the Portuguese during the reign of John I of Portugal. The Benemerine sultan besieged the city in 1418 but was defeated, phillip II ascended the Portuguese throne in 1580 and Spanish kings of Portugal governed Ceuta for 60 yearsCeuta – Ceuta, as seen from Monte Hacho
32. Autonomous cities of Spain – Spain is not a federation, but a highly decentralized unitary state. Some scholars have referred to the system as a federal system in all. There are 17 autonomous communities and two cities that are collectively known as autonomies. The two autonomous cities have the right to become autonomous communities, but neither has yet used this right and this unique framework of territorial administration is known as the State of Autonomies. The autonomous communities are governed according to the constitution and their own organic laws known as Statutes of Autonomy, since devolution was intended to be asymmetrical in nature, the scope of competences vary for each community, but all have the same parliamentary structure. Spain is a country made up of different regions with varying economic and social structures, as well as different languages. While the entire Spanish territory was united under one crown by the 16th century, the constituent territories—be it crowns, kingdoms, principalities or dominions—retained much of their former institutional existence, including limited legislative, judicial or fiscal autonomy. These territories also exhibited a variety of customs, laws. From the 18th century onwards, the Bourbon kings and the government tried to establish a more centralized regime, leading figures of the Spanish Enlightenment advocated for the building of a Spanish nation beyond the internal territorial boundaries. This culminated in 1833, when Spain was divided into 49 provinces and these were the Basque Country and Catalonia. This gave rise to peripheral nationalisms along with Spanish nationalism, therefore, economic and social changes that had produced a national cultural unification in France had the opposite effect in Spain. In a response to Catalan demands, limited autonomy was granted to Catalonia in 1913 and it was granted again in 1932 during the Second Spanish Republic, when the Generalitat, Catalonias mediaeval institution of government, was restored. During General Francos dictatorial regime, centralism was most forcefully enforced as a way of preserving the unity of the Spanish nation, peripheral nationalism, along with communism and atheism were regarded by his regime as the main threats. When Franco died in 1975, Spain entered into a phase of transition towards democracy, the then Prime Minister of Spain, Adolfo Suárez, met with Josep Tarradellas, president of the Generalitat of Catalonia in exile. An agreement was made so that the Generalitat would be restored and limited competencies would be transferred while the constitution was still being written. In the end, the constitution, published and ratified in 1979, found a balance in recognizing the existence of nationalities and regions in Spain, within the indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation. The starting point in the organization of Spain was the second article of the constitution. In order to exercise this right, the established a open process whereby the nationalitiesAutonomous cities of Spain – A map of Iberia in 1757
33. Melilla – Melilla is a Spanish autonomous city located on the north coast of Africa, sharing a border with Morocco with an area of 12.3 square kilometres. Melilla, along with Ceuta, is one of two permanently inhabited Spanish cities in mainland Africa and it was part of Málaga province until 14 March 1995 when the citys Statute of Autonomy was passed. Melilla, like Ceuta, was a port before Spain joined the European Union. As of 2011, it had a population of 78,476 made up of ethnic Spaniards, ethnic Riffian Berbers, both Spanish and Riffian-Berber are the two most widely spoken languages, with Spanish as the only official language. Melilla is officially subject to a claim along with the city of Ceuta. The current Berber name of Melilla is Mřič or Mlilt which means the white one, Melilla was an ancient Berber village and a Phoenician and later Punic trade establishment under the name of Rusadir. Later it became a part of the Roman province of Mauretania Tingitana, rusaddir is mentioned by Ptolemy and Pliny who call it oppidum et portus, also by Mela, under the corrupted form Rusicada and by the Itinerarium Antonini. Rusaddir was supposed to have once been the seat of a bishop, but there is no record of any bishop of the supposed see, as centuries passed, it went through Vandal, Byzantine and Hispano-Visigothic hands. The political history is similar to that of towns in the region of the Moroccan Rif, local rule passed through Amazigh, Phoenician, Punic, Roman, Umayyad, Idrisid, Almoravid, Almohad, Marinid, and then Wattasid rulers. During the Middle Ages it was the Berber city of Mlila, Melilla was immediately threatened with reconquest and was besieged during 1694–1696 and 1774–1775. One Spanish officer reflected, an hour in Melilla, from the point of view of merit, was more than thirty years of service to Spain. The current limits of the Spanish territory around the fortress were fixed by treaties with Morocco in 1859,1860,1861, and 1894. In the late 19th century, as Spanish influence expanded, Melilla became the authorized center of trade on the Rif coast between Tetuan and the Algerian frontier. The value of trade increased, goat skins, eggs and beeswax being the principal exports, and cotton goods, tea, sugar, in 1893, the Rif Berbers launched the First Melillan campaign and 25,000 Spanish soldiers had to be dispatched against them. The conflict was known as the Margallo War, after the Governor of Melilla and Spanish General Juan García y Margallo. In 1908 two companies, under the protection of Bou Hmara, a chieftain ruling the Rif region, started mining lead. A railway to the mines was begun, in October of that year the Bou Hmaras vassals revolted against him and raided the mines, which remained closed until June 1909. By July the workmen were again attacked and several of them killed, severe fighting between the Spaniards and the tribesmen followed, in the Second Melillan campaignMelilla – Port of Melilla
34. Morocco – Morocco, officially known as the Kingdom of Morocco, is a sovereign country located in the Maghreb region of North Africa. Geographically, Morocco is characterized by a mountainous interior, large tracts of desert. Morocco has a population of over 33.8 million and an area of 446,550 km2 and its capital is Rabat, and the largest city is Casablanca. Other major cities include Marrakesh, Tangier, Tetouan, Salé, Fes, Agadir, Meknes, Oujda, Kenitra, a historically prominent regional power, Morocco has a history of independence not shared by its neighbours. Marinid and Saadi dynasties continued the struggle against foreign domination, the Alaouite dynasty, the current ruling dynasty, seized power in 1666. In 1912 Morocco was divided into French and Spanish protectorates, with a zone in Tangier. Moroccan culture is a blend of Arab, indigenous Berber, Sub-Saharan African, Morocco claims the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara as its Southern Provinces. Morocco annexed the territory in 1975, leading to a war with indigenous forces until a cease-fire in 1991. Peace processes have thus far failed to break the political deadlock, Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. The King of Morocco holds vast executive and legislative powers, especially over the military, foreign policy, the king can issue decrees called dahirs which have the force of law. He can also dissolve the parliament after consulting the Prime Minister, Moroccos predominant religion is Islam, and the official languages are Arabic and Tamazight. The Moroccan dialect, referred to as Darija, and French are also widely spoken, Morocco is a member of the Arab League, the Union for the Mediterranean, and the African Union. It has the fifth largest economy of Africa, the full Arabic name al-Mamlakah al-Maghribiyyah translates to Kingdom of the West, although the West in Arabic is الغرب Al-Gharb. The basis of Moroccos English name is Marrakesh, its capital under the Almoravid dynasty, the origin of the name Marrakesh is disputed, but is most likely from the Berber words amur akush or Land of God. The modern Berber name for Marrakesh is Mṛṛakc, in Turkish, Morocco is known as Fas, a name derived from its ancient capital of Fes. The English name Morocco is an anglicisation of the Spanish Marruecos, the area of present-day Morocco has been inhabited since Paleolithic times, sometime between 190,000 and 90,000 BC. During the Upper Paleolithic, the Maghreb was more fertile than it is today, twenty-two thousand years ago, the Aterian was succeeded by the Iberomaurusian culture, which shared similarities with Iberian cultures. Skeletal similarities have been suggested between the Iberomaurusian Mechta-Afalou burials and European Cro-Magnon remains, the Iberomaurusian was succeeded by the Beaker culture in MoroccoMorocco – Berber Roman King Ptolemy of Mauretania.
35. Monte Hacho – Monte Hacho is a low mountain that overlooks the Spanish city of Ceuta, on the north coast of Africa. Monte Hacho is positioned on the Mediterranean coast at the Strait of Gibraltar opposite Gibraltar, according to the legend Hercules pushed apart the two mountains and created a link between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. In classical civilization it was known as Mons Abila, monte Hacho is located on the Península de Almina and topped by a fort, the Fortaleza de Hacho, which was first built by the Byzantines, before being added to by the Arabs, Portuguese and Spanish. It is now occupied by the Spanish armyMonte Hacho – Monte Hacho, with Ceuta harbour in the foreground. Fortaleza de Hacho can be seen at the top of the hill.
36. Spanish army – The Spanish Army is the terrestrial army of the Spanish Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is one of the oldest active armies - dating back to the late 15th century, the Spanish army has existed continuously since the reign of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. During the 16th century, Habsburg Spain saw a growth in its military power. The Italian Wars resulted in an ultimate Spanish victory and hegemony in northern Italy by expelling the French, during the 16th century this formation evolved into the tercio infantry formation. The new formation and battle tactics were developed because of Spains inability to field sufficient cavalry forces to face the heavy French cavalry, with such numbers involved, Spain had trouble funding the war effort on so many fronts. The non-payment of troops led to many mutinies and events such as the Sack of Antwerp, the Thirty Years War drew in Spain alongside most other European states. Nevertheless, Spanish armies continued to win battles and sieges throughout this period across large swathes of Europe. French entry into the war in 1635 put additional pressure on Spain, by the signing of the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, Spain was forced to accept the independence of the Dutch Republic. In the second half of the century, a reduced and increasingly neglected Spanish army became infamous for being poorly equipped. Spain remained an important naval and military power, depending on sea lanes stretching from Spain through the Caribbean and South America, and westwards towards Manila. The Army was reorganised on the French model and in 1704 the old Tercios were transformed into Regiments, the first modern military school was created in Segovia in 1764. Finally, in 1768 King Charles III sanctioned the Royal Ordinances for the Regime, Discipline, Subordination and Service in his Armies, in the late 18th century, Bourbon-ruled Spain had an alliance with Bourbon-ruled France, and therefore did not have to fear a land war. Its only serious enemy was Britain, which had a powerful Royal Navy, when the French Revolution overthrew the Bourbons, a land war with France became a danger which the king tried to avoid. The officer corps was selected primarily on the basis of royal patronage, about a third of the junior officers have been promoted from the ranks, and they did have talent, but they had few opportunities for promotion or leadership. The rank-and-file were poorly trained peasants, elite units included foreign regiments of Irishmen, Italians, Swiss, and Walloons, in addition to elite artillery and engineering units. Equipment was old-fashioned and in disrepair, the army lacked its own horses, oxen and mules for transportation, so these auxiliaries were operated by civilians, who might run away if conditions looked bad. In combat, small units fought well, but their tactics were hardly of use against the Napoleonic forces. When war broke out with France in 1808, the army was deeply unpopular, leading generals were assassinated, and the army proved incompetent to handle command-and-controlSpanish army – Military service in Spain (1945)
37. Pillars of Hercules – The Pillars of Hercules was the phrase that was applied in Antiquity to the promontories that flank the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar. The northern Pillar, Calpe Mons, is the Rock of Gibraltar, according to Platos account, the lost realm of Atlantis was situated beyond the Pillars of Hercules, in effect placing it in the realm of the Unknown. Renaissance tradition says the pillars bore the warning Ne plus ultra, according to some Roman sources, while on his way to the garden of the Hesperides on the island of Erytheia, Hercules had to cross the mountain that was once Atlas. Instead of climbing the mountain, Hercules used his superhuman strength to smash through it. By doing so, he connected the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea, one part of the split mountain is Gibraltar and the other is either Monte Hacho or Jebel Musa. These two mountains taken together have since then known as the Pillars of Hercules, though other natural features have been associated with the name. The Pillars appear as supporters of the coat of arms of Spain, originating in the impresa of Spains sixteenth century king Charles I and it bears the motto Plus Ultra, Latin for further beyond, implying that the pillars were a gateway. The columns of the Melqart temple at Tyre were also of religious significance, Syriac scholars were aware of the Pillars through their efforts to translate Greek scientific works into their language as well as into Arabic. The Syriac compendium of known as Ktaba dellat koll ellan. Ulysses justifies endangering his sailors by the fact that his goal is to gain knowledge of the unknown, the Pillars appear prominently on the engraved title page of Sir Francis Bacons Instauratio Magna,1620, an unfinished work of which the second part was his influential Novum Organum. The motto along the base says Multi pertransibunt et augebitur scientia, the image was based on the use of the pillars in Spanish and Habsburg propaganda. On the Spanish coast at Los Barrios are Torres de Hercules which are twin towers that were inspired by the Pillars of Hercules and these towers are the tallest buildings in AndalucíaPillars of Hercules – The European Pillar of Hercules: the Rock of Gibraltar (foreground), with the North African shore in the background.
