1. Albania – It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea on the Ionian Sea to the southwest. It is less than 72 km from Italy, across the Strait of Otranto which connects the Adriatic Sea to the Ionian Sea. The present territory of Albania was part of the Roman provinces of Dalmatia, Macedonia and Moesia Superior. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in Europe following the Balkan Wars, Albania was recognized the following year. The Kingdom of Albania was invaded in 1939, which formed Greater Albania, before becoming a Nazi German protectorate in 1943. A socialist People's Republic was established under the leadership of Enver Hoxha and the Party of Labour. Albania experienced widespread social and political transformations from much of the international community. In 1991, the Republic of Albania was established. Albania is a parliamentary republic. Tirana, is its financial and industrial heartland, with a population of about 800,000. Free-market reforms have opened the country to foreign investment, especially in the development of energy and infrastructure. Albania provides universal health care system and free primary and secondary education to its citizens. Albania is an upper-middle economy with the service sector dominating the country's economy, followed by the industrial sector and agriculture. It is one of the founding members of the Energy Community, the Union for the Mediterranean. It is also an official candidate for membership in the European Union.Albania – Albanian Peasants costumes - illustration by Percy Anderson for Costume Fanciful, Historical and Theatrical, 1906
2. Andorra – Created under a charter in 988, the present principality was formed in 1278. Andorra is the sixth-smallest nation in Europe, having a population of approximately 85,000. 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, French are also commonly spoken. Andorra's tourism services an estimated million visitors annually. The euro is the official currency. 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 according to The Lancet. The origin of the Andorra is unknown, although several hypotheses have been formulated. 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 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 pearl". Other theories suggest that the term derives from the Navarro-Aragonese andurrial, which means "land covered with bushes" or "scrubland". Tradition holds that Charles the Great granted a charter for fighting against the Moors.Andorra – Sant Joan de Caselles church, dating from the 11th century.
3. Armenia – Armenia, officially the Republic of Armenia, is a sovereign state in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. The Republic of Armenia constitutes only one-tenth of historical Armenia. Armenia is a unitary, democratic nation-state with an ancient cultural heritage. By the 6th century BC it was replaced by the Satrapy of Armenia. In the 1st BC the Kingdom of Armenia reached its height under Tigranes the Great. Armenia became the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion. In between the 3rd century to early years of the 4th century, the state became the first Christian nation. The official date of adoption of Christianity is 301 AD. The Armenian kingdom was split between the Byzantine and Sasanian Empires around the early 5th century. Under the Bagratuni dynasty, the Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia was restored in the 9th century. Declining due to the wars against the Byzantines, Armenia was soon after invaded by the Seljuk Turks. An Armenian principality and later a kingdom Cilician Armenia was located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea between the 14th centuries. During World War I, Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire were systematically exterminated in the Armenian Genocide. By 1920, the state in 1922 became a founding member of the Soviet Union. In 1936, the Transcaucasian state was dissolved, transforming its constituent states, including the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, into full Union republics.Armenia – Reconstruction of Herodotus ' world map c. 450 BC, with Armenia shown in the center
4. 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.
