1. European Union – The European Union is a politico-economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. It has an estimated population of over 510 million. The EU has developed an single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states. Within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. The EU operates through a hybrid system of intergovernmental decision-making. The Maastricht Treaty introduced European citizenship. The Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009. Additionally, 26 out of 28 EU countries have a very high Human Development Index, according to the United Nations Development Programme. In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Through the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the EU has developed a role in external relations and defence. The union represents itself at the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G8, the G-20. Because of its global influence, the European Union has been described as a potential superpower. After World War II, European integration was seen to the extreme nationalism which had devastated the continent. 1952 saw the creation of Steel Community, declared to be "a first step in the federation of Europe." The supporters of the Community included Alcide De Gasperi, Jean Monnet, Paul-Henri Spaak.European Union – In 1989, the Iron Curtain fell, enabling the union to expand further (Berlin Wall pictured).
2. Capital city – A capital city is the municipality enjoying primary status in a country, state, province, or other region, usually as its seat of government. Including several countries, the different branches of government are located in different settlements. In some cases, a distinction is made between the seat of government, in another place. The capital derives from the Latin caput, meaning "head". In English-speaking states, the terms county town, county seat, borough seat are also used in lower subdivisions. In unitary states, subnational capitals are commonly known as "administrative centres". An alternative term is headtown. The capital is often, not necessarily, the largest city of its constituent. Historically, the economic centre of a state or region often becomes the focal point of political power, becomes a capital through conquest or federation. Examples are Ancient Babylon, Abbasid Baghdad, Ancient Athens, Constantinople, Chang ` an, Ancient Cusco, Madrid, Paris, London, Moscow, Beijing, Tokyo, Vienna, Berlin. Some of these cities were also religious centres, e.g. Constantinople, Rome, Jerusalem, Ancient Babylon, Moscow, Belgrade, Paris, Peking. The convergence of political and cultural power is by no means universal. Traditional capitals may be economically eclipsed by provincial rivals, e.g. Nanking by Shanghai, numerous US state capitals. The decline of a culture could also mean the extinction of its capital city, as occurred at Babylon and Cahokia. In Canada, there is a federal capital, while three territories all have capital cities.Capital city – Parliament Hill, the national legislative buildings, in Ottawa, the capital of Canada.
3. Member state of the European Union – The European Union comprises 28 member states. Each state is party to the founding treaties of the union and thereby subject to the obligations of membership. Member states must agree unanimously for the EU to adopt policies concerning defence and foreign affairs. Subsidiarity is a founding principle of the EU. In six core states founded the European Economic Community. The remaining states have acceded in subsequent enlargements. On 1 July 2013 Croatia became the newest member state of the EU. There is disparity in the size, wealth and political system of member states, but all have equal rights. While in some areas majority voting takes place where larger states have more votes than smaller ones, smaller states have disproportional representation compared to their population. No state has been suspended from the EU, though some dependent territories or semi-autonomous areas have left. Notes Enlargement is, has been, a principal feature of the Union's political landscape. The EU's predecessors were founded by the "Inner Six", those countries willing to forge ahead with the Community while others remained skeptical. It was only a decade before the first countries changed their policy and attempted to join the Union, which led to the first skepticism of enlargement. French President Charles de Gaulle feared British membership would be an American Trojan horse and vetoed its application. Applying in 1969 were the United Kingdom, Norway.Member state of the European Union – The flags of the EU and the then-25 member states seen outside the European Parliament in 2004
4. Netherlands – The Netherlands is the main constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is a small, densely populated country located in Western Europe with three island territories in the Caribbean. The largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht. Amsterdam is the country's capital, while The Hague holds the Dutch seat of parliament. The name Holland is also incorrectly used to refer informally to the whole of the country of the Netherlands. "Netherlands" literally influenced by its low land and flat geography, with only about 50 % of its land exceeding one metre above sea level. Most of the areas below level are man-made. Since the 16th century, large areas have been reclaimed from the sea and lakes, amounting to nearly 17 % of the country's current land mass. With a density of 408 people per km2 -- 505 if water is excluded -- the Netherlands is classified as a very densely populated country. Only Bangladesh, Taiwan have both a larger population and higher population density. England at 420 people per km2 is also more densely populated when the total area of the Netherlands including water is used. Nevertheless, the Netherlands is the world's second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products, after the United States. This is partly due to the fertility of the mild climate. In 2001, it became the world's first country to legalise same-sex marriage. The Netherlands is a founding member of the EU, a part of the trilateral Benelux Union.Netherlands – The Netherlands in 5500 BC
5. Amsterdam – Amsterdam is the capital and most populous municipality of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Its status as the capital is mandated by the Constitution of the Netherlands, although it is not the seat of the government, The Hague. Amsterdam has a population of 847,176 within the city proper, 2,431,000 in the Amsterdam metropolitan area. The city is located in the province of North Holland in the west of the country. The metropolitan area comprises much of the northern part of one of the larger conurbations in Europe, with a population of approximately 7 million. Amsterdam's name derives as a dam of the river Amstel. During that time, the city was the leading centre for finance and diamonds. Many new neighborhoods and suburbs were planned and built. The 19 -- 20th century Defence Line of Amsterdam are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The city is also the cultural capital of the Netherlands. Seven of the world's 500 largest companies, including Philips and ING, are based in the city. The city was previously ranked 3rd in innovation by 2thinknow in the Innovation Cities Index 2009. Famous Amsterdam residents included Anne Frank the diarist, the philosopher Baruch Spinoza. The oldest stock exchange in the world, is located in the city center. The earliest recorded use of the name "Aemstelredamme" comes from a document dated October 1275.Amsterdam
6. Greece – Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, historically also known as Hellas, is a country in southeastern Europe. Greece's population is approximately million as of 2015. Athens is largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, Africa. Greece consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Thessaly, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Thrace, Crete, the Ionian Islands. The Aegean Sea lies to the south. Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres. From the eighth BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as polis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea. The establishment of the Greek Orthodox Church in the first century transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World. Falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence. Greece's historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, among the most in Europe and the world. Greece is a democratic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a very high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece has been part of the Eurozone since 2001. Large tourism industry, prominent shipping sector and geostrategic importance classify it as a middle power. It is one of the most visited the largest economy in the Balkans, where it is an important regional investor.Greece – Fresco displaying the Minoan ritual of "bull leaping", found in Knossos, Crete.
7. Athens – Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. In modern times, Athens is a large cosmopolitan metropolis and central to economic, financial, industrial, maritime, cultural life in Greece. In 2015, Athens was ranked the world's 29th richest city by the 67th most expensive in a UBS study. The municipality of Athens had a land area of 38.96 km2. The urban area of Athens extends with a population of 3,090,508 over an area of 412 km2. Athens is also the southernmost capital on the European mainland. The city also retains Byzantine monuments, as well as a smaller number of Ottoman monuments. Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the medieval Daphni Monastery. 108 years later it welcomed home the 2004 Summer Olympics. In Ancient Greek, the name of the city was Ἀθῆναι a plural. In earlier Greek, such as Homeric Greek, the name had been current in the form though, as Ἀθήνη. It was possibly rendered in the plural on, like those of Θῆβαι and Μυκῆναι. During the medieval period the name of the city was rendered again in the singular as Ἀθήνα. In an attempt to compel the people, Poseidon created spring by striking the ground with his trident, symbolizing naval power. Different etymologies, commonly rejected, were proposed during the 19th century.Athens – From upper left: the Acropolis, the Hellenic Parliament, the Zappeion, the Acropolis Museum, Monastiraki Square, Athens view towards the sea
8. Germany – Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe. It includes 16 constituent states, has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With about million inhabitants, Germany is the most populous member state of the European Union. After the United States, it is the second most popular destination in the world. Largest metropolis is Berlin. Urban areas include Ruhr, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Düsseldorf. Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity. A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. In 1871, Germany became a state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and -- 1919, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic. The establishment of the socialist dictatorship in 1933 led to World War II and a genocide. After a period of Allied occupation, two German states were founded: the Federal Republic of the German Democratic Republic.Germany – The Nebra sky disk is dated to c. 1600 BC.