38. Jebel Musa, Morocco – Jebel Musa is a mountain in the northernmost part of Morocco, on the African side of the Strait of Gibraltar. It is part of the Rif mountain chain, the mountain is generally identified as the southern Pillar of Hercules, Abila Mons. Together with the Rock of Gibraltar to the north, it is identified as one of the Pillars of Hercules. The pillars of Hercules arose from one of his twelve labours, earlier, Perseus defeated the Titan Atlas by showing him the head of the Gorgon. Atlas was petrified, his became an forest and his shoulders became cliffs. Later, Hercules was directed to get the Cattle of Geryon, according to the legend this split in the mountain created a sea link between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea. This link was the Strait of Gibraltar, Jebel Musa is 842 metres high. To the north, across the Strait of Gibraltar, lie Spain, to the east is Ceuta, a Spanish exclave, and to the west and south is Morocco. By road, the mountain is about 22 kilometres west of Ceuta, Jebel Musa is opposite the Rock of Gibraltar at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean. It is an important landmark in the region of Tangier-Tetouan on the north coast of Morocco, the coastlines around the mountain show evidence of having had varying sea levels through the ages. These highstands are at 120-130 metres,80 to 90 metres,40 to 60 metres, in Ceuta, around the town of Benzú, the mountain is known as The Dead Woman, because from that direction it resembles a woman on her back. The mountain is a site for birdwatching, migratory birds use the updraughts and thermals from Jebel Musa to gain height before attempting to cross the Strait of Gibraltar. The Strait of Gibraltar is one of the worlds most prominent migration bottlenecks and raptor watching is popular in the fall, the area around the mountain has over 200 caves that attract visiting cavers. The area around the mountain is mainly forest and is identified in the Plan for Protected Areas in Morocco as a Site of Biological and Ecological InterestJebel Musa, Morocco – View of Jebel Musa from Benzú, Spain
39. Carthage – Carthage was the centre or capital city of the ancient Carthaginian civilization, on the eastern side of the Lake of Tunis in what is now the Tunis Governorate in Tunisia. The city developed from a Phoenician colony into the capital of an empire dominating the Mediterranean Sea during the first millennium BC, the apocryphal queen Dido is regarded as the founder of the city, though her historicity has been questioned. According to accounts by Timaeus of Tauromenium, she purchased from a tribe the amount of land that could be covered by an oxhide. The ancient city was destroyed by the Roman Republic in the Third Punic War in 146 BC then re-developed as Roman Carthage, the Roman city was again occupied by the Muslim conquest of the Maghreb, in 698. The archaeological site was first surveyed in 1830, by Danish consul Christian Tuxen Falbe, Excavations were performed in the second half of the 19th century by Charles Ernest Beulé and by Alfred Louis Delattre. The Carthage National Museum was founded in 1875 by Cardinal Charles Lavigerie, the open-air Carthage Paleo-Christian Museum has exhibits excavated under the auspices of UNESCO from 1975 to 1984. The Latin Carthāgō, Carthāginis is an n-stem, as reflected in the English adjective Carthaginian, the Latin adjective pūnicus, a variant of the word Phoenician, is reflected in English in some borrowings from Latin—notably the Punic Wars and the Punic language. The Modern Standard Arabic form قرطاج is an adoption of French Carthage, Carthage was built on a promontory with sea inlets to the north and the south. The citys location made it master of the Mediterraneans maritime trade, all ships crossing the sea had to pass between Sicily and the coast of Tunisia, where Carthage was built, affording it great power and influence. Two large, artificial harbors were built within the city, one for harboring the citys massive navy of 220 warships, a walled tower overlooked both harbors. The city had walls,37 km in length, longer than the walls of comparable cities. Most of the walls were located on the shore, thus could be less impressive, the 4.0 to 4.8 km of wall on the isthmus to the west were truly massive and were never penetrated. The city had a huge necropolis or burial ground, religious area, market places, council house, towers, and a theater, roughly in the middle of the city stood a high citadel called the Byrsa. Carthage was one of the largest cities of the Hellenistic period and was among the largest cities in preindustrial history. Whereas by AD14, Rome had at least 750,000 inhabitants and in the following century may have reached 1 million, according to the not always reliable history of Herodian, Carthage rivaled Alexandria for second place in the Roman empire. On top of Byrsa hill, the location of the Roman Forum, the neighborhood, with its houses, shops, and private spaces, is significant for what it reveals about daily life there over 2100 years ago. The remains have been preserved under embankments, the substructures of the later Roman forum, the housing blocks are separated by a grid of straight streets about 6 m wide, with a roadway consisting of clay, in situ stairs compensate for the slope of the hill. The habitat is typical, even stereotypical, in some places, the ground is covered with mosaics called punica pavement, sometimes using a characteristic red mortarCarthage – Thermes of Antoninus Pius at Carthage
40. Vandal – The Vandals are believed to have migrated from southern Scandinavia to the area between the lower Oder and Vistula rivers during the 2nd century BC and to have settled in Silesia from around 120 BC. They are associated with the Przeworsk culture and were possibly the people as the Lugii. Around 400 the Vandals were pushed westwards again, this time by the Huns, in 409, the Vandals crossed the Pyrenees into the Iberian Peninsula, where their main groups, the Hasdingi and the Silingi, settled in Gallaecia and Baetica respectively. In 429, under king Genseric, the Vandals entered North Africa, by 439 they established a kingdom which included the Roman province of Africa as well as Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia, Malta and the Balearic Islands. They fended off several Roman attempts to recapture the African province and their kingdom collapsed in the Vandalic War of 533–4, in which Justinian I managed to reconquer the province for the Eastern Roman Empire. Renaissance and Early Modern writers characterized the Vandals as barbarians, sacking and looting Rome and this led to the use of the term vandalism to describe any senseless destruction, particularly the barbarian defacing of artwork. However, modern historians tend to regard the Vandals during the period from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages as perpetuators, not destroyers. The connection would be that Vendel is the homeland of the Vandals prior to the Migration Period. Further possible homelands of the Vandals in Scandinavia are Vendsyssel in Denmark, the etymology of the name may be related to a Germanic verb *wand- to wander. The Germanic mythological figure of Aurvandil shining wanderer, dawn wanderer, evening star, much has forwarded the theory that the tribal name Vandal reflects worship of Aurvandil or the Dioscuri, probably involving an origin myth that the Vandalic kings were descended from Aurvandil. Some medieval authors applied the ethnonym Vandals to Slavs, Veneti, Wends and it was once thought that the Slovenes were the descendants of the Vandals, but this is not the view of modern scholars. The Vandals are believed to have migrated from southern Scandinavia to the area between the lower Oder and Vistula somewhere in the 2nd century BC, and to have settled in Silesia from around 120 BC. The earliest mention of the Vandals is from Pliny the Elder, tribes within this category who he mentions are the Burgundiones, Varini, Carini, and the Gutones. Most archaeologists and historians identify the Vandals with the Przeworsk culture, the bearers of the Przeworsk culture mainly practiced cremation, with occasional inhumation. The Lugii have been identified by historians as the same people as the Vandals. The Lugii are mentioned by Strabo, Tacitus and Ptolemy as a group of tribes living between the Vistula and the Oder. Neither Strabo, Tacitus or Ptolemy mentions the Vandals, while Pliny the Elder mentions the Vandals, according to John Anderson, the Lugii and Vandili are designations of the same tribal group, the latter an extended ethnic name, the former probably a cult-title. By the end of the 2nd century, the Vandals were divided in two main groups, the Silingi and the Hasdingi, with the Silingi being associated with SilesiaVandal – Vandalic goldfoil jewellery from the 3rd or 4th century
41. Visigoths – The Visigoths were the western branches of the nomadic tribes of Germanic peoples referred to collectively as the Goths. These tribes flourished and spread throughout the late Roman Empire in Late Antiquity, the Visigoths emerged from earlier Gothic groups who had invaded the Roman Empire beginning in 376 and had defeated the Romans at the Battle of Adrianople in 378. Relations between the Romans and the Visigoths were variable, alternately warring with one another and making treaties when convenient, the Visigoths invaded Italy under Alaric I and sacked Rome in 410. The Visigoths first settled in southern Gaul as foederati of the Romans – a relationship established in 418, however, they soon fell out with their Roman hosts and established their own kingdom with its capital at Toulouse. They next extended their authority into Hispania at the expense of the Suebi, in 507, however, their rule in Gaul was ended by the Franks under Clovis I, who defeated them in the Battle of Vouillé. After that, the Visigoth kingdom was limited to Hispania, in or around 589, the Visigoths under Reccared I converted from Arianism to Nicene Christianity, gradually adopting the culture of their Hispano-Roman subjects. Their legal code, the Visigothic Code abolished the practice of applying different laws for Romans. Once legal distinctions were no longer being made between Romani and Gothi, they became known collectively as Hispani, in the century that followed, the region was dominated by the Councils of Toledo and the episcopacy. In 711 or 712, a force of invading African Moors defeated the Visigoths in the Battle of Guadalete and their king and many members of their governing elite were killed, and their kingdom rapidly collapsed. During their governance of the Kingdom of Hispania, the Visigoths built several churches that survive and they also left many artifacts, which have been discovered in increasing numbers by archaeologists in recent times. The Treasure of Guarrazar of votive crowns and crosses is the most spectacular and they founded the only new cities in western Europe from the fall of the Western half of the Roman Empire until the rise of the Carolingian dynasty. Many Visigothic names are still in use in modern Spanish and Portuguese, contemporaneous references to the Gothic tribes use the terms Vesi, Ostrogothi, Thervingi, and Greuthungi. Most scholars have concluded that the terms Vesi and Tervingi were both used to refer to one particular tribe, while the terms Ostrogothi and Greuthungi were used to refer to another. In addition, the Notitia Dignitatum equates the Vesi with the Tervingi in a reference to the years 388–391, the earliest sources for each of the four names are roughly contemporaneous. The first recorded reference to the Tervingi is in a eulogy of the emperor Maximian, delivered in or shortly after 291 and it says that the Tervingi, another division of the Goths, joined with the Taifali to attack the Vandals and Gepidae. The first known use of the term Ostrogoths is in a document dated September 392 from Milan and this would explain why the latter terms dropped out of use shortly after 400, when the Goths were displaced by the Hunnic invasions. Wolfram believes that the people Zosimus describes were those Tervingi who had remained behind after the Hunnic conquest, for the most part, all of the terms discriminating between different Gothic tribes gradually disappeared after they moved into the Roman Empire. The last indication that the Goths whose king reigned at Toulouse thought of themselves as Vesi is found in a panegyric on Avitus by Sidonius Apollinaris dated 1 January 456, most recent scholars have concluded that Visigothic group identity emerged only within the Roman EmpireVisigoths – Detail of the votive crown of Reccesuinth from the Treasure of Guarrazar, hanging in Madrid. The hanging letters spell [R]ECCESVINTUS REX OFFERET [King R. offers this].