5. Azerbaijan – Azerbaijan, officially the Republic of Azerbaijan, is a country in the South Caucasus region, situated at the crossroads of Southwest Asia and Southeastern Europe. The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic proclaimed its independence in 1918. The country was incorporated as the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. The modern Republic of Azerbaijan proclaimed its independence on 30 August 1991, prior to the official dissolution of the USSR in December 1991. In September 1991, the Armenian majority of the Nagorno-Karabakh region seceded to form the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Seven adjacent districts outside it became de facto independent with the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1994. These regions are internationally recognized pending a solution to the status of the Nagorno-Karabakh, found through negotiations facilitated by the OSCE. Azerbaijan is a semi-presidential republic. The country is a member state for Peace program. It is one of six independent Turkic states, the TÜRKSOY community. Azerbaijan holds membership in 38 international organizations. It is one of the founding members of GUAM, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Its term of office began on 19 June 2006. Azerbaijan is also a member state of the Non-Aligned Movement, is a correspondent at the International Telecommunication Union. All major political forces in the country are secularist.Azerbaijan – Petroglyphs in Gobustan dating back to 10,000 BC indicating a thriving culture. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site considered to be of "outstanding universal value"
6. Belarus – Most populous city is Minsk. Over 40% of its 207,600 square kilometres is forested. Its strongest economic sectors are manufacturing. Belarus lost almost half of its territory after the Polish -- Soviet War of 1919 -- 1921. During WWII, military operations devastated Belarus, which lost more than half of its economic resources. The republic was redeveloped in the post-war years. In 1945 Belarus became a founding member of the United Nations, along with the Ukrainian SSR. Alexander Lukashenko has served since 1994. Lukashenko continued a number such as state ownership of large sections of the economy. In 2000 Belarus and Russia signed a treaty for greater cooperation, with some hints of forming a Union State. Over 70 % of Belarus's population of million resides in urban areas. More than 80% of the population is ethnic Belarusian, with sizable minorities of Russians, Poles and Ukrainians. Since a referendum in 1995, the country has had two official languages: Belarusian and Russian. The Constitution of Belarus does not declare any official religion, although the primary religion in the country is Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Belarus is the only country in Europe to retain punishment in law and practice.Belarus – Stamp with the Cross of St. Euphrosyne from 1992
7. 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
8. Bosnia and Herzegovina – 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, the northeast is predominantly flatland. The inland is a geographically larger region and has a moderate continental climate, with hot summers and cold and snowy winters. The southern tip of the country has a Mediterranean climate and plain topography. The Ottomans brought Islam to the region, 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. Following the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the country proclaimed independence in 1992, followed by the Bosnian War, lasting until late 1995. The country is home to three main 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. 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 federal units – cantons. The name is believed to have been derived from the hydronym of the river Bosna coursing through the Bosnian heartland. The name Herzegovina originates from Bosnian magnate Stephen Vukčić Kosača's title, "Herceg of Hum and the Coast".Bosnia and Herzegovina – Mogorjelo, ancient Roman suburban Villa Rustica from the 4th century, near Čapljina
9. 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.
10. 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
11. 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.
12. 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)
13. 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.
14. 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
15. 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
16. 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
17. Georgia (country) – Georgia is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. The capital and largest city is Tbilisi. Georgia covers a territory of 69,700 square kilometres, its 2015 population is about 3.75 million. Georgia is a unitary, semi-presidential republic, with the government elected through a representative democracy. During the classical era, several independent kingdoms became established in what is now Georgia. The kingdoms of Colchis and Iberia adopted Christianity in the early 4th century. Thereafter the area was dominated by large empires including the Mongols, successive dynasties of Iran. In the 18th century, the area was annexed in 1801. The latter's rule over Georgia was confirmed in 1813 through the Treaty of Gulistan with Qajar Iran. Since the establishment of the modern Georgian republic in April 1991, post-communist Georgia suffered from civil and economic crisis for most of the 1990s. The country's Western orientation soon led to the worsening of relations with Russia, culminating in the brief Russo-Georgian War. Georgia is a member of the Council of Europe and the GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development. It contains two facto Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which gained international recognition after the 2008 Russo-Georgian War. Georgia and a major part of the international community consider the regions to be part of Georgia's sovereign territory under Russian military occupation. "Georgia" probably stems from the Persian designation of the Georgians -- gurğān, in the 12th centuries adapted via gurz-ān / Arabic ĵurĵan / ĵurzan.Georgia (country) – It is said that Georgians were so named because they revered Saint George.
18. 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.
19. 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.