9. Berlin – Berlin is the capital and the largest city of Germany as well as one of its 16 states. Due to its location in the European Plain, Berlin is influenced by a seasonal climate. Around one-third of the city's area is composed of forests, parks, gardens, lakes. Berlin in the 1920s was the third largest municipality in the world. Following German reunification in 1990, Berlin again became the capital of a unified Germany. Berlin is a city of culture, politics, media and science. Its economy is based on the service sector, encompassing a diverse range of creative industries, research facilities, media corporations and convention venues. Berlin has a highly complex public transportation network. The metropolis is a popular destination. Significant industries also include IT, biomedical engineering, clean tech, biotechnology, construction and electronics. Modern Berlin is host to many sporting events. Its urban setting has made a sought-after location for international film productions. The city is well known for its festivals, diverse architecture, nightlife, a high quality of living. Over the last decade Berlin has seen the emergence of a entrepreneurial scene. All German place names ending on -ow, -itz and -in, of which there are many east of the River Elbe, are of Slavic origin.Berlin
10. Slovakia – Slovakia, officially the Slovak Republic, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Hungary to the south. Slovakia's territory is mostly mountainous. The population comprises mostly ethnic Slovaks. Largest city is Bratislava. The official language is a member of the Slavic language family. The Slavs arrived in the 5th and 6th centuries. In the 7th century, they played a significant role in the 9th century established the Principality of Nitra. In the 10th century, the territory was integrated into the Kingdom of Hungary, which itself became part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Slovaks and Czechs established Czechoslovakia. A separate Slovak Republic existed as a client state of Nazi Germany. In 1945, Czechoslovakia was reestablished as a Soviet satellite. In 1989 the Velvet Revolution ended Communist rule in Czechoslovakia. Slovakia became an independent state on 1 January 1993 after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia. The country maintains a combination of economy with universal health care and a comprehensive social security system.Slovakia – A Venus from Moravany nad Váhom, which dates back to 22,800 BC.
11. Bratislava – It is the capital of Slovakia, with a population of about 450,000, the country's largest city. The greater metropolitan area is home to more than 650,000 people. It is in southwestern Slovakia, occupying the left bank of the River Morava. Bordering Austria and Hungary, Bratislava is the only national capital that borders two sovereign states. It is the political, economic centre of Slovakia. Bratislava is the seat of the Slovak president, the Slovak Executive. Bratislava is home to several universities, museums, theatres, other important cultural and educational institutions. Many of Slovakia's financial institutions also have headquarters there. GDP per capita is about three times higher than in other Slovak regions. The city received its contemporary name in 1919. Beforehand Bratislava was mostly known by its German name, Pressburg, as it was long dominated by Austrians and other German-speakers. This is the term which the German, Czech names are derived from. Pozsony, was given after the castle's first castellan, "Poson". The origin of the name is unclear: it might come from the German Poscho, which are personal names. Hungarian speakers still use the Hungarian name, Pozsony.Bratislava – Bratislava Montage. Clockwise from top of left: View of Bratislava from the castle, St. Michael's Gate in the Old Town, Eurovea shopping complex, Primate's Palace, Hviezdoslav Square, Bratislava castle and the Danube riverbank at night
12. Romania – Romania is a sovereign state located in Southeastern Europe. It borders Moldova. It has an area of a temperate-continental climate. With million inhabitants, the country is the seventh most populous member state of the European Union. Bucharest, is the sixth largest city in the EU. The Carpathian Mountains, with their tallest peak Moldoveanu at 2,544 m, cross Romania from the north to the southwest. The new state, officially named Romania since 1866, gained independence in 1877. At the end of World War I, Transylvania, Bukovina and Bessarabia united with the sovereign Kingdom of Romania. Romania lost several territories, of which Northern Transylvania was regained after the war. Following the war, Romania became a socialist member of the Warsaw Pact. After the 1989 Revolution, Romania began a transition back towards a capitalist market economy. It has been part of the European Union since 2007. A strong majority of the population are native speakers of Romanian, a Romance language. With a cultural history, Romania has been the home of influential artists, musicians, inventors and sportspeople, features a variety of tourist attractions. Romania derives from the Latin romanus, meaning "citizen of Rome".Romania – Neacșu's letter from 1521, the oldest surviving document written in Romanian.
13. Bucharest – Bucharest is the capital and largest city of Romania, as well as its cultural, industrial, financial centre. Bucharest was first mentioned in documents in 1459. It is the centre of Romanian media, culture, art. Its architecture is a mix of historical, interbellum, modern. In the period between the two World Wars, the sophistication of its elite earned Bucharest the nickname of "Little Paris". In recent years, the city has been experiencing an cultural boom. In 2016, the historical centre was listed as "endangered" by the World Monuments Watch. According to the 2011 census, 1,883,425 inhabitants live from the 2002 census. The urban area has a population of about 1.9 million people. Adding the satellite towns around the urban area, the proposed metropolitan area of Bucharest would have a population of million people. According to Eurostat, Bucharest has a larger urban zone of 2,183,091 residents. According to unofficial data, the population is more than million. Bucharest is the sixth-largest city in the European Union by population within city limits, after Paris. Economically, Bucharest is one of the main industrial centres and transportation hubs of Eastern Europe. The city has big convention facilities, educational institutes, cultural venues, recreational areas.Bucharest – Clockwise, from top: Palace of the Parliament (Palatul Parlamentului) • Romanian Athenaeum (Ateneul Român) • Palace of Justice (Palatul Justiției) • Grozăvești Bridge (Podul Grozăvești) • Victory Avenue (Calea Victoriei)
14. Hungary – Hungary is a unitary parliamentary republic in Central Europe. With about million inhabitants, Hungary is a medium-sized member state of the European Union. The official language is Hungarian, the most widely spoken uralic language in the world. Largest metropolis is Budapest, a significant economic hub, classified as an Alpha - global city. Urban areas include Debrecen, Szeged, Miskolc, Pécs and Győr. His great-grandson Stephen I ascended in 1000 converting the country to a Christian kingdom. By the 12th century, Hungary became a middle power within the Western world, reaching a golden age by the 15th century. Following the interwar period, Hungary joined the Axis Powers in World War II, suffering significant damage and casualties. Hungary became a state of the Soviet Union, which contributed to the establishment of a four-decade-long communist dictatorship. On 23 Hungary became again a democratic parliamentary republic. As a substantial actor in several technological sectors, it is both the world's 36th largest exporter and importer of goods. Hungary is a high-income economy with a very high standard of living. It keeps up a tuition-free university education. Hungary joined part of the Schengen Area since 2007. Hungary is a member of NATO, WTO, World Bank, the AIIB, the Council of Europe and Visegrád Group.Hungary – Italian fresco depicting a Hungarian warrior shooting backwards
15. Budapest – It has a population of about 1.8 million within the administrative limits in 2016. The history of Budapest began with Aquincum, originally a Celtic settlement that became the Roman capital of Lower Pannonia. Hungarians arrived in the 9th century. Their first settlement was pillaged by the Mongols in 1241–42. The re-established town became one of the centres of Renaissance humanist culture by the 15th century. It also became the co-capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a great power that dissolved in 1918, following World War I. Budapest is an Alpha- global city, with strengths in the arts, commerce, design, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, services, research, tourism. Its district hosts the Budapest Stock Exchange and the headquarters of the largest national and international banks and companies. It is the highest ranked Central and Eastern Europe city on Innovation Cities Top 100 index. It has the world's largest thermal water cave system, second largest synagogue, third largest Parliament building. Over 40 universities are located in Budapest, including the Eötvös Loránd University, Central European University and Budapest University of Technology and Economics. "Budapest" is the combination of the city names Buda and Pest, which were united into a single city in 1873. One of the first documented occurrences of the combined name "Buda-Pest" was in the book "Világ" written by Count István Széchenyi. The origins of the names Buda and Pest are obscure. According to chronicles from the Middle Ages, the Buda comes from the name of its founder, Bleda, brother of the Hunnic ruler Attila.Budapest