42. Hispania – Hispania was the Roman name for the Iberian Peninsula. Under the Republic, Hispania was divided into two provinces, Hispania Citerior and Hispania Ulterior, during the Principate, Hispania Ulterior was divided into two new provinces, Baetica and Lusitania, while Hispania Citerior was renamed Tarraconensis. Subsequently, the part of Tarraconensis was split off, first as Hispania Nova. The name, Hispania, was used in the period of Visigothic rule. The modern placenames Spain and Hispaniola are both derived from Hispania, one theory holds it to be of Punic derivation, from the Phoenician language of colonizing Carthage. Specifically, it may derive from a Punic cognate of Hebrew אי-שפניא meaning Island of the Hyrax or island of the hare or island of the rabbit. Others derive the word from Phoenician span, in the sense of hidden, and make it indicate a hidden, that is, Isidore of Sevilla considered Hispania derived from Hispalis. Occasionally Hispania was called Hesperia Ultima, the last western land in Greek, by Roman writers, another theory holds that the name derives from Ezpanna, the Basque word for border or edge, thus meaning the farthest area or place. The use of Latin Hispania, Castilian España, Catalan Espanya and French Espaigne, a document dated 1292 mentions the names of foreigners from Medieval Spain as Gracien dEspaigne. You are, Oh Spain, holy and always happy mother of princes and peoples and you, by right, are now the queen of all provinces, from whom the lights are given not only the sunset, but also the East. Navarre followed soon after in 1512, and Portugal in 1580, during this time, the concept of Spain was still unchanged. The King of Portugal would protest energetically when during a public act King Fernando talked about the Crown of Spain and it was after the independence of Portugal in 1640 when the concept of Spain started to shift and be applied to all the Peninsula except Portugal. Even so, Portugal would still complain when the terms Crown of Spain or Monarchy of Spain were still used in the 18th century with the Treaty of Utrecht. The Iberian peninsula has long inhabited, first by early hominids such as Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis. In the Paleolithic period, the Neanderthals entered Iberia and eventually took refuge from the migrations of modern humans. In the 40th millennium BC, during the Upper Paleolithic and the last ice age and these were nomadic hunter-gatherers originating on the steppes of Central Asia. When the last Ice Age reached its maximum extent, during the 30th millennium BC, in the millennia that followed, the Neanderthals became extinct and local modern human cultures thrived, producing pre-historic art such as that found in LArbreda Cave and in the Côa Valley. In the Mesolithic period, beginning in the 10th millennium BC and this was an interstadial deglaciation that lessened the harsh conditions of the Ice AgeHispania – Archaeological Roman Ensemble of Mérida (Emerita Augusta), Extremadura, Spain.
43. Byzantine Empire – It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic, cultural, several signal events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the period of transition during which the Roman Empires Greek East and Latin West divided. Constantine I reorganised the empire, made Constantinople the new capital, under Theodosius I, Christianity became the Empires official state religion and other religious practices were proscribed. Finally, under the reign of Heraclius, the Empires military, the borders of the Empire evolved significantly over its existence, as it went through several cycles of decline and recovery. During the reign of Maurice, the Empires eastern frontier was expanded, in a matter of years the Empire lost its richest provinces, Egypt and Syria, to the Arabs. This battle opened the way for the Turks to settle in Anatolia, the Empire recovered again during the Komnenian restoration, such that by the 12th century Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest European city. Despite the eventual recovery of Constantinople in 1261, the Byzantine Empire remained only one of several small states in the area for the final two centuries of its existence. Its remaining territories were annexed by the Ottomans over the 15th century. The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 finally ended the Byzantine Empire, the term comes from Byzantium, the name of the city of Constantinople before it became Constantines capital. This older name of the city would rarely be used from this point onward except in historical or poetic contexts. The publication in 1648 of the Byzantine du Louvre, and in 1680 of Du Canges Historia Byzantina further popularised the use of Byzantine among French authors, however, it was not until the mid-19th century that the term came into general use in the Western world. The Byzantine Empire was known to its inhabitants as the Roman Empire, the Empire of the Romans, Romania, the Roman Republic, Graikia, and also as Rhōmais. The inhabitants called themselves Romaioi and Graikoi, and even as late as the 19th century Greeks typically referred to modern Greek as Romaika and Graikika. The authority of the Byzantine emperor as the legitimate Roman emperor was challenged by the coronation of Charlemagne as Imperator Augustus by Pope Leo III in the year 800. No such distinction existed in the Islamic and Slavic worlds, where the Empire was more seen as the continuation of the Roman Empire. In the Islamic world, the Roman Empire was known primarily as Rûm, the Roman army succeeded in conquering many territories covering the entire Mediterranean region and coastal regions in southwestern Europe and north Africa. These territories were home to different cultural groups, both urban populations and rural populations. The West also suffered heavily from the instability of the 3rd century ADByzantine Empire – Tremissis with the image of Justinian the Great (r. 527–565) (see Byzantine insignia)
44. Muslim – A Muslim is someone who follows or practices Islam, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion. Muslims consider the Quran, their book, to be the verbatim word of God as revealed to the Islamic prophet. They also follow the teachings and practices of Muhammad as recorded in traditional accounts, Muslim is an Arabic word meaning one who submits. Most Muslims will accept anyone who has publicly pronounced Shahadah as a Muslim, the shahadah states, There is no god but the God and Muhammad is the last messenger of the God. The testimony authorized by God in the Quran that can found in Surah 3,18 states, There is no god except God, which in Arabic, is the exact testimony which God Himself utters, as well as the angels and those who possess knowledge utter. The word muslim is the active participle of the verb of which islām is a verbal noun, based on the triliteral S-L-M to be whole. A female adherent is a muslima, the plural form in Arabic is muslimūn or muslimīn, and its feminine equivalent is muslimāt. The Arabic form muslimun is the stem IV participle of the triliteral S-L-M, the ordinary word in English is Muslim. It is sometimes transliterated as Moslem, which is an older spelling, the word Mosalman is a common equivalent for Muslim used in Central Asia. Until at least the mid-1960s, many English-language writers used the term Mohammedans or Mahometans, although such terms were not necessarily intended to be pejorative, Muslims argue that the terms are offensive because they allegedly imply that Muslims worship Muhammad rather than God. Other obsolete terms include Muslimite and Muslimist, musulmán/Mosalmán is a synonym for Muslim and is modified from Arabic. In English it was sometimes spelled Mussulman and has become archaic in usage, the Muslim philosopher Ibn Arabi said, A Muslim is a person who has dedicated his worship exclusively to God. Islam means making ones religion and faith Gods alone. The Quran states that men were Muslims because they submitted to God, preached His message and upheld His values. Thus, in Surah 3,52 of the Quran, Jesus disciples tell him, We believe in God, and you be our witness that we are Muslims. In Muslim belief, before the Quran, God had given the Tawrat to Moses, the Zabur to David and the Injil to Jesus, who are all considered important Muslim prophets. The most populous Muslim-majority country is Indonesia, home to 12. 7% of the worlds Muslims, followed by Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Egypt. About 20% of the worlds Muslims lives in the Middle East and North Africa, Sizable minorities are found in India, China, Russia, Ethiopia. The country with the highest proportion of self-described Muslims as a proportion of its population is MoroccoMuslim – Afghan Muslims praying inside Gardens of Babur in Kabul, Afghanistan.
45. Berber people – Berbers or Amazighen are an ethnic group indigenous to North Africa. They are distributed in an area stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Siwa Oasis in Egypt, historically, they spoke Berber languages, which together form the Berber branch of the Afro-Asiatic family. The majority of Berbers are predominantly Sunni Muslim, the Berber identity is usually wider than language and ethnicity, and encompasses the entire history and geography of North Africa. Berbers are not an entirely homogeneous ethnicity and they encompass a range of phenotypes, societies and ancestries, the unifying forces for the Berber people may be their shared language, or a collective identification with Berber heritage and history. There are some twenty-five to thirty million Berber speakers in North Africa, the number of ethnic Berbers is far greater, as a large part of the Berbers have acquired other languages over the course of many decades or centuries, and no longer speak Berber today. The majority of North Africas population is believed to be Berber in origin, Berbers call themselves some variant of the word i-Mazigh-en, possibly meaning free people or noble men. The name likely had its ancient parallel in the Roman and Greek names for Berbers, dihya or Kahina was a religious and military leader who led a fierce Berber resistance against the Arab-Muslim expansion in Northwest Africa. Kusaila was a leader of the Awraba tribe of the Berber people. A history by a Roman consul in Africa made the first reference of the barbarian to describe Numidia. The use of the term Berber spread in the following the arrival of the Vandals during their major invasions. The English term was introduced in the 19th century, replacing the earlier Barbary, for the historian Abraham Isaac Laredo the name Amazigh could be derived from the name of the ancestor Mezeg which is the translation of biblical ancestor Dedan son of Sheba in the Targum. According to Leo Africanus, Amazigh meant free man, though this has been disputed, further, it also has a cognate in the Tuareg word Amajegh, meaning noble. The Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines mentioned various tribes with similar names living in Greater Libya in the areas where Berbers were later found, later tribal names differ from the classical sources, but are probably still related to the modern Amazigh. The Meshwesh tribe among them represents the first thus identified from the field, all those names are similar and perhaps foreign renditions of the name used by the Berbers in general for themselves, Imazighen. The Maghreb region in northwestern Africa is believed to have been inhabited by Berbers from at least 10,000 BC, local cave paintings, which have been dated to twelve millennia before present, have been found in the Tassili nAjjer region of southern Algeria. Other rock art has been observed in Tadrart Acacus in the Libyan desert, a Neolithic society, marked by domestication and subsistence agriculture, developed in the Saharan and Mediterranean region of northern Africa between 6000 and 2000 BC. This type of life, richly depicted in the Tassili nAjjer cave paintings of southeastern Algeria, prehistorical Tifinagh scripts were also found in the Oran region. During the pre-Roman era, several independent states existed before the king Masinissa unified the people of NumidiaBerber people – Hoggar painting
46. Catalonia – Catalonia is an autonomous community of Spain, located on the northeastern extremity of the Iberian Peninsula. It is designated as a nationality by its Statute of Autonomy, Catalonia consists of four provinces, Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. The capital and largest city is Barcelona, the second-most populated municipality in Spain, Catalonia comprises most of the territory of the former Principality of Catalonia. It is bordered by France and Andorra to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the east, the official languages are Catalan, Spanish, and the Aranese dialect of Occitan. The eastern counties of these marches were united under the rule of the Frankish vassal the Count of Barcelona, in the later Middle Ages Catalan literature flourished. Between 1469 and 1516, the King of Aragon and the Queen of Castile married and ruled their kingdoms together, retaining all their distinct institutions, Courts, and constitutions. During the Franco-Spanish War, Catalonia revolted against a large and burdensome presence of the Royal army in its territory, within a brief period France took full control of Catalonia, at a high economic cost for Catalonia, until it was largely reconquered by the Spanish army. In the nineteenth century, Catalonia was severely affected by the Napoleonic, in the second half of the century Catalonia experienced industrialisation. As wealth from the industrial expansion grew, Catalonia saw a cultural renaissance coupled with incipient nationalism while several workers movements appeared. In 1914, the four Catalan provinces formed a Commonwealth, and with the return of democracy during the Second Spanish Republic, after the Spanish Civil War, the Francoist dictatorship enacted repressive measures, abolishing Catalan institutions and banning the official use of the Catalan language again. Since the Spanish transition to democracy, Catalonia has regained some political and cultural autonomy and is now one of the most economically dynamic communities of Spain, the origin of the name Catalunya is subject to diverse interpretations because of a lack of evidence. During the Middle Ages, Byzantine chroniclers claimed that Catalania derives from the medley of Goths with Alans. Other less plausible theories suggest, Catalunya derives from the land of castles, having evolved from the term castlà or castlan. This theory therefore suggests that the names Catalunya and Castile have a common root, the source is of Celtic origin, meaning chiefs of battle. Although the area is not known to have been occupied by Celts, the Lacetani, an Iberian tribe that lived in the area and whose name, due to the Roman influence, could have evolved by metathesis to Katelans and then Catalans. In English, Catalonia is pronounced /kætəˈloʊniə/, the native name, Catalunya, is pronounced in Central Catalan, the most widely spoken variety whose pronunciation is considered standard. The Spanish name is Cataluña, and the Aranese name is Catalonha, the first known human settlements in what is now Catalonia were at the beginning of the Middle Palaeolithic. From the next era, the Epipaleolithic or Mesolithic, important remains surviveCatalonia – A Roman aqueduct in Tarragona.