20. Holy See – The Holy See is the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, the episcopal see of the Pope, an independent sovereign entity. Today, it is responsible for the governance of all Catholics, organised in their Particular Churches, Patriarchates and religious institutes. As an independent sovereign entity, holding the Vatican City enclave in Rome as sovereign territory, it maintains diplomatic relations with other states. Diplomatically, the Holy See acts and speaks for the whole church. It is also recognised by other subjects of international law as a sovereign entity, headed by the Pope, with which diplomatic relations can be maintained. The creation of the Vatican City state was meant to ensure the diplomatic and spiritual independence of the Pope. Every see is considered holy. In Greek, the adjective "holy" or "sacred" is constantly applied to all such sees as a matter of course. The word "see" comes from the Latin word "sedes", meaning "seat", which refers to the Episcopal throne. The Pope governs the Catholic Church through the Roman Curia. The Secretariat of State, under the Cardinal Secretary of State, directs and coordinates the Curia. The incumbent, Archbishop Pietro Parolin, is the See's equivalent of a prime minister. Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Secretary of the Section for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State, acts as the Holy See's minister of foreign affairs. Parolin was named in his role by Pope Francis On 31 August 2013. Mamberti was named in his role by Pope Benedict XVI in September 2006.Holy See – The papal throne (cathedra), in the apse of Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, symbolises the Holy See.
21. 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
22. Iceland – The Republic of Iceland, Lýðveldið Ísland in Icelandic, is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic Ocean. It has an area of 103,000 km2, making it the most sparsely populated country in Europe. Largest city is Reykjavík. The surrounding areas in the southwest of the country are home to over two-thirds of the population. Iceland is geologically active. The interior consists of a plateau characterised by sand and lava fields, glaciers, while many glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. Iceland has a temperate climate, despite a high latitude just outside the Arctic Circle. Marine influence still keeps summers chilly, with most of the archipelago having a tundra climate. In the following centuries, Norwegians, to a lesser extent other Scandinavians, immigrated to Iceland, bringing with them thralls of Gaelic origin. The island was governed under the Althing, one of the world's oldest functioning legislative assemblies. Following a period of civil strife, Iceland acceded in the 13th century. In 1814, it came under the rule of Denmark, during which a distinct national identity emerged. This culminated in the founding of a republic in 1944. Until the 20th century, Iceland was among the poorest in Europe. In 1994, it became a part of the European Economic Area, which further diversified the economy into sectors such as finance, manufacturing.Iceland – Norsemen Landing in Iceland – a 19th Century depiction by Oscar Wergeland.
23. 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).
24. 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.
25. Kazakhstan – Kazakhstan is the world's largest landlocked country, the ninth largest in the world, with an area of 2,724,900 square kilometres. Kazakhstan is the dominant nation of Central Asia economically, generating 60% of the region's GDP, primarily through its oil/gas industry. Kazakhstan has vast mineral resources. Kazakhstan shares also adjoins a large part of the Caspian Sea. The terrain of Kazakhstan includes flatlands, steppe, taiga, rock canyons, hills, deltas, deserts. The capital is Astana, where it was moved from Almaty, the country's largest city. The territory of Kazakhstan has historically been inhabited by nomadic tribes. This changed in the 13th century, when Genghis Khan occupied the country as part of the Mongolian Empire. Following internal struggles among the conquerors, power eventually reverted to the nomads. By the 16th century, the Kazakh emerged as a distinct group, divided into three jüz. Following subsequent civil war, the territory of Kazakhstan was reorganized several times. In 1936, it was made part of the Soviet Union. Kazakhstan was the last of the Soviet republics to declare independence following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Kazakhstan has worked to develop its economy, especially its dominant industry. Kazakhstan's 131 ethnicities include Russians, Uzbeks, Ukrainians, Germans, Tatars, Uyghurs.Kazakhstan – Artistic depiction of medieval Taraz situated along the Silk Road
26. Kyrgyzstan – Kyrgyzstan, officially the Kyrgyz Republic, formerly known as Kirghizia, is a country in Central Asia. Mountainous, Kyrgyzstan is bordered to China to the east. Its capital and largest city is Bishkek. Kyrgyzstan's recorded history spans over 2,000 years, encompassing a variety of cultures and empires. Ethnic Kyrgyz make up the majority of the country's 5.7 million people, followed by significant minorities of Uzbeks and Russians. The official language, Kyrgyz, is closely related to the other Turkic languages, although Russian remains widely spoken, a legacy of a century-long policy of multiculturalism. The majority of the population are non-denominational Muslims. In addition to its Turkic origins, Kyrgyz culture bears elements of Persian, Mongolian and Russian influence. Literally, Kyrgyz means We are forty. In the 9th AD, the Uyghurs dominated much of Central Asia, parts of Russia and China. According to David C. King, Scythians were early settlers in present-day Kyrgyzstan. The Kyrgyz state reached its greatest expansion after defeating the Uyghur Khaganate in 840 A.D. From the 10th century the Kyrgyz migrated as far as the Tian Shan range and maintained their dominance over this territory for about 200 years. In the twelfth century the Kyrgyz dominion had shrunk to the Altay Range and Sayan Mountains as a result of the Mongol expansion.Kyrgyzstan – Silk road caravansary utilized during the Islamic Golden Age
27. 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.