16. Belgium – Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe bordered by France, the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, the North Sea. It is a small, densely populated country which has a population of about 11 million people. Additionally, there is bordering Germany. Historically, Belgium, Luxembourg were known as the Low Countries; it once covered a somewhat larger area than the current Benelux group of states. The region was called Belgica after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. Until the 17th century the area of Belgium was a prosperous and cosmopolitan centre of commerce and culture. Belgium is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. It is divided into three communities, that exist next to each other. Its two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia. The Brussels-Capital Region is an officially bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. A German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia. Related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments. Belgium is also a founding member of the Eurozone, a part of the trilateral Benelux Union. Brussels, hosts several of the EU's official seats as well as the headquarters of many major international organizations such as NATO. Belgium is also a part of the Schengen Area.Belgium – Charlemagne and Charles V
17. Brussels – Brussels, officially the Brussels-Capital Region, is a region of Belgium comprising 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels, the capital of Belgium. The region has a population of 1.2 million and a metropolitan area with a population of over 1.8 million, the largest in Belgium. Brussels is the de facto capital of the European Union as it hosts a number of principal EU institutions. The secretariat of the Benelux and the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are also located in Brussels. It has seen a shift from the 19th century onwards. Today the majority language is French, the Brussels-Capital Region is an officially bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. Many services are shown in both languages. Brussels is increasingly becoming multilingual with increasing numbers of migrants, expatriates and minority groups speaking their own languages. The bishop of Cambrai made the recorded reference in 695 when it was still a hamlet. Charles would construct the first permanent fortification in the city, doing so on that same island. Lambert I of Leuven, Count of Leuven gained the County of Brussels around 1000 by marrying Charles' daughter. As it grew to a population of around 30,000, the surrounding marshes were drained to allow for further expansion. The Counts of Leuven became Dukes of Brabant at about this time. In the 13th century, the city got its first walls. After the construction of the city walls in the early 13th century, Brussels grew significantly.Brussels – A collage with several views of Brussels, Top: View of the Northern Quarter business district, 2nd left: Floral carpet event in the Grand Place, 2nd right: Brussels City Hall and Mont des Arts area, 3rd: Cinquantenaire Park, 4th left: Manneken Pis, 4th middle: St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral, 4th right: Congress Column, Bottom: Royal Palace of Brussels
18. Denmark – Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Europe. Smallest of the Nordic countries, it is south of Norway, bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark has a population of million. The country consists of a peninsula, Jutland, an archipelago of 443 named islands, with the largest being Zealand and Funen. The islands are characterised by a temperate climate. The unified kingdom of Denmark emerged as a proficient nation in the struggle for control of the Baltic Sea. Denmark, Sweden and Norway were ruled together under the Kalmar Union, established in 1397 and ending with Swedish secession in 1523. Denmark and Norway remained under the same monarch until outside forces dissolved the union in 1814. The union with Norway made it possible for Denmark to inherit Greenland. Beginning in the 17th century, there were several cessions of territory to Sweden. In the 19th century there was a surge of nationalist movements, which were defeated in the 1864 Second Schleswig War. Denmark remained neutral during World War I. In April 1940, a German invasion saw military skirmishes while the Danish movement was active from 1943 until the German surrender in May 1945. The Constitution of Denmark was signed on 5 June 1849, ending the absolute monarchy which had begun in 1660. It establishes a constitutional monarchy organised as a parliamentary democracy.Denmark – The gilded side of the Trundholm sun chariot dating from the Nordic Bronze Age.
19. Copenhagen – Copenhagen; Danish: København ) is the capital and most populated city of Denmark. It has a larger urban population of 1,280,371. The Copenhagen metropolitan area has just over million inhabitants. The Øresund Bridge connects the two cities by road. Originally a Viking village founded in the 10th century, Copenhagen became the capital of Denmark in the early 15th century. Beginning in the 17th century it consolidated its position with its institutions, defences and armed forces. After suffering in the 18th century, the city underwent a period of redevelopment. This included construction of founding of such cultural institutions as the Royal Theatre and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Since the turn of the 21st century, Copenhagen has seen strong cultural development, facilitated by investment in its institutions and infrastructure. Copenhagen's economy has seen rapid developments in the sector, especially through initiatives in information technology, pharmaceuticals and clean technology. With a number of bridges connecting the various districts, the cityscape is characterized by parks, waterfronts. Copenhagen is home to the University of Copenhagen, the Technical University of Copenhagen Business School. The University of Copenhagen, founded in 1479, is the oldest university in Denmark. Copenhagen is home to the FC København and Brøndby football clubs. The annual Copenhagen Marathon was established in 1980.Copenhagen – From upper left: Christiansborg Palace, Frederik's Church, Tivoli Gardens and Nyhavn.
20. Republic of Ireland – Ireland, also described as the Republic of Ireland, is a sovereign state in north-western Europe occupying about five-sixths of the island of Ireland. The state shares its only border with Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom. It is a parliamentary republic. The head of government is the Taoiseach, elected by the Dáil and appoints other government ministers. The state was created as a result of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. It was officially declared a republic following the Republic of Ireland Act 1948. Ireland became a member of the United Nations in December 1955. It joined the predecessor of the European Union, in 1973. After joining the EEC, Ireland enacted a series of economic policies that resulted in rapid economic growth. The country achieved considerable prosperity between the years of 2007, which became known as the Celtic Tiger period. This was halted by an financial crisis that began in 2008, in conjunction with the concurrent global economic crash. However, as the Irish economy was the fastest growing in the EU in 2015, Ireland is quickly ascending league tables comparing wealth and prosperity internationally. In 2015, Ireland was ranked as the joint sixth most developed country in the world by the United Nations Human Development Index. It also performs well including freedom of the press, economic freedom and civil liberties. Ireland is a founding member of the Council of Europe and the OECD.Republic of Ireland – The Irish Parliamentary Party was formed in 1882 by Charles Stewart Parnell (1846–1891).
21. Dublin – Dublin is the capital and largest city of Ireland. It is at the mouth of the River Liffey. The city has an urban population of 1,345,402. The population of the Greater Dublin Area, as of 2016, was 1,904,806 people. Founded as a Viking settlement, the Kingdom of Dublin became Ireland's principal city following the Norman invasion. The city was briefly the second largest city in the British Empire before the Acts of Union in 1800. Following the partition of Ireland in 1922, it became the capital of the Irish Free State, later renamed Ireland. It is administered by a City Council. Dublin is a contemporary centre for education, the arts, administration, economy and industry. The name Dublin comes from the Gaelic Dublind, early Classical Irish Dubhlind/Duibhlind, dubh / d̪uβ /, alt. Irish rhymes from Dublin County show that in Dublin Leinster Irish it was pronounced Duílinn / d̪ˠi: lʲiɲ /. Other localities in Ireland also bear the Duibhlinn, variously anglicized as Devlin, Divlin and Difflin. Historically, scribes using the Gaelic script wrote bh with a dot over the b, rendering Duḃlinn or Duiḃlinn. Those without knowledge of Irish omitted the dot, spelling the name as Dublin. Variations on the name are also found in traditionally Gaelic-speaking areas such as An Linne Dhubh, part of Loch Linnhe.Dublin – Clockwise from top: Samuel Beckett Bridge, Trinity College, Custom House, Dublin Castle, O'Connell Bridge, and Convention Centre Dublin.