47. Kingdom of Spain – By population, Spain is the sixth largest in Europe and the fifth in the European Union. Spains capital and largest city is Madrid, other urban areas include Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Bilbao. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago, in the Middle Ages, the area was conquered by Germanic tribes and later by the Moors. Spain is a democracy organised in the form of a government under a constitutional monarchy. It is a power and a major developed country with the worlds fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP. Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the span is the Phoenician word spy. Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean the land where metals are forged, two 15th-century Spanish Jewish scholars, Don Isaac Abravanel and Solomon ibn Verga, gave an explanation now considered folkloric. Both men wrote in two different published works that the first Jews to reach Spain were brought by ship by Phiros who was confederate with the king of Babylon when he laid siege to Jerusalem. This man was a Grecian by birth, but who had given a kingdom in Spain. He became related by marriage to Espan, the nephew of king Heracles, Heracles later renounced his throne in preference for his native Greece, leaving his kingdom to his nephew, Espan, from whom the country of España took its name. Based upon their testimonies, this eponym would have already been in use in Spain by c.350 BCE, Iberia enters written records as a land populated largely by the Iberians, Basques and Celts. Early on its coastal areas were settled by Phoenicians who founded Western Europe´s most ancient cities Cadiz, Phoenician influence expanded as much of the Peninsula was eventually incorporated into the Carthaginian Empire, becoming a major theater of the Punic Wars against the expanding Roman Empire. After an arduous conquest, the peninsula came fully under Roman Rule, during the early Middle Ages it came under Germanic rule but later, much of it was conquered by Moorish invaders from North Africa. In a process took centuries, the small Christian kingdoms in the north gradually regained control of the peninsula. The last Moorish kingdom fell in the same year Columbus reached the Americas, a global empire began which saw Spain become the strongest kingdom in Europe, the leading world power for a century and a half, and the largest overseas empire for three centuries. Continued wars and other problems led to a diminished status. The Napoleonic invasions of Spain led to chaos, triggering independence movements that tore apart most of the empire, eventually democracy was peacefully restored in the form of a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Spain joined the European Union, experiencing a renaissance and steady economic growthKingdom of Spain – Lady of Elche
48. Barcelona – Founded as a Roman city, in the Middle Ages Barcelona became the capital of the County of Barcelona. Barcelona has a cultural heritage and is today an important cultural centre. Particularly renowned are the works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner. The headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean is located in Barcelona, the city is known for hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics as well as world-class conferences and expositions and also many international sport tournaments. It is a cultural and economic centre in southwestern Europe, 24th in the world. In 2008 it was the fourth most economically powerful city by GDP in the European Union, in 2012 Barcelona had a GDP of $170 billion, it is leading Spain in both employment rate and GDP per capita change. In 2009 the city was ranked Europes third and one of the worlds most successful as a city brand, since 2011 Barcelona has been a leading smart city in Europe. During the Middle Ages, the city was known as Barchinona, Barçalona, Barchelonaa. Internationally, Barcelonas name is abbreviated to Barça. However, this refers only to FC Barcelona, the football club. The common abbreviated form used by locals is Barna, another common abbreviation is BCN, which is also the IATA airport code of the Barcelona-El Prat Airport. The city is referred to as the Ciutat Comtal in Catalan. The origin of the earliest settlement at the site of present-day Barcelona is unclear, the ruins of an early settlement have been excavated in the El Raval neighbourhood, including different tombs and dwellings dating to earlier than 5000 BC. The founding of Barcelona is the subject of two different legends, the first attributes the founding of the city to the mythological Hercules. In about 15 BC, the Romans redrew the town as a castrum centred on the Mons Taber, under the Romans, it was a colony with the surname of Faventia, or, in full, Colonia Faventia Julia Augusta Pia Barcino or Colonia Julia Augusta Faventia Paterna Barcino. It enjoyed immunity from imperial burdens, the city minted its own coins, some from the era of Galba survive. Some remaining fragments of the Roman walls have incorporated into the cathedral. The cathedral, also known as the Basilica La Seu, is said to have founded in 343Barcelona – Central business district, Sagrada Família, Camp Nou stadium, The Castle of the Three Dragons, Palau Nacional, W Barcelona hotel and beach
49. Lleida – Lleida is a city in the west of Catalonia, Spain. It is the city of the province of Lleida. Geographically, it is located in the Catalan Central Depression, the metro area has about 250,000 inhabitants. It is also the city of the Segrià comarca, as well as the largest city in the province. It had 137,387 inhabitants as of 2010, including the municipalities of Raimat. Lleida is one of the oldest towns in Catalonia, with recorded settlements dating back to the Bronze Age period, until the Roman conquest of the Iberian Peninsula, the area served as a settlement for an Iberian people, the Ilergetes. The town became a municipality, named Ilerda, under the reign of Augustus and it was reconquered in 1149, after being ruled by the Moors for many centuries, who had conquered the town in the 8th century. In 1297, the University of Lleida was founded, becoming the third oldest in the whole of Spain, during the following centuries, the town was damaged by several wars such as the Reapers War in the 17th century and the Spanish Civil War in the 20th century. Since then, the city has been in a constant urban, commercial, in ancient times the city, named Iltrida and Ilerda, was the chief city of the Ilergetes, an Iberian tribe. Indíbil, king of the Ilergetes, and Mandoni, king of the Ausetanes, under the Romans, the city was incorporated into the Roman province of Hispania Tarraconensis, and was a place of considerable importance, historically as well as geographically. Its situation induced the legates of Pompey in Spain to make it the key of their defense against Caesar and it ended by the capitulation of Afranius and Petreius, who were conquered as much by Caesars generosity as by his strategy. In consequence of the battle, the Latin phrase Ilerdam videas is said to have used by people who wanted to cast bad luck on someone else. Under the Roman empire, Ilerda was a flourishing city. It had a stone bridge over the Sicoris. In the time of Ausonius the city had fallen into decay and it was part of Visigothic and Muslim Hispania until it was conquered from the Moors by Count Ramon Berenguer IV of Barcelona in 1149. It used to be the seat of a university, the oldest in the Crown of Aragon, until 1717. The University of Lleida is nowadays active again since 1991, during the Reapers War, Lleida was occupied by the French and rebel forces. In 1644 the city was conquered by the Spanish under D. Felipe da Silva, Lleida served as a key defense point for Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War, and fell to the Insurgents, whose air forces bombed it extensively, in 1937 and 1938Lleida – La Seu Vella cathedral in Lleida
50. Andorra – Created under a charter in 988, the present principality was formed in 1278. It is known as a principality as it is a monarchy headed by two Co-Princes – the Roman Catholic Bishop of Urgell in Spain, and the President of France. Andorra is the sixth-smallest nation in Europe, having an area of 468 km2 and its capital Andorra la Vella is the highest capital city in Europe, at an elevation of 1,023 metres above sea level. The official language is Catalan, although Spanish, Portuguese, Andorras tourism services an estimated 10.2 million visitors annually. It is not a member of the European Union, but the euro is the official currency and it has been a member of the United Nations since 1993. In 2013, the people of Andorra had the highest life expectancy in the world at 81 years, the origin of the word Andorra is unknown, although several hypotheses have been formulated. The word Andosini or Andosins may derive from the Basque handia whose meaning is big or giant, the Andorran toponymy shows evidence of Basque language in the area. Another theory suggests that the word Andorra may derive from the old word Anorra that contains the Basque word ur, another theory suggests that Andorra may derive from Arabic al-durra, meaning The forest. Other theories suggest that the term derives from the Navarro-Aragonese andurrial, la Balma de la Margineda found by archaeologists at Sant Julia de Loria were the first temporal settled in 10000 BC as a passing place between the two sides of the Pyrenees. The seasonal camp was located for hunting and fishing by the groups of hunter-gatherers from Ariege. During the Neolithic Age the group of humans moved to the Valley of Madriu as a permanent camp in 6640 BC, the population of the valley grew cereals, raised domestic livestock and developed a commercial trade with people from the Segre and Occitania. Other archaeological deposits include the Tombs of Segudet and Feixa del Moro both dated in 4900-4300 BC as an example of the Urn culture in Andorra, the model of small settlements begin to evolved as an complex urbanism during the Bronze Age. We can found metallurgical items of iron, ancient coins and relicaries in the ancient sanctuaries scattered around the country, the inhabitants of the valleys were traditionally associated with the Iberians and historically located in Andorra as the Iberian tribe Andosins or Andosini during the VII and II centuries BC. Influenced by Aquitanias, Basque and Iberian languages the locals developed some current toponyms, early writings and documents relating this group of people goes back to the second century BC by the Greek writer Polybius in his Histories during the Punic Wars. Some of the most significant remains of this era are the Castle of the Roc dEnclar, lAnxiu in Les Escaldes and it is known the presence of Roman influence from the II century BC to the V century AD. The places found with more Roman presence are in Camp Vermell in Sant Julia de Loria, people continued trading, mainly with wine and cereals, with the Roman cities of Urgellet and all across Segre through the Via Romana Strata Ceretana. After the fall of the Roman Empire Andorra was under the influence of the Visigoths, not directly from the Kingdom of Toledo by distance, the Visigoths remained during 200 years in the valleys, a period in which Christianization takes place within the country. The fall of the Visigoths came from the Muslim Empire and its conquest of the Iberian Peninsula, Andorra remained away from these invasions by the FranksAndorra – Sant Joan de Caselles church, dating from the 11th century.
51. Aragon – Aragon is an autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces, Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel, the current Statute of Autonomy declares Aragon a nationality of Spain. Aragons northern province of Huesca borders France and is positioned in the middle of the Pyrenees, within Spain, the community is flanked by Catalonia to the east, Valencia and Castile–La Mancha to the south, and Castile and León, La Rioja, and Navarre to the west. Aragon is home to many rivers—most notably, the river Ebro, Spains largest river in volume and it is also home to the Aneto, the highest mountain in the Pyrenees. As of 2015, the population of Aragon was 1,317,847, with more than half of it living in Zaragoza. As of 2015, half of Aragons population,50. 45%, Huesca is the only other city in the region with a population greater than 50,000. The majority of Aragonese citizens,71. 8%, live in the province of Zaragoza,17. 1% in Huesca and 11. 1% in Teruel, the population density of the region is the second lowest in Spain, only 26, 8/km2, after Castilla La Mancha. Only four cities have more than 20,000 inhabitants, Zaragoza 700,000, Huesca 50,000, Teruel 35,000 and Calatayud 20,000. Spanish is the language in most of Aragon, and it is the only official language, understood. The strip-shaped Catalan-speaking area in Aragon is often called La Franja, with such a low population density large areas of Aragon remain wild and relatively untouched. It is a land of natural contrasts, both in climate and geologically, from the green valleys and snow-capped peaks of the Pyrenees to the dry plains. Aragons Pyrenees include splendid and varied mountain landscapes with soaring peaks, deep canyons, dense forests and its rugged peaks include the Aneto, the highest in the range, the misty Monte Perdido, Perdiguero, Cotiella and many others. The park is one of the last sanctuaries of birds of prey in the range. Many beautiful mountain butterflies and flowers can be seen in the summer, the principal valleys in the mountains include those of Hecho, Canfranc, Tena, Benasque and others. The green valleys hide pretty villages with nice Romanesque churches and typical Pyrenean houses with flowers on the balconies, the oldest Romanesque cathedral in Spain is located in the medieval town of Jaca in the very northern part of Huesca Province. In the Pyrenean foothills, or pre-Pyrenees, the Mallos de Riglos are a natural rock formation. Ancient castles nestle on lonely hills, the most famous being the magnificent Loarre Castle, further south, the Ebro valley, irrigated by the river Ebro, is a rich and fertile agricultural area covered with vast fields of wheat, barley and other fruit and vegetable crops. Many beautiful and little-known settlements, castles and Roman ruins dot the landscape here, some of the most notable towns here include Calatayud, Daroca, Sos del Rey Catolico, Caspe and othersAragon – Loarre, one of the most important Romanesque castles in Europe