28. Liechtenstein – Liechtenstein, officially the Principality of Liechtenstein, is a doubly landlocked German-speaking microstate in Central Europe. It is a constitutional monarchy with the rank of principality, headed by the Prince of Liechtenstein. Liechtenstein is bordered by Switzerland to the east and north. It has an area of an estimated population of 37,000. Divided into 11 municipalities, its capital is its largest municipality is Schaan. The rate is one of the lowest in the world at 1.5 %. Liechtenstein has previously been known as a billionaire tax haven, however is no longer on any blacklists of uncooperative tax haven countries, see taxation section. An alpine country, Liechtenstein is mainly mountainous, making it a winter sport destination. Small farms are found both in the south and north. The country has a financial sector centered in Vaduz. It also has a monetary union with Switzerland. The oldest traces of hominid existence in Liechtenstein date back to the Middle Paleolithic era. Neolithic farming settlements were founded in the valleys around 5300 BC. Hallstatt and La Tène cultures flourished during the late Iron Age under some influence from the Greek and Etruscan civilisations. One of the most important tribal groups in the Alpine region were the Helvetii.Liechtenstein – Gutenberg Castle, Balzers, Liechtenstein.
29. 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
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. Republic of Macedonia – Macedonia, officially the Republic of Macedonia, is a country in the Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991. The country's geography is defined primarily by mountains, rivers. Skopje, is home to roughly a quarter of the nation's 2.06 million inhabitants. The majority of the residents are a South Slavic people. Albanians form a significant minority at around 25 percent, followed by Turks, Romani, Serbs, others. Macedonia's history dates back beginning with the kingdom of Paeonia, a Thracian polity. The Romans made it part of the much larger province of Macedonia. Macedonia was often raided and settled by Slavic peoples beginning in the sixth century CE. Following centuries of contention between the Byzantine empires, it gradually came under Ottoman dominion from the 14th century. Macedonia remained a constituent socialist republic until its peaceful secession in 1991. Macedonia is of the Council of Europe. Since 2005 it has applied for NATO membership. Although one of the poorest countries in Europe, Macedonia has made significant progress in developing an open, market based economy. The country's name derives from a kingdom named after the ancient Macedonians.Republic of Macedonia – Heraclea Lyncestis, a city founded by Philip II of Macedon in the 4th century BC: ruins of the Byzantine "Small Basilica"
32. 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
33. Moldova – The city is Chișinău. Moldova declared independence on 27 August 1991, as part of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The current Constitution of Moldova was adopted in 1994. Its economy remains one of Europe's poorest. Moldova is a parliamentary republic with a president as a prime minister as head of government. The origin of the name of the river remains unclear. The dog's name, given to the river, extended to the Principality. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the country began to use Moldova. Officially, the Republic of Moldova is designated by the United Nations. In 2010, Oldowan flint tools were discovered at Bayraki that are 800,000 -- million years old. This demonstrates that early humans were present in Moldova during the Paleolithic era. The inhabitants of this civilization, which lasted roughly from 5500 to 2750 BC, practiced agriculture, made intricately designed pottery. In antiquity, Moldova's territory was inhabited by Dacian tribes. Between the 1st and 7th centuries AD, the south was intermittently under the Roman, then Byzantine Empires. Its territory comprised the present-day territory of the Republic of Moldova, the Chernivtsi Oblast and Budjak region of Ukraine.Moldova – Stephen the Great, Prince of Moldavia between 1457 and 1504.