22. Finland – Finland, officially the Republic of Finland, is a sovereign state in Northern Europe. Estonia is south of the country across the Gulf of Finland. Finland is a Nordic country situated in the geographical region of Fennoscandia, which also includes Scandinavia. Finland's population is million, staying roughly on the same level over the past two decades. The majority of the population is concentrated in the southern region. In terms of area, it is the most sparsely populated country in the European Union. Finland is a parliamentary republic with a central government based in the capital Helsinki, an autonomous region, the Åland Islands. Over 1.4 million people live in the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area, which produces a third of the country's GDP. From the 12th century, Finland was an integral part of Sweden, a legacy reflected in the prevalence of the Swedish language and its official status. Nevertheless, in 1809, Finland was incorporated into the Russian Empire as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland. Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, Finland declared itself independent. After a brief attempt to establish a kingdom, the country became a republic. Finland established an official policy of neutrality. The Finno-Soviet Treaty of 1948 gave some leverage in Finnish domestic politics during the Cold War era. Finland was a relative latecomer to industrialization, remaining a largely agrarian country until the 1950s.Finland – Hakkapeliitta featured on a 1940 Finnish stamp
23. Helsinki – Helsinki is the capital and largest city of Finland. It is on the shore of the Gulf of Finland. Helsinki is located some 80 kilometres north of Tallinn, 388 km west of Saint Petersburg, Russia. Helsinki has historical connections with these three cities. The Helsinki metropolitan area includes surrounding commuter towns. The city is the northernmost capital of an EU member state. The Helsinki metropolitan area is the fourth largest metropolitan area in the City of Helsinki being the third largest after Stockholm and Oslo. Helsinki is Finland's major political, educational, cultural, research center as well as one of northern Europe's major cities. Approximately 75% of foreign companies operating in Finland have settled in the Helsinki region. The nearby municipality of Vantaa is the location of Helsinki Airport, with frequent service to various destinations in Europe and Asia. The city was the 52nd Eurovision Song Contest 2007. In 2011, the Monocle magazine ranked the most liveable city in the world in its "Liveable Cities Index 2011". Helsinki is used to refer to the city in most languages, but not in Swedish. The Swedish name Helsingfors is the original name of the city. As part of the Grand Duchy of Finland in the Russian Empire, Helsinki was known in Russian.Helsinki – Clockwise from top: Helsinki Cathedral, view of central Helsinki, Headquarters of Sanoma, Helsinki city centre at night, beaches at Aurinkolahti, Parliament House and Suomenlinna.
24. Portugal – Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country on the Iberian Peninsula, in Southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost country of mainland Europe. To the south it is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and to the east and north by Spain. The Portugal–Spain border is 1,214 kilometres long and considered the longest uninterrupted border within the European Union. The republic also includes autonomous regions with their own regional governments. The territory of modern Portugal has been continuously settled, fought over since prehistoric times. The Romans were followed by the invasions of the Visigothic and the Suebi Germanic peoples. For the following centuries Portugal would be part of Muslim Al Andalus. In 1139, Afonso Henriques was proclaimed King of Portugal, thus firmly establishing Portuguese independence. In the 16th centuries, Portugal established the first global empire, becoming one of the world's major economic, political and military powers. The Portuguese Empire expanded with military campaigns led in Asia. After the 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy, the unstable Portuguese First Republic was established, later being superseded by the Estado Novo right-wing authoritarian regime. Democracy was restored in 1974. Shortly after, independence was granted marking the end of the longest-lived colonial empire. Portugal has left today.Portugal – Citânia de Briteiros, in the Minho Province, is the best preserved Iron Age and Castro culture site in Portugal.
25. Lisbon – Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal, with a population of 552,700 within its administrative limits in an area of 100.05 km². About 2.8 million people live in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area. It is continental Europe's westernmost capital city and the only one along the Atlantic coast. It lies on the River Tagus. The westernmost areas of its metro area is the westernmost point of Continental Europe. It is recognised as a global city because of its importance in finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts, international tourism. The city is the 7th-most-visited city with 1,740,000 tourists in 2009. The Lisbon region contributes with a higher GDP PPP per capita than any other region in Portugal. The city occupies 32nd place of highest gross earnings in the world. Most of the headquarters of multinationals in the country are located in the Lisbon area. It is also the political centre of the country, as its seat of Government and residence of the Head of State. Julius Caesar made it a municipium called Felicitas Julia, adding to the name Olissipo. Ruled from the 5th century, Lisbon was captured in the 8th century. In 1147, since then it has been a major political, cultural centre of Portugal. Unlike most capital cities, Lisbon's status as the capital of Portugal has never been confirmed officially -- in written form.Lisbon – Clockwise, from top: Praça do Comércio, Parque Eduardo VII, Padrão dos Descobrimentos, Torre de Belém, the Sé de Lisboa, and Parque das Nações.
26. 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 has a population of 2.06 million. It is a parliamentary republic and a member of the United Nations, NATO. Largest city is Ljubljana. Additionally, the Pannonian Plain meet on the territory of Slovenia. Over half of the territory is covered by forest. The human settlement of Slovenia is uneven. Hungarian languages meet here. Although the population is not homogeneous, the majority is Slovene. Slovene is the official language throughout the country. Its culture and identity have been significantly influenced by Catholicism as well as Lutheranism. The economy of Slovenia has been strongly influenced by international conditions. It has been severely hurt by the Eurozone crisis, started in the late 2000s. The economic field is services, followed by industry and construction. In October 1918, the Slovenes exercised self-determination by co-founding the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs.Slovenia – A pierced cave bear bone, possibly flute, from Divje Babe
27. Ljubljana – Ljubljana is the capital and largest city of Slovenia. During antiquity, it was the site of a Roman city called Emona. It was under Habsburg rule from the Middle Ages until the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918. The origin of the city's name is unclear. In the Middle Ages, both the river and the town were also known by the German name Laibach. It remains frequent as a German exonym, both in common use. He supported the thesis that the name of the river derived from the name of the settlement. The Laibach, he claimed, was actually derived from the personal name. The symbol of the city is the Ljubljana Dragon. It is depicted on the top of the tower of Ljubljana Castle in the Ljubljana coat of arms and on the Ljubljanica-crossing Dragon Bridge. It symbolizes power, courage, greatness. There are several explanations on the origin of the Ljubljana Dragon. It was there that Jason struck down a monster. This monster has evolved into the dragon that today is present in the city coat of arms and flag. It is historically more believable that the dragon was adopted from Saint George, the patron of the Ljubljana Castle chapel built in the 15th century.Ljubljana – Clockwise from top: Ljubljana Castle in the background and Franciscan Church of the Annunciation in the foreground; Visitation of Mary Church on Rožnik Hill; Kazina Palace at Congress Square; view from Ljubljana Castle towards the north; Ljubljana City Hall; Ljubljanica with the Triple Bridge in distance.
28. 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. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK 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 UK 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 constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. The monarch—since 6 February 1952—is Queen Elizabeth II. Other major urban areas in the UK include the regions of Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow and Liverpool. The UK consists of four countries—England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 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 United Kingdom have changed over time. Wales was annexed in 1542. In 1922, five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories.United Kingdom – Stonehenge, in Wiltshire, was erected around 2500 BC.