52. Valencian Community – The Valencian Community, or the Valencian Country, is an autonomous community of Spain. It is the fourth most populousautonomous community after Andalusia, Catalonia and it is often homonymously identified with its capital Valencia, which is Spains third largest city. It is located along the Mediterranean coast to the east of the Iberian peninsula and it borders with Catalonia to the north, Aragon and Castile–La Mancha to the west, and Murcia to the south. The Valencian Community consists of three provinces which are Castellón, Valencia and Alicante, according to its Statute of Autonomy, the Valencian people are a nationality. Their origins date back to the Catalan-Aragonese colonization of the Moorish Taifa of Valencia, the newly founded Kingdom of Valencia was granted wide self-government under the Crown of Aragon with the promulgation of its Furs in 1261. Valencia experienced its golden age in the 15th century, becoming the economic and cultural capital of the Crown, self-government continued after the unification of the Spanish Kingdom, but was eventually suspended in 1707 by Phillip V of Spain as a result of the Spanish War of Succession. Valencian nationalism resurged towards the end of the 19th century, which led to the conception of the Valencian Country. Self-government under the Generalitat Valenciana was finally reestablished in 1982 after Spanish transition to democracy, the Valencian people speak a variety of Catalan called Valencian, accounting for a third of all Catalan speakers. Valencian is a language that has been historically repressed in favour of Spanish. Since it regained status in 1982, Valencian has been implemented in public administration. However, its use continues to be threatened by Spanish due to migration from other parts of Spain, especially in the cities of València. Furthermore, the conflict continues to be pressing, with some groups opposing the official standard based on Catalan orthography. Valencia was founded by the Romans under the name of Valentia Edetanorum, with the establishment of the Taifa of Valencia, the name developed to بلنسية, which eventually became Valencia after the expulsion of the Moors. Valencian Community is the translation of the official name in Valencian recognized by the Statute of Autonomy of 1982. This is the name most used in administration, tourism. On one hand, Valencian Country represented the modern conception of nationality that resurged in the 19th century and it became well-established during the Second Spanish Republic and later on with the works of Joan Fuster in the 1960s, implying the existence of the Catalan Countries. This nationalist subtext was opposed by anti-Catalan blaverists, who proposed Former Kingdom of Valencia instead in order to emphasize Valencian independence from Catalonia, currently, blaverists have accepted the official denomination. The autonomous community can be identified with its capital ValenciaValencian Community – Archeological site of Tossal de Manises, ancient Iberian – Greek – Carthaginian – Roman city of Akra Leuke or Lucentum
53. Mediterranean Sea – The sea is sometimes considered a part of the Atlantic Ocean, although it is usually identified as a separate body of water. The name Mediterranean is derived from the Latin mediterraneus, meaning inland or in the middle of land and it covers an approximate area of 2.5 million km2, but its connection to the Atlantic is only 14 km wide. The Strait of Gibraltar is a strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates Gibraltar. In oceanography, it is called the Eurafrican Mediterranean Sea or the European Mediterranean Sea to distinguish it from mediterranean seas elsewhere. The Mediterranean Sea has a depth of 1,500 m. The sea is bordered on the north by Europe, the east by Asia and it is located between latitudes 30° and 46° N and longitudes 6° W and 36° E. Its west-east length, from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Gulf of Iskenderun, the seas average north-south length, from Croatia’s southern shore to Libya, is approximately 800 km. The Mediterranean Sea, including the Sea of Marmara, has an area of approximately 2,510,000 square km. The sea was an important route for merchants and travelers of ancient times that allowed for trade, the history of the Mediterranean region is crucial to understanding the origins and development of many modern societies. In addition, the Gaza Strip and the British Overseas Territories of Gibraltar and Akrotiri, the term Mediterranean derives from the Latin word mediterraneus, meaning amid the earth or between land, as it is between the continents of Africa, Asia and Europe. The Ancient Greek name Mesogeios, is similarly from μέσο, between + γη, land, earth) and it can be compared with the Ancient Greek name Mesopotamia, meaning between rivers. The Mediterranean Sea has historically had several names, for example, the Carthaginians called it the Syrian Sea and latter Romans commonly called it Mare Nostrum, and occasionally Mare Internum. Another name was the Sea of the Philistines, from the people inhabiting a large portion of its shores near the Israelites, the sea is also called the Great Sea in the General Prologue by Geoffrey Chaucer. In Ottoman Turkish, it has also been called Bahr-i Sefid, in Modern Hebrew, it has been called HaYam HaTikhon, the Middle Sea, reflecting the Seas name in ancient Greek, Latin, and modern languages in both Europe and the Middle East. Similarly, in Modern Arabic, it is known as al-Baḥr al-Mutawassiṭ, in Turkish, it is known as Akdeniz, the White Sea since among Turks the white colour represents the west. Several ancient civilisations were located around the Mediterranean shores, and were influenced by their proximity to the sea. It provided routes for trade, colonisation, and war, as well as food for numerous communities throughout the ages, due to the shared climate, geology, and access to the sea, cultures centered on the Mediterranean tended to have some extent of intertwined culture and history. Two of the most notable Mediterranean civilisations in classical antiquity were the Greek city states, later, when Augustus founded the Roman Empire, the Romans referred to the Mediterranean as Mare NostrumMediterranean Sea – Circa the 6th century BCE: In ancient times the Mediterranean provided sources of food and local commerce and direct routes for trade and communications, colonisation, and war. Numerous cities and colonies were situated at its shores or within the basin: Greek (red) and Phoenician (yellow) colonies in antiquity; and other cities (grey), including the provincial "Rom".
54. Spanish language – Spanish —also called Castilian —is a Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain, with hundreds of millions of native speakers around the world. It is usually considered the worlds second-most spoken native language after Mandarin Chinese and it is one of the few languages to use inverted question and exclamation marks. Spanish is a part of the Ibero-Romance group of languages, which evolved from several dialects of Vulgar Latin in Iberia after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century. Beginning in the early 16th century, Spanish was taken to the colonies of the Spanish Empire, most notably to the Americas, as well as territories in Africa, Oceania, around 75% of modern Spanish is derived from Latin. Greek has also contributed substantially to Spanish vocabulary, especially through Latin, Spanish vocabulary has been in contact from an early date with Arabic, having developed during the Al-Andalus era in the Iberian Peninsula. With around 8% of its vocabulary being Arabic in origin, this language is the second most important influence after Latin and it has also been influenced by Basque as well as by neighboring Ibero-Romance languages. It also adopted words from languages such as Gothic language from the Visigoths in which many Spanish names and surnames have a Visigothic origin. Spanish is one of the six languages of the United Nations. It is the language in the world by the number of people who speak it as a mother tongue, after Mandarin Chinese. It is estimated more than 437 million people speak Spanish as a native language. Spanish is the official or national language in Spain, Equatorial Guinea, speakers in the Americas total some 418 million. In the European Union, Spanish is the tongue of 8% of the population. Spanish is the most popular second language learned in the United States, in 2011 it was estimated by the American Community Survey that of the 55 million Hispanic United States residents who are five years of age and over,38 million speak Spanish at home. The Spanish Constitution of 1978 uses the term castellano to define the language of the whole Spanish State in contrast to las demás lenguas españolas. Article III reads as follows, El castellano es la lengua española oficial del Estado, las demás lenguas españolas serán también oficiales en las respectivas Comunidades Autónomas. Castilian is the official Spanish language of the State, the other Spanish languages as well shall be official in their respective Autonomous Communities. The Spanish Royal Academy, on the hand, currently uses the term español in its publications. Two etymologies for español have been suggested, the Spanish Royal Academy Dictionary derives the term from the Provençal word espaignol, and that in turn from the Medieval Latin word Hispaniolus, from—or pertaining to—HispaniaSpanish language – A page of Cantar de Mio Cid, the oldest preserved Spanish epic poem, in medieval Spanish.
55. Aranese – In 2010, it was named the third official language of the whole of Catalonia by Parliament of Catalonia. The official spellings of towns in Val dAran are Aranese, for example, between 60 and 65% of the population can speak it, however, only 26% reported being able to write in Aranese. In 2008, the Generalitat of Catalonia surveyed the population in the Val dAran, the survey reported that 78. 2% of the population could understand Aranese,56. 8% could speak it,59. 4% could read it, and 34. 8% could write the language. Students in the Val dAran are required to have 2 hours of each Spanish, Catalan, at some levels of education, a foreign language is added to the three official languages—usually French due to proximity—and sometimes even 2 additional hours of English. /h/ is pronounced oy in the towns of Bausen and Canejan, foreign words that have not been adopted into Aranese also retain /h/, hardware, maharajah. /ɾ/ is pronounced, except at the end of a word, notes, In practice, stressed ei tends to be pronounced, trueita pronounced as trueta. Word-final èi is often pronounced instead of, cantèi pronounced as cantè, similarly, speakers tend to say òu as ò, auriòu is pronounced like auriò iu can be pronounced as or, Diu Orthographic ui historically was a diphthong, but is currently produced as. Aranese orthography denotes where two consecutive vowels do not diphthongize, but rather form a hiatus, a diaereses mark over unstressed i or u, ï, ü flaüta /flaˈy. ta/ cocaïna /ku. kaˈi. na/ coïncidir /ku. in. Some Hispanicisms are directly adopted into Aranese, hasta, Aranese is regulated under classic unifying standards of Occitan, defined initially by Loís Alibèrt. These standards of the Conselh de la Lenga Occitana have officially recognized by the Conselh Generau dAran since 1999. In practice, several details standards diverge due to the popular or preferred usage of Aranese, for instance, the form of the feminine plural -AS in general Gascon is replaced with -ES in Aranese. A descriptive and normative reference grammar book, written in Aranese by Aitor Carrera, was published in March 2007 and it includes a detailed breakdown of phonological and grammatical differences between varieties of Aranese in different villages in the valley. A dictionary of Aranese was written by the Catalan linguist Joan Coromines as his doctoral thesis, a simple four-language Spanish–Aranese–Catalan–French dictionary exists, written by Frederic Vergés Bartau. An Aranese-English and English–Aranese dictionary was published in 2006 and it was written by Ryan Furness, a young man from Minnesota, after he became curious about the language when he traveled to Val dAran. A detailed one-volume Catalan–Occitan and Occitan–Catalan dictionary was published under the auspices of the governments of Catalonia, although it calls the language Occitan, it uses Aranese spelling and its preface says that special attention is given to the Aranese variety. A local monthly magazine Toti and local newspapers are published partly in the language, Occitan language Languages of Spain Barés Moga, Verònica. Es vèrbs conjugadi, morfologia verbau aranesa, petit diccionari, castelhan-aranés -catalan-francés, aranés -castelhan-catalan-francés. Vielha, Vall dʾAran, Lhèida, Conselh Comarcau dera Val DʾAranAranese – Aranese signage in Bossòst, Val d'Aran
56. Algeria – Algeria, officially the Peoples Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a sovereign state in North Africa on the Mediterranean coast. Its capital and most populous city is Algiers, located in the far north. With an area of 2,381,741 square kilometres, Algeria is the tenth-largest country in the world, the country is a semi-presidential republic consisting of 48 provinces and 1,541 communes. Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been President since 1999, Berbers are the indigenous inhabitants of Algeria. Algeria is a regional and middle power, the North African country supplies large amounts of natural gas to Europe, and energy exports are the backbone of the economy. According to OPEC Algeria has the 16th largest oil reserves in the world, Sonatrach, the national oil company, is the largest company in Africa. Algeria has one of the largest militaries in Africa and the largest defence budget on the continent, most of Algerias weapons are imported from Russia, with whom they are a close ally. Algeria is a member of the African Union, the Arab League, OPEC, the countrys name derives from the city of Algiers. The citys name in turn derives from the Arabic al-Jazāir, a form of the older Jazāir Banī Mazghanna. In the region of Ain Hanech, early remnants of hominid occupation in North Africa were found, neanderthal tool makers produced hand axes in the Levalloisian and Mousterian styles similar to those in the Levant. Algeria was the site of the highest state of development of Middle Paleolithic Flake tool techniques, tools of this era, starting about 30,000 BC, are called Aterian. The earliest blade industries in North Africa are called Iberomaurusian and this industry appears to have spread throughout the coastal regions of the Maghreb between 15,000 and 10,000 BC. Neolithic civilization developed in the Saharan and Mediterranean Maghreb perhaps as early as 11,000 BC or as late as between 6000 and 2000 BC and this life, richly depicted in the Tassili nAjjer paintings, predominated in Algeria until the classical period. The amalgam of peoples of North Africa coalesced eventually into a native population that came to be called Berbers. These settlements served as market towns as well as anchorages, as Carthaginian power grew, its impact on the indigenous population increased dramatically. Berber civilization was already at a stage in which agriculture, manufacturing, trade, by the early 4th century BC, Berbers formed the single largest element of the Carthaginian army. In the Revolt of the Mercenaries, Berber soldiers rebelled from 241 to 238 BC after being unpaid following the defeat of Carthage in the First Punic War. They succeeded in obtaining control of much of Carthages North African territory, the Carthaginian state declined because of successive defeats by the Romans in the Punic WarsAlgeria – Ancient Roman Empire ruins of Timgad. Street leading to the Arch of Trajan.