34. 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 a land border of 4.4 km, a coastline of 4.1 km, a width that varies between 1,700 and 349 m. Monaco's most populous Quartier is Monte Carlo and the most populous Ward is Larvotto/Bas Moulins. Through reclamation, Monaco's land mass has expanded by twenty percent. Monaco is known as a playground for the famous, due to its tax laws. In 2014, it was noted about 30% of the population was made up of millionaires, similar to Zürich or Geneva. Monaco is a principality governed with Prince Albert II as head of state. Although Prince Albert II is a constitutional monarch, he wields political power. The House of Grimaldi have ruled Monaco, with brief interruptions, since 1297. Monégasque, Italian, English are widely spoken and understood. The state's sovereignty was officially recognized with Monaco becoming a full United Nations voting member in 1993. Despite separate foreign policy, its defense is the responsibility of France. However, Monaco does maintain two military units. Economic development was spurred in the 19th century with the opening of the country's first casino, Monte Carlo, a railway connection to Paris.Monaco – 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.
35. Mongolia – Mongolia /mɒŋˈɡoʊliə/ is a landlocked unitary sovereign state in East Asia. That term is sometimes used to refer to the current state. It is sandwiched between China to the north. While it does not share a border with Kazakhstan, Mongolia is separated by only 36.76 kilometres. It is also the largest landlocked country that does not border a closed sea. The capital and largest city, is home to about 45 % of the country's population. Approximately 30 % of the population is semi-nomadic; horse culture is still integral. The majority of its population are Buddhists. The non-religious population is the second largest group. Islam is the dominant religion among ethnic Kazakhs. The majority of the state's citizens are of Mongol ethnicity, although other minorities also live in the country, especially in the west. Mongolia seeks to expand its participation in regional economic and trade groups. The area of what is now Mongolia has been ruled including the Xiongnu, the Xianbei, the Rouran, the Turkic Khaganate, others. In 1206, Genghis Khan founded the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history. His grandson Kublai Khan conquered China to establish the Yuan dynasty.Mongolia – Deer stones in Mongolia
36. Montenegro – Montenegro is a sovereign state in Southeastern Europe. Largest city is Podgorica, while Cetinje is designated as the Old Royal Capital. In 1042, archon Stefan Vojislav led a revolt that resulted in the establishment of the Vojislavljević dynasty. Duklja reached its zenith under Vojislav's son, his grandson Bodin. By the 13th century, Zeta had replaced Duklja when referring to the realm. Large portions fell from 1496 to 1878. Parts were controlled by Austria-Hungary, its successors. Until 1851 the prince-bishops of Cetinje were the rulers. The House of Petrović-Njegoš ruled the country from 1697 to 1918. On the basis of an referendum held on 21 May 2006, Montenegro declared independence on 3 June of that year, thus regaining its statehood. Montenegro is also a candidate negotiating to join the European Union and NATO. On 2 Montenegro received an official invitation to join NATO, whereby it would be the 29th member country. This invitation was meant to start final accession talks. The country's name in most European languages reflects an adaptation of the Venetian Montenegro, roughly "Mount Black" or "black mountain". Particularly nearby ones, use their own direct translation of the term "black mountain".Montenegro – Royal family at the proclamation of the Kingdom of Montenegro, King Nicholas I of Montenegro in the middle
37. 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
38. Norway – The sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the Kingdom. Norway also lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land. Until 1814, the Kingdom included the Faroe Islands, Iceland. It also included Shetland and Orkney until 1468. It also included the following provinces, now in Sweden: Jämtland, Härjedalen, Särna-Idre and Bohuslän. Norway has a population of 5,213,985. The country shares a eastern border with Sweden. Norway is bordered by Finland and Russia with Denmark on the other side. Norway has an extensive coastline, facing the Barents Sea. King Harald V of the Dano-German House of Glücksburg is the current King of Norway. Erna Solberg became Prime Minister in 2013, replacing Jens Stoltenberg. Norway divides state power between the Parliament, the Cabinet, the Supreme Court, as determined by the 1814 Constitution. The Kingdom is established as a merger of petty kingdoms. Norway has both political subdivisions on two levels: counties and municipalities. The Sámi people have a certain amount over traditional territories through the Sámi Parliament and the Finnmark Act.Norway – The helmet found at Gjermundbu near Haugsbygd, Buskerud, is the only Viking Age helmet that has been found.