29. London – London /ˈlʌndən/ is the capital and most populous city of England and the United Kingdom. Standing in the south east of the island of Great Britain, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. It was founded by the Romans, who named Londinium. The City of London, largely retains its 1.12-square-mile medieval boundaries. It has the fifth - or sixth-largest metropolitan area GDP in the world. London is a world cultural capital. It is the world's most-visited city as has the world's largest city airport system measured by passenger traffic. London is the world's leading destination, hosting more international retailers and ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city. A 2014 report placed it first in the world university rankings. According to the report London shares first position in technology readiness. In 2012, London became the only city to have hosted Olympic Games three times. More than 300 languages are spoken in the region. Its estimated municipal population was 8,673,713, the largest of any city in the European Union, accounting for 12.5 per cent of the UK population. London's urban area is the second most populous after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census. London was the world's most populous city from around 1831 to 1925.London – Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace and Central London skyline
30. Luxembourg – Luxembourg /ˈlʌksəmbɜːrɡ/, officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a landlocked country in western Europe. It is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east, France to the south. Its culture, languages are highly intertwined with its neighbors, making essentially a mixture of Germanic cultures. It comprises two principal regions: the Oesling in the north as part of the Ardennes massif, the Gutland in the south. With an area of 2,586 square kilometres, it is one of the smallest sovereign states in Europe. Luxembourg had a population in October 2012, ranking the least-populous country in Europe. Luxembourg is a developed country, with an advanced economy and the world's highest GDP per capita, according to the United Nations in 2014. The city of Luxembourg, the country's capital and largest city, is the seat of several institutions and agencies of the EU. Luxembourg served on the United Nations Security Council for the years 2013 and 2014, a first in the country's history. Around this fort, a town gradually developed, which became the centre of a state of great strategic value. In the 14th and early 15th centuries, three members of the House of Luxembourg reigned as Holy Roman Emperors. In the following centuries, Luxembourg's fortress was steadily strengthened by its successive occupants, the Bourbons, the French. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, Luxembourg was disputed between Prussia and the Netherlands. This arrangement was revised by the 1839 First Treaty of London, from which date Luxembourg's full independence is reckoned. In 1842 Luxembourg joined the German Customs Union.Luxembourg – Historic map (undated) of Luxembourg city's fortifications
31. Luxembourg City – Luxembourg, also known as Luxembourg City, is the capital city of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the country's most populous commune. The city contains Luxembourg Castle, established by the Franks in the Early Middle Ages, around which a settlement developed. As of January 2016, the commune had a population of 115,227, more than three times the population of the country's second most populous commune. The city's metropolitan population, including that of surrounding communes of Hesperange, Sandweiler, Strassen, Walferdange, reaches 180,000. In the 2011 Mercer worldwide survey of 221 cities, Luxembourg was placed first for personal safety while it was ranked 19th for quality of living. In the Roman era, a fortified tower guarded the crossing of two Roman roads that met at the site of Luxembourg city. Siegfried built his castle, named Lucilinburhuc, on the Bock Fiels, mentioned for the first time in the aforementioned exchange treaty. In 987, Archbishop Egbert of Trier consecrated five altars in the Church of the Redemption. At a Roman road intersection near the church, a marketplace appeared around which the city developed. The city, because of natural geography, has through history been a place of military significance. The first fortifications were built as early as the 10th century. In about 1340, under the reign of John the Blind, new fortifications were built that stood until 1867. In 1443, the Burgundians under Philip the Good conquered Luxembourg. Subsequently, the Burgundians, the Spanish, the French, the Spanish again, the Austrians, the French again, the Prussians conquered Luxembourg. In the 17th century, the first casemates were built; initially, Spain built 23 km of tunnels, starting in 1644.Luxembourg City – Skyline of Luxembourg City
32. Spain – Along with France and Morocco, it is one of only three countries to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines. By population, Spain is the fifth in the European Union, after Italy. Largest city is Madrid, other major urban areas include Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Bilbao and Málaga. Modern humans first arrived around 35,000 years ago. In the Middle Ages, the area was later by the Moors. Spain is a democracy organised under a constitutional monarchy. It is a developed country with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity. Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the span is the Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean "the land where metals are forged". Don Isaac Abravanel and Solomon ibn Verga, gave an explanation now considered folkloric. This man was a Grecian by birth, but, given a kingdom in Spain. He became related by marriage to the nephew of king Heracles, who also ruled over a kingdom in Spain. Based upon their testimonies, this eponym would have already been by c. 350 BCE. Iberia enters written records as a land populated largely by Basques and Celts. After an arduous conquest, the peninsula came under the rule of the Roman Empire.Spain – Lady of Elche
33. Madrid – Madrid is the capital city of Spain, the largest municipality in the Community of Madrid. The city has a population of almost million with a metropolitan area population of approximately 6.5 million. The municipality itself covers an area of 604.3 km2. As the capital city of Spain, residence of the Spanish monarch, Madrid is also the political, economic and cultural centre of Spain. The current mayor is Manuela Carmena from Ahora Madrid. Madrid is home to two world-famous football clubs, Atlético de Madrid. Madrid is the 17th most liveable city in its 2014 index. Madrid organises fairs such as FITUR, ARCO, the Cibeles Madrid Fashion Week. While Madrid possesses modern infrastructure, it has preserved the feel of many of its historic neighbourhoods and streets. Cibeles Palace and Fountain have become one of the monument symbols of the city. The first documented reference of the city originates as the Arabic مجريط Majrīṭ, retained in Medieval Spanish as Magerit. A wider number of theories have been formulated on possible earlier origins. According to legend, Madrid was named "Metragirta" or "Mantua Carpetana". Nevertheless, it is also speculated that the origin of the current name of the city comes from the 2nd BC. The Roman Empire established a settlement on the banks of the Manzanares river.Madrid – From upper left: view of business districts of AZCA and CTBA, Gran Vía street and Metropolis Building, the Palace of Communication, view of Royal Palace and Almudena Cathedral.
34. 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, southeast of Greece. The earliest human activity on the island dates to around the 10th millennium BC. Cyprus is home to some of the oldest water wells in the world. Cyprus was settled by Mycenaean Greeks in two waves in the 2nd millennium BC. Cyprus was formally annexed by Britain in 1914. Following nationalist violence in the 1950s, Cyprus was granted independence in 1960. The resulting political situation are matters of a continuing dispute. The Cyprus Republic has de jure sovereignty over the island of Cyprus, well as its territorial sea and exclusive economic area, according to international law. Another nearly 4 % of the island's area is covered by the UN zone. The international community considers the northern part of the island as territory of the Republic of Cyprus occupied by Turkish forces. The occupation is viewed amounting to illegal occupation of EU territory since Cyprus became a member of the European Union. Cyprus is a major destination in the Mediterranean. On 1 the Republic of Cyprus joined the eurozone. The earliest attested reference to Cyprus is the 15th century BC Mycenaean ku-pi-ri-jo, meaning "Cypriot", written in Linear B syllabic script.Cyprus – A copper mine on Cyprus. In antiquity, Cyprus was a major source of copper.
35. Nicosia – Nicosia (/ˌnɪkəˈsiːə/ NIK-ə-SEE-ə; Greek: Λευκωσία; Turkish: Lefkoşa; is the largest city on the island of Cyprus. It is located on the banks of the River Pedieos. As such is the farthest southeast of all EU member states' capitals. It has been the capital of Cyprus since the 10th century. Nicosia was divided into the southern Greek Cypriot and the northern Turkish Cypriot parts following the intercommunal violence that broke out in the city. Apart from its administrative functions, Nicosia has established itself as the island's financial capital and its main international business centre. In 2012, Nicosia was the 5th richest city in the world in relative power. Today can be found in the Ayia Paraskevi hill in the south east of the city. We only know about one king of Ledra, Onasagoras. The kingdom of Ledra was destroyed early. Under Assyrian rule of Cyprus, Onasagoras was recorded as paying tribute in 672 BC. By 330 BC, Ledra was recorded to be a small an unimportant town. The main activity of the inhabitants was farming. During this era, Ledra did not have the huge growth, primarily based on trade. In Byzantine times the town was also referred to as Λευκουσία or as Καλληνίκησις.Nicosia – From upper left: Nicosia city skyline, Ledra Street at night, courtyard of Nicosian houses, Venetian walls of Nicosia, a Nicosian door in the old town, the Buyuk Han, a quiet neighbourhood in the old town, Venetian houses, Nicosia Christmas fair, Makariou Avenue at night
36. France – France, officially the French Republic, is a unitary sovereign state and transcontinental country consisting of territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. Overseas France include several island territories in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. France has a total population of 66.7 million. It is a semi-presidential republic with the capital in the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other urban centres include Marseille, Lyon, Lille, Nice, Toulouse and Bordeaux. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. France emerged as a major European power with its victory in the Hundred Years' War strengthening state-building and political centralisation. During the Renaissance, a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would be the second largest in the world. The 16th century was dominated by civil wars between Catholics and Protestants. France became Europe's dominant political, military power under Louis XIV. In the 19th century Napoleon established the First French Empire, whose subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating in 1870. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was later dissolved in the course of the Algerian War. The Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains to this day. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies typically retained close economic and military connections with France.France – One of the Lascaux paintings: a horse – Dordogne, approximately 18,000 BC
37. Paris – Paris is the capital and the most populous city of France. It has a population in 2013 of 2,229,621 within the administrative limits. The agglomeration has grown well beyond the city's administrative limits. The Metropole of Grand Paris was created in 2016, combining its nearest suburbs into a single area for economic and environmental co-operation. Grand Paris has a population of 6.945 million persons. Paris was founded by a Celtic people called the Parisii, who gave the city its name. It retains that position still today. The city is also a major rail, highway, air-transport hub, served by the two international airports Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly. Opened in 1900, the Paris Métro, serves 5.23 million passengers daily. It is the second busiest system in Europe after Moscow Metro. Paris is surrounded by three orbital roads: the Périphérique, the A86 motorway, the Francilienne motorway. Most of France's major universities and écoles are located in Paris, as are France's major newspapers, including Le Monde, Le Figaro, Libération. The rugby union club Stade Français are based in Paris. The 80,000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located just north in the neighbouring commune of Saint-Denis. Paris hosts the French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros.Paris – In the 1860s Paris streets and monuments were illuminated by 56,000 gas lamps, making it literally "The City of Light."