57. Bosnia and Herzegovina – Bosnia and Herzegovina, sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina, and, in short, often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in Southeastern Europe located on the Balkan Peninsula. Sarajevo is the capital and largest city, in the central and eastern interior of the country the geography is mountainous, in the northwest it is moderately hilly, and the northeast is predominantly flatland. The inland is a larger region and has a moderate continental climate, with hot summers and cold. The southern tip of the country has a Mediterranean climate and plain topography, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a region that traces permanent human settlement back to the Neolithic age, during and after which it was populated by several Illyrian and Celtic civilizations. Culturally, politically, and socially, the country has a rich history, the Ottomans brought Islam to the region, and altered much of the cultural and social outlook of the country. This was followed by annexation into the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, which lasted up until World War I. In the interwar period, Bosnia was part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and after World War II, following the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the country proclaimed independence in 1992, which was followed by the Bosnian War, lasting until late 1995. The country is home to three ethnic groups or, officially, constituent peoples, as specified in the constitution. Bosniaks are the largest group of the three, with Serbs second and Croats third, a native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, regardless of ethnicity, is identified in English as a Bosnian. The terms Herzegovinian and Bosnian are maintained as a rather than ethnic distinction. Moreover, the country was simply called Bosnia until the Austro-Hungarian occupation at the end of the 19th century, Bosnia and Herzegovina has a bicameral legislature and a three-member Presidency composed of a member of each major ethnic group. The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is itself complex and consists of 10 cantons, additionally, the country has been a member of the Council of Europe since April 2002 and a founding member of the Mediterranean Union upon its establishment in July 2008. The name is believed to have derived from the hydronym of the river Bosna coursing through the Bosnian heartland. According to philologist Anton Mayer the name Bosna could be derived from Illyrian Bass-an-as which would be a diversion of the Proto-Indo-European root bos or bogh, meaning the running water. According to English medievalist William Miller the Slavic settlers in Bosnia adapted the Latin designation Basante, to their own idiom by calling the stream Bosna, the name Herzegovina originates from Bosnian magnate Stephen Vukčić Kosačas title, Herceg of Hum and the Coast. Hum, formerly Zahumlje, was a medieval principality that was conquered by the Bosnian Banate in the first half of the 14th century. Bosnia is located in the western Balkans, bordering Croatia to the north and west, Serbia to the east and it has a coastline about 20 kilometres long surrounding the city of Neum. It lies between latitudes 42° and 46° N, and longitudes 15° and 20° E, the countrys name comes from the two regions Bosnia and Herzegovina, which have a very vaguely defined border between themBosnia and Herzegovina – Mogorjelo, ancient Roman suburban Villa Rustica from the 4th century, near Čapljina
58. Croatia – Croatia, officially the Republic of Croatia, is a sovereign state between Central Europe, Southeast Europe, and the Mediterranean. Its capital city is Zagreb, which one of the countrys primary subdivisions. Croatia covers 56,594 square kilometres and has diverse, mostly continental, Croatias Adriatic Sea coast contains more than a thousand islands. The countrys population is 4.28 million, most of whom are Croats, the Croats arrived in the area of present-day Croatia during the early part of the 7th century AD. They organised the state into two duchies by the 9th century, tomislav became the first king by 925, elevating Croatia to the status of a kingdom. The Kingdom of Croatia retained its sovereignty for nearly two centuries, reaching its peak during the rule of Kings Petar Krešimir IV and Dmitar Zvonimir, Croatia entered a personal union with Hungary in 1102. In 1527, faced with Ottoman conquest, the Croatian Parliament elected Ferdinand I of the House of Habsburg to the Croatian throne. In 1918, after World War I, Croatia was included in the unrecognized State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs which seceded from Austria-Hungary, a fascist Croatian puppet state backed by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany existed during World War II. After the war, Croatia became a member and a federal constituent of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. On 25 June 1991 Croatia declared independence, which came wholly into effect on 8 October of the same year, the Croatian War of Independence was fought successfully during the four years following the declaration. A unitary state, Croatia is a republic governed under a parliamentary system, the International Monetary Fund classified Croatia as an emerging and developing economy, and the World Bank identified it as a high-income economy. Croatia is a member of the European Union, United Nations, the Council of Europe, NATO, the World Trade Organization, the service sector dominates Croatias economy, followed by the industrial sector and agriculture. Tourism is a significant source of revenue during the summer, with Croatia ranked the 18th most popular tourist destination in the world, the state controls a part of the economy, with substantial government expenditure. The European Union is Croatias most important trading partner, since 2000, the Croatian government constantly invests in infrastructure, especially transport routes and facilities along the Pan-European corridors. Internal sources produce a significant portion of energy in Croatia, the rest is imported, the origin of the name is uncertain, but is thought to be a Gothic or Indo-Aryan term assigned to a Slavic tribe. The oldest preserved record of the Croatian ethnonym *xъrvatъ is of variable stem, the first attestation of the Latin term is attributed to a charter of Duke Trpimir from the year 852. The original is lost, and just a 1568 copy is preserved—leading to doubts over the authenticity of the claim, the oldest preserved stone inscription is the 9th-century Branimir Inscription, where Duke Branimir is styled as Dux Cruatorvm. The inscription is not believed to be dated accurately, but is likely to be from during the period of 879–892, the area known as Croatia today was inhabited throughout the prehistoric periodCroatia – Branimir Inscription
59. Cyprus – Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean and the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean. It is located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel and Palestine, north of Egypt, the earliest known human activity on the island dates to around the 10th millennium BC. Archaeological remains from this include the well-preserved Neolithic village of Khirokitia. Cyprus was settled by Mycenaean Greeks in two waves in the 2nd millennium BC, Cyprus was placed under British administration based on Cyprus Convention in 1878 and formally annexed by Britain in 1914. While Turkish Cypriots made up 18% of the population, the partition of Cyprus and creation of a Turkish state in the north became a policy of Turkish Cypriot leaders, following nationalist violence in the 1950s, Cyprus was granted independence in 1960. On 15 July 1974, a coup détat was staged by Greek Cypriot nationalists and elements of the Greek military junta in an attempt at enosis and these events and the resulting political situation are matters of a continuing dispute. The Cyprus Republic has de jure sovereignty over the island of Cyprus, as well as its territorial sea and exclusive economic area, another nearly 4% of the islands area is covered by the UN buffer zone. The international community considers the part of the island as territory of the Republic of Cyprus occupied by Turkish forces. The occupation is viewed as illegal under law, amounting to illegal occupation of EU territory since Cyprus became a member of the European Union. Cyprus is a major tourist destination in the Mediterranean, on 1 January 2008, the Republic of Cyprus joined the eurozone. The earliest attested reference to Cyprus is the 15th century BC Mycenaean GreekCyprus – A copper mine on Cyprus. In antiquity, Cyprus was a major source of copper.
60. Egypt – Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba to the east, the Red Sea to the east and south, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, and across from the Sinai Peninsula lies Saudi Arabia, although Jordan and it is the worlds only contiguous Afrasian nation. Egypt has among the longest histories of any country, emerging as one of the worlds first nation states in the tenth millennium BC. Considered a cradle of civilisation, Ancient Egypt experienced some of the earliest developments of writing, agriculture, urbanisation, organised religion and central government. One of the earliest centres of Christianity, Egypt was Islamised in the century and remains a predominantly Muslim country. With over 92 million inhabitants, Egypt is the most populous country in North Africa and the Arab world, the third-most populous in Africa, and the fifteenth-most populous in the world. The great majority of its people live near the banks of the Nile River, an area of about 40,000 square kilometres, the large regions of the Sahara desert, which constitute most of Egypts territory, are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypts residents live in areas, with most spread across the densely populated centres of greater Cairo, Alexandria. Modern Egypt is considered to be a regional and middle power, with significant cultural, political, and military influence in North Africa, the Middle East and the Muslim world. Egypts economy is one of the largest and most diversified in the Middle East, Egypt is a member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Arab League, African Union, and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. Miṣr is the Classical Quranic Arabic and modern name of Egypt. The name is of Semitic origin, directly cognate with other Semitic words for Egypt such as the Hebrew מִצְרַיִם, the oldest attestation of this name for Egypt is the AkkadianEgypt – The Giza Necropolis is the oldest of the ancient Wonders and the only one still in existence.
61. Greece – Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, historically also known as Hellas, is a country in southeastern Europe, with a population of approximately 11 million as of 2015. Athens is the capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, situated on the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the northeast. Greece consists of nine regions, Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Thessaly, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Thrace, Crete. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a vast number of islands, eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as polis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea. Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming a part of the Roman Empire and its successor. The Greek Orthodox Church also shaped modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World, falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence. Greeces rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, among the most in Europe, Greece is a democratic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, and a very high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001. Greeces unique cultural heritage, large industry, prominent shipping sector. It is the largest economy in the Balkans, where it is an important regional investor, the names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages, locations and cultures. The earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, all three stages of the stone age are represented in Greece, for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries and these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, and the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek. The Mycenaeans gradually absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC and this ushered in a period known as the Greek Dark Ages, from which written records are absent. The end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to 776 BC, the Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, in 508 BC, Cleisthenes instituted the worlds first democratic system of government in AthensGreece – Fresco displaying the Minoan ritual of "bull leaping", found in Knossos, Crete.
62. Lebanon – Lebanon, officially known as the Lebanese Republic, is a sovereign state in Western Asia. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south, Lebanons location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland facilitated its rich history and shaped a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity. At just 10,452 km2, it is the smallest recognized country on the entire mainland Asian continent, the earliest evidence of civilization in Lebanon dates back more than seven thousand years, predating recorded history. Lebanon was the home of the Canaanites/Phoenicians and their kingdoms, a culture that flourished for over a thousand years. In 64 BC, the region came under the rule of the Roman Empire, in the Mount Lebanon range a monastic tradition known as the Maronite Church was established. As the Arab Muslims conquered the region, the Maronites held onto their religion, however, a new religious group, the Druze, established themselves in Mount Lebanon as well, generating a religious divide that has lasted for centuries. During the Crusades, the Maronites re-established contact with the Roman Catholic Church, the ties they established with the Latins have influenced the region into the modern era. The region eventually was ruled by the Ottoman Empire from 1516 to 1918, following the collapse of the empire after World War I, the five provinces that constitute modern Lebanon came under the French Mandate of Lebanon. The French expanded the borders of the Mount Lebanon Governorate, which was populated by Maronites and Druze. Lebanon gained independence in 1943, establishing confessionalism, a unique, foreign troops withdrew completely from Lebanon on 31 December 1946. Lebanon has been a member of the Organisation internationale de la francophonie since 1973, despite its small size, the country has developed a well-known culture and has been highly influential in the Arab world. Before the Lebanese Civil War, the experienced a period of relative calm and renowned prosperity, driven by tourism, agriculture, commerce. At the end of the war, there were efforts to revive the economy. In spite of troubles, Lebanon has the highest Human Development Index and GDP per capita in the Arab world. The name of Mount Lebanon originates from the Phoenician root lbn meaning white, occurrences of the name have been found in different Middle Bronze Age texts from the library of Ebla, and three of the twelve tablets of the Epic of Gilgamesh. The name is recorded in Ancient Egyptian as Rmnn, where R stood for Canaanite L, the name occurs nearly 70 times in the Hebrew Bible, as לְבָנוֹן. The borders of contemporary Lebanon are a product of the Treaty of Sèvres of 1920 and its territory was the core of the Bronze Age Phoenician city-states. After the 7th-century Muslim conquest of the Levant, it was part of the Rashidun, Umyayad, Abbasid Seljuk, with the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Greater Lebanon fell under French mandate in 1920, and gained independence under president Bechara El Khoury in 1943Lebanon – The Fall of Tripoli to the Egyptian Mamluks and destruction of the Crusader state, the County of Tripoli, 1289
63. Monaco – Monaco, officially the Principality of Monaco, is a sovereign city-state and microstate, located on the French Riviera in Western Europe. France borders the country on three sides while the other side borders the Mediterranean Sea, Monaco has an area of 2.02 km2 and a population of about 38,400 according to the last census of 2015. With 19,009 inhabitants per km², it is the second smallest, Monaco has a land border of 5.47 km, a coastline of 3.83 km, and a width that varies between 1,700 and 349 m. The highest point in the country is a pathway named Chemin des Révoires on the slopes of Mont Agel, in the Les Révoires Ward. Monacos most populous Quartier is Monte Carlo and the most populous Ward is Larvotto/Bas Moulins, through land reclamation, Monacos land mass has expanded by twenty percent, in 2005, it had an area of only 1.974 km2. Monaco is known as a playground for the rich and famous, in 2014, it was noted about 30% of the population was made up of millionaires, more than in Zürich or Geneva. Monaco is a principality governed under a form of constitutional monarchy, although Prince Albert II is a constitutional monarch, he wields immense political power. The House of Grimaldi have ruled Monaco, with brief interruptions, the official language is French, but Monégasque, Italian, and English are widely spoken and understood. The states sovereignty was recognized by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861. Despite Monacos independence and separate foreign policy, its defense is the responsibility of France, however, Monaco does maintain two small military units. Economic development was spurred in the late 19th century with the opening of the countrys first casino, Monte Carlo, since then, Monacos mild climate, scenery, and gambling facilities have contributed to the principalitys status as a tourist destination and recreation center for the rich. In more recent years, Monaco has become a major banking center and has sought to diversify its economy into services and small, high-value-added, the state has no income tax, low business taxes, and is well known for being a tax haven. It is also the host of the street circuit motor race Monaco Grand Prix. Monaco is not formally a part of the European Union, but it participates in certain EU policies, including customs, through its relationship with France, Monaco uses the euro as its sole currency. Monaco joined the Council of Europe in 2004 and it is a member of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. Monacos name comes from the nearby 6th-century BC Phocaean Greek colony, according to an ancient myth, Hercules passed through the Monaco area and turned away the previous gods. As a result, a temple was constructed there, the temple of Hercules Monoikos, because the only temple of this area was the House of Hercules, the city was called Monoikos. It ended up in the hands of the Holy Roman Empire, an ousted branch of a Genoese family, the Grimaldi, contested it for a hundred years before actually gaining controlMonaco – Statue of Francesco Grimaldi, " Il Malizia " ("the Cunning"), disguised as a monk with a dagger hidden under the cloak of his habit. However, he was ousted by the Genoese just four years later. The Grimaldi family purchased Monaco from the Crown of Aragon in 1419.