39. 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
40. 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.
41. 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.
42. Russia – Russia, also officially known as the Russian Federation, is a federal state in Eurasia. The western part of the country is much more populated and urbanised than the East, about 77 % of the population live in European Russia. Russia's capital Moscow is one of the largest cities in the world, other urban centers include Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod and Samara. Extending across much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the U.S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. The nation's history began with that of the East Slavs, who emerged in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, the medieval state of Rus arose in the 9th century. In 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. It is governed as a semi-presidential republic. The Russian economy ranks by purchasing power parity in 2015. The country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Russia has been characterised as a potential superpower. The name Russia is derived from a medieval state populated mostly by the East Slavs. In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted by modern historiography. The name Rus itself comes from a group of Varangians who founded the state of Rus.Russia – Kievan Rus' in the 11th century
43. San Marino – Its size is just over 61 km2, with a population of 33,562. Its largest city is Dogana. San Marino has the smallest population of all the members of the Council of Europe. The country takes its name from a stonemason originating from the Roman colony on the island of Rab, in modern-day Croatia. In 257 CE Marinus participated in the reconstruction of Rimini's city walls by Liburnian pirates. The country is considered to have the earliest written governing documents still in effect. The country's economy mainly relies on finance, services and tourism. It is one of the wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP, with a figure comparable to the most developed European regions. San Marino is considered to have a highly stable economy, with one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe, a budget surplus. It is the only country with more vehicles than people. Saint Marinus went to the city of Rimini as a stonemason. The official date of the founding of what is now known as the Republic is September 301. In 1631, its independence was recognized by the Papacy. The offer was declined by the Regents, fearing future retaliation from other states' revanchism. In recognition of this support, Giuseppe Garibaldi accepted the wish of San Marino not to be incorporated into the Italian state.San Marino – The San Marino constitution of 1600
44. Serbia – Relative to its small territory, it is a diverse country distinguished by a transitional character, situated along cultural, geographic, other boundaries. Serbia numbers around its capital, Belgrade, ranks among the largest cities in Southeast Europe. Following the Slavic migrations to the Balkans from the 6th century onwards, Serbs established several states in the early Middle Ages. The Serbian Kingdom obtained recognition in 1217; it reached its peak in 1346 as a relatively short-lived Serbian Empire. In the 19th century, the Serbian Revolution established the nation-state as the region's first constitutional monarchy, which subsequently expanded its territory. As a result, Serbia formed a union in 1992, which broke apart in 2006, when Serbia again became an independent country. In 2008 Serbia's southern province with an Albanian ethnic majority, declared independence, with mixed responses from the international community. Serbia is a member of CEFTA. An EU candidate since 2012, Serbia has been negotiating its EU accession since January 2014, following the European Council and Commission endorsements in 2013. The country is a militarily neutral state. Serbia is an upper-middle economy with dominant service sector, followed by the industrial sector and agriculture. Located at the crossroads between Central and Southern Europe, Serbia is found in the Pannonian Plain. Serbia lies between latitudes 41° and 47° N, longitudes 18° and 23° E. Its total border length amounts to 2,027 km. All of Kosovo's border with Albania, Macedonia and Montenegro are under control of the Kosovo police.Serbia – Clay figure from Vinča culture, 4000–4500 BC, British Museum
45. 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.