38. Czech Republic – The Czech Republic covers an area of 78,866 square kilometres with mostly temperate continental climate and oceanic climate. It is a unitary parliamentary republic, has 10.5 million inhabitants and the capital and largest city is Prague, with over 1.2 million residents. The Czech Republic includes its historical territories of Bohemia, Moravia, Czech Silesia. The Czech state was formed in the late 9th century as the Duchy of Bohemia under the Great Moravian Empire. After the fall of the Empire in 907, the centre of power transferred from Moravia to Bohemia under the Přemyslid dynasty. The Czech country lost the majority of its German-speaking inhabitants after they were expelled following the war. The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia won the 1946 elections. Following the 1948 coup d'état, Czechoslovakia became a one-party communist state under Soviet influence. In 1968, increasing dissatisfaction with the regime culminated in a reform movement known as the Prague Spring, which ended in a Soviet-led invasion. Czechoslovakia remained occupied until the 1989 Velvet Revolution, when the communist regime collapsed and a multiparty parliamentary republic was formed. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved, with its constituent states becoming the independent states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It is a developed country with an advanced, high income economy and high living standards. The UNDP ranks the country 14th in inequality-adjusted human development. The Czech Republic also ranks as the 6th most peaceful country, while achieving strong performance in democratic governance. It has the lowest unemployment rate in the European Union.Czech Republic – Přemysl Ottokar II, King of Bohemia (1253–1278) and Duke of Austria (1251–1278)
39. Prague – Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. It is the 15th largest city in the European Union. It is also the historical capital of Bohemia. The city has a temperate climate, with chilly winters. Prague has been a political, cultural, economic centre with waxing and waning fortunes during its history. It was an important city to its Austro-Hungarian Empire. Prague is home to a number of cultural attractions, many of which survived the violence and destruction of 20th-century Europe. Main attractions include the Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge, the Jewish Quarter, Petřín hill and Vyšehrad. Since 1992, the historic centre of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. The city boasts more than ten major museums, along with numerous theatres, galleries, other historical exhibits. An extensive public transportation system connects the city. Also, it is home to a wide range including Charles University in Prague, the oldest university in Central Europe. Prague is classified according to GaWC studies. Prague ranked sixth in 2016. The city receives more than 6.4 million international visitors annually, as of 2014.Prague – Montage of Prague, clockwise from top: Panorama of Prague Castle and Charles Bridge, Dancing House, Star Villa, Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, Wallenstein Palace, Royal Garden at Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral and Municipal House.
40. Latvia – Latvia, officially the Republic of Latvia, is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe, one of the three Baltic states. Latvia has a territory of 64,589 km2. The country has a seasonal climate. Latvia is a parliamentary republic established in 1918. The city is Riga, the European Capital of Culture 2014. Latvian is the official language. 9 are cities. Livs are the indigenous people of Latvia. Latvian is an Indo-European language; it and Lithuanian are the only two surviving Baltic languages. Despite foreign rule from the 13th to 20th centuries, the Latvian nation maintained its identity throughout the generations via musical traditions. Latvia and Estonia share a common history. As a consequence of the Soviet occupation, both countries are home to a large number of ethnic Russians, some of whom are non-citizens. Until World War II, Latvia also had significant minorities of Jews. Latvia is predominantly Protestant Lutheran, except for the Latgale region in the southeast, which has historically been predominantly Roman Catholic. The Russian population has also brought a significant portion of Eastern Orthodox Christians.Latvia – Turaida Castle near Sigulda, built in 1214 under Albert of Riga.
41. Riga – Riga is the capital and the largest city of Latvia. With 696,593 inhabitants, Riga is the largest city of the Baltic states and home to one third of Latvia's population. The city lies at the mouth of the Daugava. Riga's territory lies between one and ten metres above sea level, on a flat and sandy plain. Riga is a former Hanseatic League member. Riga's historical centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, noted for 19th century wooden architecture. Riga was the European Capital of Culture along with Umeå in Sweden. Riga hosted the 2006 NATO Summit, the 2006 IIHF Men's World Ice Hockey Championships. It is home to the European Union's office of European Regulators for Electronic Communications. Riga is served by the largest airport in the Baltic states. Riga is a member of Eurocities, Union of Capitals of the European Union. Another theory could be that Riga was named after Riege, a tributary of the Daugava. The Daugava has been a trade route since antiquity, part of the Vikings' Dvina-Dnieper navigation route to Byzantium. It was settled by an ancient Finnic tribe. Riga began to develop during the early Middle Ages.Riga – From top, left to right: the Freedom Monument, the Riga City Council building, the House of the Blackheads, Līvu Square, and the Latvian National Opera
42. 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 Vatican City. With million inhabitants, it is the fourth most populous EU member state. Rome ultimately emerged as the dominant power, becoming the leading cultural, political, religious centre of Western civilisation. The legacy of the Roman Empire can be observed in the global distribution of civilian law, republican governments, Christianity and the Latin script. Italian culture flourished at this time, producing famous scholars, polymaths such as Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Michelangelo, Machiavelli. However, the southern areas of the country remained largely excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Italy has eighth largest economy in the world. It enjoys the highest life expectancy in the EU. The corpus of the solutions proposed by historians and linguists is very wide. Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus states this account together with the legend that Italy was named after Italus, mentioned also by Aristotle and Thucydides. But by his time the name also applied to most of Lucania as well. 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 Italian peoples of undetermined language families but of possible non-Indo-European origins include the Rhaetian people and Cammuni, known for their rock carvings. Also the Phoenicians established colonies on the coasts of Sardinia and Sicily.Italy – The Colosseum in Rome, built c. 70 – 80 AD, is considered one of the greatest works of architecture and engineering of ancient history.
43. Rome – Rome is a city and special comune in Italy. Rome is the capital of Italy and of the Lazio region. The Metropolitan City of Rome has a population of million residents. The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, along the shores of Tiber river. Rome's history spans a half thousand years. The city's early population originated from a mix of Latins, Etruscans and Sabines. Rome is also called the "Caput Mundi". Due to that, Rome became first one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, then the birthplace of both Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters, architects made Rome the centre of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city. In 1871 Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, in 1946 that of the Italian Republic. Rome has the status of a global city. Rome ranked as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, the most popular tourist attraction in Italy. Its historic centre is listed as a World Heritage Site. Rome is the seat of United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization. However, it is a possibility that the name Romulus was actually derived from Rome itself.Rome
44. Bulgaria – Bulgaria, officially the Republic of Bulgaria, is a country in southeastern Europe. With a territory of 110,994 square kilometres, Bulgaria is Europe's 16th-largest country. Prehistoric cultures began developing on current Bulgarian lands during the Neolithic period. Its ancient history saw the presence of Greeks and Romans. With the downfall of the Bulgarian Empire in 1396, its territories came under Ottoman rule for nearly five centuries. The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78 led to the formation of the Third Bulgarian State. The following years saw several conflicts with its neighbours, which prompted Bulgaria to align in both world wars. In 1946 it became a socialist state as part of the Soviet-led Eastern Bloc. In December 1989 the ruling Communist Party allowed multi-party elections, which subsequently led into a democracy and a market-based economy. Bulgaria's population of million people is predominantly urbanised and mainly concentrated in the administrative centres of its 28 provinces. Most cultural activities are centred on the capital and largest city, Sofia. The strongest sectors of the economy are heavy industry, agriculture, all of which rely on local natural resources. The country's political structure dates to the adoption of a democratic constitution in 1991. Bulgaria is a parliamentary republic with a high degree of political, administrative, economic centralisation. Human activity in the lands of modern Bulgaria can be traced back to the Paleolithic.Bulgaria – Objects from Varna necropolis, parts of the oldest golden treasure in the world.