64. Montenegro – Montenegro is a sovereign state in Southeastern Europe. Its capital and largest city is Podgorica, while Cetinje is designated as the Old Royal Capital. In the 9th century, three Slavic principalities were in the territory of Montenegro, Duklja, roughly corresponding to the half, Travunia, the west, and Rascia. In 1042, archon Stefan Vojislav led a revolt that resulted in the independence of Duklja, Duklja reached its zenith under Vojislavs son, Mihailo, and his grandson Bodin. By the 13th century, Zeta had replaced Duklja when referring to the realm. In the late 14th century, southern Montenegro came under the rule of the Balšić noble family, then the Crnojević noble family, large portions fell under the control of the Ottoman Empire from 1496 to 1878. Parts were controlled by Venice and the First French Empire and Austria-Hungary, from 1515 until 1851, the prince-bishops of Cetinje were the rulers. The House of Petrović-Njegoš ruled the country from 1697 to 1918, from 1918, it was a part of Kingdom of Yugoslavia, which was succeeded by SFR Yugoslavia in 1945, FR Yugoslavia in 1992, and subsequently by the state union of Serbia and Montenegro in 2003. On the basis of a referendum held on 21 May 2006. Montenegro is also a candidate negotiating to join the European Union, on 2 December 2015, Montenegro received an official invitation to join NATO, whereby it would be the 29th member country. This invitation was meant to start accession talks. The countrys name in most Western European languages reflects an adaptation of the Venetian Montenegro, many other languages, particularly nearby ones, use their own direct translation of the term black mountain. Examples are the Albanian name for the country, Mali i Zi, the Greek name Μαυροβούνιο, the Chinese name 黑山, all Slavic languages use slight variations on the Montenegrin name Crna Gora, examples include the Czech Černá Hora and the Polish Czarnogóra. Chechen and Ingush people call the country Ӏаьржаламанчоь, the name Crna Gora came to denote the majority of contemporary Montenegro only in the 15th century. The aforementioned region became known as Old Montenegro by the 19th century to distinguish it from the acquired territory of Brda. Its borders have changed little since then, losing Metohija and gaining the Bay of Kotor, the ISO Alpha-2 code for Montenegro is ME and the Alpha-3 Code is MNE. By 1000 BC, a common Illyrian language and culture had spread across much of the Balkans, interaction amongst groups was not always friendly – hill forts were the most common form of settlement – but distinctive Illyrian art forms such as amber and bronze jewellery evolved. In time, the Illyrians established a federation of tribes centred in what is now MacedoniaMontenegro – Royal family at the proclamation of the Kingdom of Montenegro, King Nicholas I of Montenegro in the middle
65. Slovenia – Slovenia, officially the Republic of Slovenia, is a nation state in southern Central Europe, located at the crossroads of main European cultural and trade routes. It is bordered by Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Hungary to the northeast, Croatia to the south and southeast, and it covers 20,273 square kilometers and has a population of 2.06 million. It is a republic and a member of the United Nations, European Union. The capital and largest city is Ljubljana, additionally, the Dinaric Alps and the Pannonian Plain meet on the territory of Slovenia. The country, marked by a significant biological diversity, is one of the most water-rich in Europe, with a river network, a rich aquifer system. Over half of the territory is covered by forest, the human settlement of Slovenia is dispersed and uneven. Slovenia has historically been the crossroads of South Slavic, Germanic, Romance, although the population is not homogeneous, the majority is Slovene. Slovene is the language throughout the country. Slovenia is a largely secularized country, but its culture and identity have been influenced by Catholicism as well as Lutheranism. The economy of Slovenia is small, open, and export-oriented and has strongly influenced by international conditions. It has been hurt by the Eurozone crisis, started in the late 2000s. The main economic field is services, followed by industry and construction, Historically, the current territory of Slovenia was part of many different state formations, including the Roman Empire and the Holy Roman Empire, followed by the Habsburg Monarchy. In October 1918, the Slovenes exercised self-determination for the first time by co-founding the State of Slovenes, Croats, in December 1918, they merged with the Kingdom of Serbia into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. During World War II, Slovenia was occupied and annexed by Germany, Italy, and Hungary, with a tiny area transferred to the Independent State of Croatia, in June 1991, after the introduction of multi-party representative democracy, Slovenia split from Yugoslavia and became an independent country. Present-day Slovenia has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and there is evidence of habitation from around 250,000 years ago. A pierced cave bear bone, dating from 43100 ±700 BP, in the 1920s and 1930s, artifacts belonging to the Cro-Magnon such as pierced bones, bone points, and needle were found by archaeologist Srečko Brodar in Potok Cave. It shows that wooden wheels appeared almost simultaneously in Mesopotamia and Europe, in the transition period between the Bronze age to the Iron age, the Urnfield culture flourished. Archaeological remains dating from the Hallstatt period have been found, particularly in southeastern Slovenia, among them a number of situlas in Novo Mesto, in the Iron Age, present-day Slovenia was inhabited by Illyrian and Celtic tribes until the 1st century BCSlovenia – A pierced cave bear bone, possibly flute, from Divje Babe
66. Tunisia – Tunisia, officially the Republic of Tunisia is the northernmost country in Africa, covering 165,000 square kilometres. Its northernmost point, Cape Angela, is the northernmost point on the African continent and it is bordered by Algeria to the west and southwest, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Tunisias population was estimated to be just under 11 million in 2014, Tunisias name is derived from its capital city, Tunis, which is located on Tunisias northeast coast. Geographically, Tunisia contains the end of the Atlas Mountains. Much of the rest of the land is fertile soil. Tunisia is a unitary semi-presidential representative democratic republic and it is considered to be the only full democracy in the Arab World. It has a human development index. In addition, Tunisia is also a state of the United Nations. Close relations with Europe – in particular with France and with Italy – have been forged through economic cooperation, privatisation, in ancient times, Tunisia was primarily inhabited by Berbers. Phoenician immigration began in the 12th century BC, these immigrants founded Carthage, a major mercantile power and a military rival of the Roman Republic, Carthage was defeated by the Romans in 146 BC. The Romans, who would occupy Tunisia for most of the eight hundred years, introduced Christianity. After several attempts starting in 647, the Arabs conquered the whole of Tunisia by 697, the Ottomans held sway for over three hundred years. The French colonization of Tunisia occurred in 1881, Tunisia gained independence with Habib Bourguiba and declared the Tunisian Republic in 1957. In 2011, the Tunisian Revolution resulted in the overthrow of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the country voted for parliament again on 26 October 2014, and for President on 23 November 2014. The word Tunisia is derived from Tunis, an urban hub. The present form of the name, with its Latinate suffix -ia, the French derivative Tunisie was adopted in some European languages with slight modifications, introducing a distinctive name to designate the country. Other languages remained untouched, such as the Russian Туни́с and Spanish Túnez, in this case, the same name is used for both country and city, as with the Arabic تونس, and only by context can one tell the difference. The name Tunis can be attributed to different origins and it is generally associated with the Berber root ⵜⵏⵙ, transcribed tns, which means to lay down or encampmentTunisia – Ancient ruins of a Roman villa at Carthage
67. Northern Cyprus – Northern Cyprus, officially the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, is a self-declared state that comprises the northeastern portion of the island of Cyprus. Recognised only by Turkey, Northern Cyprus is considered by the community to be part of the Republic of Cyprus. Northern Cyprus extends from the tip of the Karpass Peninsula in the northeast to Morphou Bay, Cape Kormakitis and its westernmost point and its southernmost point is the village of Louroujina. A buffer zone under the control of the United Nations stretches between Northern Cyprus and the rest of the island and divides Nicosia, the islands largest city and capital of both sides. A coup détat in 1974, performed as part of an attempt to annex the island to Greece, due to its lack of recognition, Northern Cyprus is heavily dependent on Turkey for economic, political and military support. Attempts to reach a solution to the Cyprus dispute have been unsuccessful, the Turkish Army maintains a large force in Northern Cyprus. Northern Cyprus is a semi-presidential, democratic republic with a cultural heritage incorporating various influences, the official language is Turkish, with a distinct local dialect being spoken. The vast majority of the consists of Sunni Muslims, while religious attitudes are varied and mostly moderate. Northern Cyprus is an observer of the OIC and ECO, and has status in the PACE under the title Turkish Cypriot Community. A united Cyprus gained independence from British rule in August 1960, the agreement involved Cyprus being governed under a constitution which apportioned Cabinet posts, parliamentary seats and civil service jobs on an agreed ratio between the two communities. Within three years, tensions began to show between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots in administrative affairs, in particular, disputes over separate municipalities and taxation created a deadlock in government. In 1963 President Makarios proposed unilateral changes to the constitution, via 13 amendments, Turkish Cypriots filed a lawsuit against the 13 amendments in the Supreme Constitutional Court of Cyprus. On 25 April 1963, the SCCC decided that Makarios 13 amendments were illegal, on 21 May, the president of the SCCC resigned due to Makarios stance. On 15 July, Makarios ignored the decision of the SCCC, after the resignation of the president of the SCCC, the SCCC ceased to exist. The Supreme Court of Cyprus was formed by merging the SCCC and the High Court of Cyprus, on 30 November, Makarios legalized the 13 proposals. In 1963, the Greek Cypriot wing of the government created the Akritas plan which outlined a policy that would remove Turkish Cypriots from the government, the plan stated that if the Turkish Cypriots objected then they should be violently subjugated before foreign powers could intervene. Almost immediately, intercommunal violence broke out with a major Greek Cypriot paramilitary attack upon Turkish Cypriots in Nicosia, seven hundred Turkish hostages, including children, were taken from the northern suburbs of Nicosia. Nikos Sampson, a nationalist and future leader, led a group of Greek Cypriot irregulars into the mixed suburb of Omorphita/Küçük KaymaklıNorthern Cyprus – Sarayönü Square of Nicosia in 1969, after the division of the city
68. State of Palestine – The State of Palestine claims the West Bank and Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as the designated capital. Most of the areas claimed by the State of Palestine have been occupied by Israel since 1967 in the aftermath of the Six-Day War and its independence was declared on 15 November 1988 by the Palestine Liberation Organization in Algiers as a government-in-exile. Since the British Mandate, the term Palestine has been associated with the area that currently covers the State of Israel, the West Bank. In 1947, the UN adopted a plan for a two-state solution in the remaining territory of the mandate. The plan was accepted by the Jewish leadership but rejected by the Arab leaders, on the eve of final British withdrawal, the Jewish Agency for Israel declared the establishment of the State of Israel according to the proposed UN plan. During the war, Israel gained additional territories that were designated to be part of the Arab state under the UN plan, Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip and Transjordan occupied the West Bank. Egypt initially supported the creation of an All-Palestine Government, but disbanded it in 1959, Transjordan never recognized it and instead decided to incorporate the West Bank with its own territory to form Jordan. The annexation was ratified in 1950 but was rejected by the international community, the Six-Day War in 1967, when Egypt, Jordan, and Syria fought against Israel, ended with Israel being in occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, besides other territories. In 1964, when the West Bank was controlled by Jordan, the Palestinian National Charter of the PLO defines the boundaries of Palestine as the whole remaining territory of the mandate, including Israel. Following the Six-Day War, the PLO moved to Jordan, the October 1974 Arab League summit designated the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and reaffirmed their right to establish an independent state of urgency. In November 1974, the PLO was recognized as competent on all matters concerning the question of Palestine by the UN General Assembly granting them observer status as an entity at the UN. In spite of this decision, the PLO did not participate at the UN in its capacity of the State of Palestines government, in 1979, through the Camp David Accords, Egypt signaled an end to any claim of its own over the Gaza Strip. In July 1988, Jordan ceded its claims to the West Bank—with the exception of guardianship over Haram al-Sharif—to the PLO, in November 1988, the PLO legislature, while in exile, declared the establishment of the State of Palestine. In the month following, it was recognised by many states, including Egypt. In the Palestinian Declaration of Independence, the State of Palestine is described as being established on the Palestinian territory, the UN membership application submitted by the State of Palestine also specified that it is based on the 1967 borders. During the negotiations of the Oslo Accords, the PLO recognised Israels right to exist, after Israel took control of the West Bank from Jordan and Gaza Strip from Egypt, it began to establish Israeli settlements there. These were organised into Judea and Samaria district and Hof Aza Regional Council in the Southern District, in 1980, Israel decided to freeze elections for these councils and to establish instead Village Leagues, whose officials were under Israeli influence. Later this model became ineffective for both Israel and the Palestinians, and the Village Leagues began to break up, with the last being the Hebron League, dissolved in February 1988State of Palestine – The destroyed Palestinian Legislative Council building in Gaza City, Gaza–Israel conflict, September 2009