46. 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
47. 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
48. 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.
49. Switzerland – Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a federal republic in Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning an area of 41,285 km2. The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the late medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. Nevertheless, it pursues an active foreign policy and is frequently involved in peace-building processes around the world. In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organisations, including the second largest UN office. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties. Spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: Romansh. Due to its linguistic diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names: Schweiz; Suisse; Svizzera; and Svizra or. On coins and stamps, Latin is used instead of the four living languages. The English Switzerland is a compound containing an obsolete term for the Swiss, in use to 19th centuries. The English adjective Swiss is a loan from French Suisse, also in use since the 16th century. The name originates as an exonym, applied pars pro toto to the troops of the Confederacy. The data code for Switzerland, CH, is derived from Latin Confoederatio Helvetica.Switzerland – Founded in 44 BC by Lucius Munatius Plancus, Augusta Raurica was the first Roman settlement on the Rhine and is now among the most important archaeological sites in Switzerland.
50. Tajikistan – It is bordered by Afghanistan to the south, China to the east. Pakistan lies to the south, separated by the narrow Wakhan Corridor. Traditional homelands of Tajik people included present-day Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. As a result of the break-up of the Soviet Union, Tajikistan became an independent nation in 1991. A civil war was fought almost immediately after independence, lasting from 1992 to 1997. Since the end of the war, newly established political stability and foreign aid have allowed the country's economy to grow. Tajikistan is a presidential republic consisting of four provinces. Most of Tajikistan's 8 million people belong to the Tajik ethnic group, who speak Tajik. Many Tajiks also speak Russian as their second language. Mountains cover more than 90% of the country. It has a economy, highly dependent on remittances, cotton production. Tajikistan means the "Land of the Tajiks". The suffix "-stan" is Persian for "place of" or "country" and Tajik is, most likely, the name of a pre-Islamic tribe. Tajikistan sometimes appeared in English prior to 1991. This is due to a transliteration from the Russian: "Таджикистан".Tajikistan – The Samanid ruler Mansur I (961 – 976).
51. Turkey – Turkey is a democratic, secular, unitary, parliamentary republic with a diverse cultural heritage. The Aegean Sea is to the south. The Sea of Marmara, the Dardanelles, which together form the Turkish Straits, divide Thrace and Anatolia; they also separate Europe and Asia. Turkey's location between Europe and Asia has retained its strategic importance throughout history. Turkey has been inhabited by various ancient Anatolian civilisations, as well as Assyrians, Greeks, Thracians, Phrygians, Urartians and Armenians. After Alexander the Great's conquest, the area was a process which continued under the Roman Empire and its transition into the Byzantine Empire. The Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm ruled Anatolia in 1243 when it disintegrated into small Turkish beyliks. The empire reached the peak of its power in the 16th century, especially during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. Suspended by Sultan Abdülhamid II in 1878, parliament were restored with the Young Turk Revolution on 24 July 1908. Austria-Hungary formally annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina on 6 October 1908. During the war, the Ottoman government committed ethnic genocide against its Armenian, Assyrian and Pontic Greek citizens. Following the war, the conglomeration of peoples that formerly comprised the Ottoman Empire was divided into several new states. Turkey's official language is a Turkic language spoken natively by 84.5 % of the population. According to polls, between 78.1% and 81.3% of the country's citizens identify themselves as ethnic Turks. Ethnic groups include legally recognised and unrecognised minorities.Turkey – Some henges at Göbekli Tepe were erected as far back as 12,000 BC, predating those of Stonehenge, England by almost ten millennia.