45. Sweden – Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. It is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund. At 450,295 square kilometres, Sweden is the third-largest country in the European Union by area, with a total population of over million. Sweden consequently has a low density of 21 inhabitants per square kilometre, with the highest concentration in the southern half of the country. Approximately 85% of the population lives in urban areas. Germanic peoples have inhabited Sweden since prehistoric times, constituting the sea peoples known as the Norsemen. Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, while the north is heavily forested. Sweden is part of the geographical area of Fennoscandia. The climate is in general very mild for its northerly latitude due to significant maritime influence, that in spite of this still retains continental summers. Sweden is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, with a monarch as head of state. The city is Stockholm, also the most populous city in the country. Legislative power is vested in the unicameral Riksdag. Executive power is exercised by the government chaired by the prime minister. Sweden is a unitary state, currently divided into 290 municipalities. Sweden emerged during the Middle Ages.Sweden – A Vendel-era helmet, at the Swedish Museum of National Antiquities.
46. Stockholm – It is also the capital of Stockholm County. Stockholm is the cultural, media, economic centre of Sweden. The Stockholm region alone is among the top 10 regions in Europe by GDP per capita. It is the main centre for corporate headquarters in the Nordic region. The city is home to some such as the Stockholm School of Economics, Karolinska Institute and Royal Institute of Technology. It hosts the annual Nobel Prize ceremonies and banquet at Stockholm City Hall. The Vasa Museum, is the most visited non-art museum in Scandinavia. The Stockholm metro, opened in 1950, is well known for its decoration of the stations; it has been called the longest gallery in the world. Sweden's national arena is located north of the city centre, in Solna. The national indoor arena, is in the southern part of the city. Hosted the equestrian portion of the 1956 Summer Olympics otherwise held in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Thousands of years later, the lands became fertile, some life moved back to the North. They had a positive impact on the area because of the trade routes they created. Stockholm's location appears with the legendary king Agne. The first part of the name means log in Swedish, although it may also be connected to an old German word fortification.Stockholm – Aerial view of the Old Town, Skeppsbron, Stockholm City Hall, Hötorget buildings, Ericsson Globe and Stockholm Palace.
47. Estonia – Estonia, officially the Republic of Estonia, is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. Across the Baltic Sea lies Finland in the north. In 1988, independence was restored on 20. August 1991. Modern Estonia is a parliamentary republic divided into fifteen counties; its capital and largest city is Tallinn. With a population of million, it is one of the least-populous member states of the European Union, Eurozone, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, OECD and Schengen Area. Estonia is a developed country with an high-income economy, among the fastest growing in the EU. It performs favourably in measurements of economic freedom, civil liberties and press freedom. The 2015 test places the Estonian high school students 3rd in the world, behind Singapore and Japan. Citizens of Estonia are provided with universal health care, the longest paid maternity leave in the OECD. Since independence the country has rapidly developed its IT sector, becoming one of the world's most digitally advanced societies. In 2005 Estonia became the first nation to in 2014 the first nation to provide E-residency. In the Estonian language, the oldest known endonym of the Estonians was maarahvas, meaning "country people" or "people of the land". One hypothesis regarding the modern name of Estonia is that it originated from the Aesti, a people described in his Germania. However, the historic Aesti appear to have been a Baltic people, whereas the modern Estonians have Finno-Ugric origins.Estonia – Tools made by Kunda culture, Estonian History Museum
48. Tallinn – Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia. From the 13th century until 1918, the city was known as Reval. Tallinn occupies an area of 159.2 km2 and has a population of 443,894. Approximately 32% of Estonia's total population lives in Tallinn. The earliest human settlements are over 5,000 years old, making one of the oldest capital cities of Northern Europe. Tallinn's Old Town is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tallinn is the major political, educational center of Estonia. Providing to the global cybersecurity it is the home to the NATO Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. It is ranked as a global city and has been listed among the top 10 digital cities in the world. The city was a European Capital of Culture for 2011, along with Turku in Finland. It has been suggested that Quwri may have denoted a predecessor of the modern city. The earliest names of Tallinn include Kolyvan, which may have come from the mythical hero Kalev. It has been also suggested that the Estonian linda is similar to the Votic word lidna, meaning a castle or town. According to this suggestion, nisa would have the meaning ` niemi', producing the Finnish name for the city. Another ancient historical name for Tallinn in Finnish is Rääveli.Tallinn – A collage of Tallinn showing a view from the sea, the Old Town and a night view of the downtown
49. Malta – Malta, officially known as the Republic of Malta, is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies 80 km south of Italy, 333 km north of Libya. The country covers just over 316 km2, with a population of just under 450,000, making one of the world's smallest and most densely populated countries. The capital of Malta is Valletta, which at 0.8 km2, is the smallest national capital in the European Union. Malta has two official languages: English. King George VI of the United Kingdom awarded the George Cross for the country's bravery in the Second World War. The George Cross continues to appear on Malta's national flag. The country became a republic in 1974, although no longer a Commonwealth realm, remains a current member state of the Commonwealth of Nations. Malta was admitted to the European Union in 2004; in 2008, it became part of the Eurozone. Catholicism is the official religion in Malta. The modern-day variation derives from the Maltese language. The most common etymology is that the Malta derives from the Greek word μέλι, meli, "honey". The ancient Greeks called the Μελίτη meaning "honey-sweet", possibly due to Malta's unique production of honey; an endemic species of bee lives on the island. Another conjecture suggests that the Malta comes from the Phoenician word Maleth "a haven" or "port" in reference to Malta's many bays and coves. Other etymological mentions appear in classical literature, with the term Malta appearing in its present form in the Antonine Itinerary.Malta – Ġgantija megalithic temple complex
50. Valletta – Valletta is the capital city of Malta, colloquially known as Il-Belt in Maltese. The historical city has a population of 6,444, while the metropolitan area around it has a population of 393,938. Valletta is the second capital of the European Union after Nicosia. Valletta contains buildings from the 16th century onwards, built during the rule of the Order of St. John also known as Knights Hospitaller. The City of Valletta was officially recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980. The official name given by the Order of Saint John was Humilissima Civitas Valletta—The Most Humble City of Valletta, or Città Umilissima in Italian. The building of a city on the Sciberras Peninsula, originally called Xaghriet Mewwija, had been proposed by the Order of Saint John as early as 1524. Back then, the only building on the peninsula was a small watchtower dedicated to Erasmus of Formia, built in 1488. In 1552, the watchtower was demolished and the larger Fort Saint Elmo was built in its place. In the Great Siege of 1565, Fort Saint Elmo fell to the Ottomans, but the Order eventually won the siege with the help of Spanish reinforcements. The city took his name and was called La Valletta. Pope Pius V sent Francesco Laparelli, to design the new city, while Philip II of Spain sent monetary aid. The foundation stone of the city was laid by Grand Master de Valette on 28 March 1566. He placed the first stone in what later became Our Lady of Victories Church. De Valette died from a stroke on 21 August 1568 at age 74 and never saw the completion of his city.Valletta – From top: Skyline, Saluting Battery, Lower Barrakka Gardens, St. John's Co-Cathedral and the city walls
51. Austria – Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a federal republic and a landlocked country of over 8.7 million people in Central Europe. The territory of Austria covers 83,879 km2. The terrain is highly mountainous, lying within the Alps; its highest point is 3,798 m. Local official languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, Slovene. From the time of the Reformation, many German princes, resenting the authority of the Emperor, used Protestantism as a flag of rebellion. Following Napoleon's defeat, Prussia emerged for rule of a greater Germany. In 1867, the empire was reformed into Austria-Hungary. The First Austrian Republic was established in 1919. In the 1938 Anschluss, Austria was annexed to Nazi Germany. This lasted until the end of World War II in 1945, after which Germany was occupied by Austria's former democratic constitution was restored. In 1955, the Austrian State Treaty re-established Austria as a sovereign state, ending the occupation. In the same year, the Austrian Parliament created the Declaration of Neutrality which declared that the Second Austrian Republic would become permanently neutral. Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy comprising nine federal states. Largest city, with a population exceeding 1.7 million, is Vienna. Austria is one of the richest countries in the world, with a nominal per capita GDP of $43,724.Austria – First appearance of the word "ostarrichi", circled in red. Modern Austria honours this document, dated 996, as the founding of the nation.