69. Akrotiri and Dhekelia – Akrotiri and Dhekelia, officially the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, is a British Overseas Territory on the island of Cyprus. The territory is comprised of two Base Areas, one is Akrotiri, or the Western Sovereign Base Area, which includes two main bases at RAF Akrotiri and Episkopi, plus all of Akrotiri Villages district and parts of eleven other village districts. The other area is Dhekelia Cantonment, or the Eastern Sovereign Base Area, the Sovereign Base Areas were created in 1960 by the London and Zurich Agreements, when Cyprus achieved independence from the British Empire. The United Kingdom desired to retain sovereignty over these areas, as this guaranteed the use of UK military bases on Cyprus, including RAF Akrotiri, and this did not affect the status of the bases. The Turkish advance halted when it reached the edge of the Dhekelia Sovereign Base Area to avoid conflict with the United Kingdom. Some Greek Cypriot refugees remain housed on land in the parts of Trachoni, locals claimed the masts would endanger local lives and cause cancer, as well as have a negative impact on wildlife in the area. As of 2010, around 3,000 troops of British Forces Cyprus are based at Akrotiri, Ayios Nikolaos Station, in the ESBA, is an ELINT listening station of the UKUSA Agreement intelligence network. The election of left-wing Demetris Christofias as Cypriot president in February 2008 prompted concern in the United Kingdom, Christofias pledged to remove all foreign military forces from the island as part of a future settlement of the Cyprus dispute, calling the British presence on the island a colonial bloodstain. In some Cypriot media it was stated that the interdiction of the Syrian civil war, utilising Akrotiri and Dhekelia. The Labour government under whom the proposal appeared was replaced by the first Cameron ministry, the SBAs were retained in 1960 to keep military bases in areas under British sovereignty, along with the rights retained to use other sites in what became the territory of the Republic. Not to set up and administer colonies, not to create customs posts or other frontier barriers between the Sovereign Base Areas and the Republic. Not to establish commercial or civilian seaports or airports, not to allow new settlement of people in the Sovereign Base Areas other than for temporary purposes. Not to expropriate private property within the Sovereign Base Areas except for military purposes on payment of fair compensation, the ancient monuments and antiquity will be administered and maintained by the Republic of Cyprus. Licences for antiquity excavation will be issued by the Republic but will be subject to the consent of the authorities of the Sovereign Base Areas, movable antiquities found in excavations or discovered will be the property of the Republic. It has no connection with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office or the British High Commission in Nicosia. The territory is administered by an Administrator who is also the Commander of British Forces Cyprus, the Administrator is officially appointed by the British monarch on the advice of the Ministry of Defence. The Administrator has all the executive and legislative authority of a governor of an overseas territory, no elections are held in the territory, although British citizens are normally entitled to vote in United Kingdom elections. The areas have their own system, distinct from the United KingdomAkrotiri and Dhekelia – A US Marine Corps CH-53 helicopter at RAF Akrotiri.
70. United Kingdom – The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom or Britain, is a sovereign country in western Europe. Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, the United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland, with an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world and the 11th-largest in Europe. It is also the 21st-most populous country, with an estimated 65.1 million inhabitants, together, this makes it the fourth-most densely populated country in the European Union. The United Kingdom is a monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. The monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 6 February 1952, other major urban areas in the United Kingdom include the regions of Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester. The United Kingdom consists of four countries—England, Scotland, Wales, the last three have devolved administrations, each with varying powers, based in their capitals, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, respectively. The relationships among the countries of the UK have changed over time, Wales was annexed by the Kingdom of England under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. A treaty between England and Scotland resulted in 1707 in a unified Kingdom of Great Britain, which merged in 1801 with the Kingdom of Ireland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, there are fourteen British Overseas Territories. These are the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, British influence can be observed in the language, culture and legal systems of many of its former colonies. The United Kingdom is a country and has the worlds fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP. The UK is considered to have an economy and is categorised as very high in the Human Development Index. It was the worlds first industrialised country and the worlds foremost power during the 19th, the UK remains a great power with considerable economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence internationally. It is a nuclear weapons state and its military expenditure ranks fourth or fifth in the world. The UK has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946 and it has been a leading member state of the EU and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. However, on 23 June 2016, a referendum on the UKs membership of the EU resulted in a decision to leave. The Acts of Union 1800 united the Kingdom of Great Britain, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have devolved self-governmentUnited Kingdom – Stonehenge, in Wiltshire, was erected around 2500 BC.
71. Gibraltar – Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula. It has an area of 6.7 km2 and shares its border with Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the landmark of the region. At its foot is a populated city area, home to over 30,000 Gibraltarians. An Anglo-Dutch force captured Gibraltar from Spain in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession on behalf of the Habsburg claim to the Spanish throne, the territory was subsequently ceded to Great Britain in perpetuity under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. Today Gibraltars economy is based largely on tourism, online gambling, financial services, the sovereignty of Gibraltar is a major point of contention in Anglo-Spanish relations as Spain asserts a claim to the territory. Gibraltarians overwhelmingly rejected proposals for Spanish sovereignty in a 1967 referendum, under the Gibraltar constitution of 2006, Gibraltar governs its own affairs, though some powers, such as defence and foreign relations, remain the responsibility of the British government. The name Gibraltar is the Spanish derivation of the Arabic name Jabal Ṭāriq, earlier, it was known as Mons Calpe, a name of Phoenician origin and one of the Pillars of Hercules. The pronunciation of the name in modern Spanish is, evidence of Neanderthal habitation in Gibraltar between 28,000 and 24,000 BP has been discovered at Gorhams Cave, making Gibraltar possibly the last known holdout of the Neanderthals. Within recorded history, the first inhabitants were the Phoenicians, around 950 BC, subsequently, Gibraltar became known as one of the Pillars of Hercules, after the Greek legend of the creation of the Strait of Gibraltar by Heracles. The Carthaginians and Romans also established semi-permanent settlements, after the collapse of the Roman Empire, Gibraltar came briefly under the control of the Vandals. The area later formed part of the Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania from 414 AD until the Islamic conquest of Iberia in 711 AD, in 1160, the Almohad Sultan Abd al-Mumin ordered that a permanent settlement, including a castle, be built. It received the name of Medinat al-Fath, on completion of the works in the town, the Sultan crossed the Strait to look at the works and stayed in Gibraltar for two months. The Tower of Homage of the Moorish Castle remains standing today, from 1274 onwards, the town was fought over and captured by the Nasrids of Granada, the Marinids of Morocco and the kings of Castile. In 1462, Gibraltar was finally captured by Juan Alonso de Guzmán, after the conquest, King Henry IV of Castile assumed the additional title of King of Gibraltar, establishing it as part of the comarca of the Campo Llano de Gibraltar. In 1501, Gibraltar passed back to the Spanish Crown, the occupation of the town by Alliance forces caused the exodus of the population to the surrounding area of the Campo de Gibraltar. As the Alliances campaign faltered, the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht was negotiated and ceded control of Gibraltar to Britain to secure Britains withdrawal from the war. Unsuccessful attempts by Spanish monarchs to regain Gibraltar were made with the siege of 1727 and again with the Great Siege of Gibraltar, during the American War of IndependenceGibraltar – View of the northern face of the Moorish Castle 's Tower of Homage. Built in the 14th century, it is the only Marinid construction outside Africa.
72. Kosovo – Kosovo is a disputed territory and partially recognised state in Southeastern Europe that declared independence from Serbia in February 2008 as the Republic of Kosovo. Kosovo is landlocked in the central Balkan Peninsula, with its strategic position in the Balkans, it serves as an important link in the connection between central and south Europe, the Adriatic Sea, and Black Sea. Its capital and largest city is Pristina, and other urban areas include Prizren, Pejë. It is bordered by Albania to the southwest, the Republic of Macedonia to the southeast, Montenegro to the west, while Serbia recognises administration of the territory by Kosovos elected government, it still continues to claim it as its own Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija. In antiquity, the Dardanian Kingdom, and later the Roman province of Dardania was located in the region, the area was inhabited by several ancient Illyrian tribes. In the Middle Ages, it was part of the Byzantine, Bulgarian and Serbian Empires, Kosovo was the core of the medieval Serbian state and it has been the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church from the 14th century when its status was upgraded into a patriarchate. After being part of the Ottoman Empire from the 15th to the early 20th century, the war ended with a military intervention of NATO, which forced the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to withdraw its troops from Kosovo, which became a UN protectorate under UNSCR1244. On 17 February 2008 Kosovos Parliament declared independence and it has since gained diplomatic recognition as a sovereign state by 111 UN member states, Taiwan, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, the Cook Islands and Niue. Serbia refuses to recognise Kosovo as a state, although with the Brussels Agreement of 2013 it has accepted the legitimacy of Kosovar institutions, the entire region is commonly referred to in English simply as Kosovo and in Albanian as Kosova or Kosovë. The name of the plain was applied to the Kosovo Province created in 1864, Albanians refer to Kosovo as Dardania, the name of a Roman province located in Central Balkans that was formed in 284 AD which covered the territory of modern Kosovo. The name is derived from the Albanian word dardha/dardā which means pear, the former Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova had been an enthusiastic backer of a Dardanian identity and the Kosovan flag and presidential seal refer to this national identity. However, the name Kosova remains more widely used among the Albanian population, the official conventional long name of the state is Republic of Kosovo, as defined by the Constitution of Kosovo, and is used to represent Kosovo internationally. This arrangement, which has dubbed the asterisk agreement, was agreed in an 11-point arrangement agreed on 24 February 2012. By the independence declaration in 2008, its long name became Republic of Kosovo. In prehistory, the succeeding Starčevo culture, Vinča culture, Bubanj-Hum culture, the area in and around Kosovo has been inhabited for nearly 10,000 years. During the Neolithic age, Kosovo lay within the area of the Vinča-Turdaş culture which is characterised by West Balkan black, bronze and Iron Age tombs have been found in Metohija. However, life during the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age is not confirmed yet, therefore, until arguments of Paleolithic and Mesolithic man are confirmed, Neolithic man, respectively the Neolithic sites are considered as the chronological beginning of population in Kosovo. From this period until today Kosovo has been inhabited, and traces of activities of societies from prehistoric, ancient, whereas, in some archaeological sites, multilayer settlements clearly reflect the continuity of life through centuriesKosovo – The Sinan Pasha Mosque and old stone bridge in Prizren