52. Vienna – Vienna is the capital and largest city of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of its cultural, political centre. It is the 7th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union. Today, it has the second largest number of German speakers after Berlin. Vienna is host to international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC. The city is close to the borders of the Czech Republic, Hungary. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region. Along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city's roots lie in early Roman settlements that transformed into a Baroque city, then the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The late-19th-century Ringstraße lined with grand buildings, parks. Vienna is known for its high quality of life. In a 2005 study of 127 world cities, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked the city first for the world's most livable cities. Between 2011 and 2015, Vienna was ranked second, behind Melbourne, Australia. Monocle's 2015 "Quality of Life Survey" ranked Vienna second on a list of the top 25 cities in the world "to make a base within."Vienna
53. Lithuania – Lithuania, officially the Republic of Lithuania, is a country in Northern Europe. One of the three Baltic states, it is situated to the east of Sweden and Denmark. It is bordered by Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Kaliningrad Oblast to the southwest. Its capital and largest city is Vilnius. Lithuanians are a Baltic people. Lithuanian, along with Latvian, is one of only two living languages in the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family. For centuries, the southeastern shores of the Baltic Sea were inhabited by Baltic tribes. With the Lublin Union of 1569, Lithuania and Poland formed the Polish -- Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Commonwealth lasted more than two centuries, until neighboring countries systematically dismantled it from 1772–95, with the Russian Empire annexing most of Lithuania's territory. As World War I neared its end, Lithuania's Act of Independence was signed on 16 February 1918, declaring the founding of the modern Republic of Lithuania. Starting in 1940, Lithuania was occupied then by Nazi Germany. As the Germans retreated, the Soviet Union reoccupied Lithuania. Lithuania is a member of the European Union, the Council of Europe, NATO. It is also part of Nordic-Baltic cooperation of Northern European countries. The United Nations Human Development Index lists Lithuania as a "very human development" country.Lithuania – Trakai Island Castle
54. Vilnius – Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania and its largest city, with a population of 542,664 as of 2015. Vilnius is the second largest city in the Baltic states. Vilnius is the seat of the main government institutions of Lithuania well as of the Vilnius District Municipality. In 2009, Vilnius was the European Capital of Culture, together with the Austrian city of Linz. The name of the city originates from the Vilnia River. The city has also been known throughout its history: Vilna was common in English. The most notable non-Lithuanian names for the city include: Polish: Belarusian: Вiльня, German: Wilna, Latvian: Viļņa, Russian: Вильнюс, Yiddish: ווילנע, Czech: Vilnius. An older Russian name was Вильна/Вильно, although Вильнюс is now used. The Vilna is still used in Finnish, Portuguese, Spanish, Hebrew. Wilna is still used in German, along with Vilnius. The neighborhoods of Vilnius also have names in other languages, which represent the languages spoken by ethnic groups in the area. Historian Romas Batūra identifies the city with one of the castles of Mindaugas, crowned in 1253 as King of Lithuania. The first Franciscan Catholic church was built. According to legend, Gediminas dreamt of an wolf howling on a hilltop and consulted a pagan priest for its interpretation. The duchy had been subject to intrusions by the Teutonic Knights.Vilnius – Top: Vilnius Old Town Middle left: Vilnius Cathedral Middle right: St. Anne's Church The 3rd row: Vilnius business district (Šnipiškės) The 4th row: Presidential Palace.
55. Poland – The total area of Poland is 312,679 square kilometres, making the 69th largest country in the world and the 9th largest in Europe. Its capital and largest city is Warsaw. Other metropolises include Kraków, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk and Szczecin—the country's largest urban agglomeration is the Silesian Metropolis. This union formed the Polish -- Europe. The Commonwealth ceased to exist in the years 1772 -- 95, when its territory was partitioned among Prussia, Austria. Poland regained its independence in 1918. In September 1939, World War II started by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. More than million Polish citizens died in the war. The borders of Poland were shifted westwards according to the Potsdam Conference in the aftermath of World War II. Poland adopted a new constitution establishing itself as a democracy. Despite the large number of casualties and destruction the country experienced during World War II, the country managed to preserve much of its cultural wealth. There are 14 heritage sites inscribed on many objects of cultural heritage in Poland. Poland is a democratic country with an advanced high-income economy, a very high standard of living. Moreover, the country is visited by every year which makes it one of the most visited countries in the world. Poland is the eighth largest economy among the fastest growing European economies.Poland – Reconstruction of a Bronze Age, Lusatian culture settlement in Biskupin, c. 700 BC
56. Warsaw – Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It stands on the Vistula River in east-central Poland, 300 kilometres from the Carpathian Mountains. The city limits cover square kilometres, while the metropolitan area covers 6,100.43 square kilometres. In 2012 the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Warsaw in the world. It was also ranked as one of the most liveable cities in Central Europe. Today Warsaw is considered an "Alpha --" global city, a significant cultural, political and economic hub. Warsaw's economy, by a wide variety of industries, is characterised by FMCG manufacturing, metal processing, electronic manufacturing and food processing. The city is a significant centre of BPO, ITO, as well as of the Polish media industry. The Warsaw Stock Exchange is one of the most important in Central and Eastern Europe. The European Union agency for external border security, has its headquarters in Warsaw. Warsaw has also been called "Eastern Europe's cultural capital with thriving art and club scenes and serious restaurants". The historical reference to Warsaw dates back to the year 1313, at a time when Kraków served as the Polish capital city. After the Third Partition of Poland in 1795, Warsaw was incorporated into the Kingdom of Prussia. In accordance with the decisions of the Congress of Vienna, it became part of the "Congress Kingdom". Only in 1918 did it regain independence from the foreign rule and emerge as a new capital of the independent Republic of Poland.Warsaw
57. Croatia – Croatia, officially the Republic of Croatia, is a sovereign state between Central Europe, Southeast Europe, the Mediterranean. Its city is Zagreb, which forms one of the country's primary subdivisions, along with its twenty counties. Croatia has diverse, mostly continental and Mediterranean climates. Croatia's Adriatic Sea coast contains more than a thousand islands. The country's population is million, most of whom are Croats, with the most common religious denomination being Roman Catholicism. The Croats arrived during the early part of the 7th century AD. They organised the state 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 in 1102. In 1527, faced with Ottoman conquest, the Croatian Parliament elected Ferdinand I of the House of Habsburg to the Croatian throne. The fascist Croatian state backed by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany existed during World War II. After the war, Croatia became a federal constituent of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, a constitutionally socialist state. On 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.Croatia – Branimir Inscription
58. Zagreb – It is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Croatia. Zagreb is located in the northwest of the country, at the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain. It lies above sea level. In the last census of 2011 the population of the City of Zagreb was 792,875. The wider Zagreb metropolitan area includes the City of the separate Zagreb County bringing the total metropolitan area population up to 1,237,887. Zagreb is the only one with a population of over one million. It is a city with a rich history dating to the present day. The oldest settlement located in the vicinity of the city was the Roman Andautonia, in today's Ščitarjevo. The city extends over 30 kilometres east-west and around 20 kilometres north-south. Concentration of industry, scientific and research institutions and industrial tradition underlie its leading economic position in Croatia. It is the seat of the central government, almost all government ministries. Almost all of the largest Croatian companies, scientific institutions have their headquarters in the city. Zagreb is a city known for high quality of living, museums, sporting and entertainment events. Its main branches of economy are the service sector. The oldest settlement located near today's Zagreb was a Roman town of Andautonia, now Šćitarjevo, which existed between the 5th century AD.Zagreb