52. Turkmenistan – Turkmenistan has been for centuries. Annexed by the Russian Empire in 1881, Turkmenistan later figured prominently in the anti-Bolshevik movement in Central Asia. Turkmenistan possesses the world's fourth largest reserves of natural gas resources. Most of the country is covered by the Karakum Desert. Since 1993, citizens have received government-provided electricity, natural gas free of charge. Turkmenistan was ruled until his death in 2006. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow was elected president in 2007. According to Human Rights Watch, "Turkmenistan remains one of the world’s most repressive countries. In the 8th AD, Turkic-speaking Oghuz tribes moved from Mongolia into present-day Central Asia. Part of a powerful confederation of these Oghuz formed the ethnic basis of the modern Turkmen population. In the 10th century, the name "Turkmen" was first applied to Oghuz groups that began to occupy present-day Turkmenistan. There they were under the dominion of the Seljuk Empire, composed of Oghuz groups living in present-day Iran and Turkmenistan. In the 12th century, other tribes overthrew the Seljuk Empire. By the 16th century, most of those tribes were under the nominal control of two sedentary Uzbek khanates, Bukhoro. Turkmen soldiers were an important element of the Uzbek militaries of this period.Turkmenistan – Turkmen helmet (15th century).
53. Ukraine – Including Crimea, Ukraine has an area of 603,628 km2, making the largest country entirely within Europe and the 46th largest country in the world. It has a population of about million, making it the 32nd most populous country in the world. The territory of modern Ukraine has been inhabited since 32,000 BC. Two brief periods of independence occurred during the 20th century, once near another during World War II. Following independence, Ukraine declared a neutral state. Nonetheless it formed a limited military partnership with NATO in 1994. In the 2000s, a deeper cooperation with the alliance was set by the NATO-Ukraine Action Plan signed in 2002. It was later agreed that the question of joining NATO should be answered at some point in the future. Former President Viktor Yanukovych was against Ukraine joining NATO. These events formed the background by Russia in March 2014, the War in Donbass in April 2014. Both are still ongoing as of December 2016. On 1 Ukraine applied the economic part of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the European Union. It remains one of the world's largest grain exporters. The diversified economy of Ukraine includes a heavy industry sector, particularly in aerospace and industrial equipment. Ukraine is a unitary republic under a semi-presidential system with separate powers: legislative, judicial branches.Ukraine – Gold Scythian pectoral, or neckpiece, from a royal kurgan in Ordzhonikidze, dated to the 4th century BC
54. 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.
55. United States – Forty-eight of the federal district are contiguous and located in North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The territories are scattered about the Caribbean Sea. Nine time zones are covered. The geography, wildlife of the country are extremely diverse. At with over 324 million people, the United States is the world's fourth-largest country by total area and the third-most populous. It is home to the world's largest immigrant population. Urbanization leads to growing megaregions. Paleo-Indians migrated to the North American mainland at least 15,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century. The United States emerged along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between the colonies in the aftermath of the Seven Years' War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, after the Articles of Confederation, adopted in 1781, were felt to have provided federal powers. The first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were designed to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties. During the second half of the 19th century, the American Civil War led in the country.United States – Native Americans meeting with Europeans, 1764
56. Uzbekistan – Uzbekistan, officially the Republic of Uzbekistan, is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia. It is a presidential republic, comprising twelve provinces, one autonomous republic and a capital city. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, it declared independence as the Republic of Uzbekistan on 31 August 1991. Uzbekistan is officially a democratic, constitutional republic with a diverse cultural heritage. Uzbeks constitute 81% of the population, followed by Russians, Tajiks, Kazakhs, others. A majority of Uzbeks are non-denominational Muslims. Uzbekistan is the SCO. While officially a democratic republic, human organizations define Uzbekistan as "an authoritarian state with limited civil rights". Uzbekistan's economy relies mainly including cotton, gold, natural gas. Despite the declared objective of transition to a market economy, its government continues to maintain economic controls which imports in favour of domestic "import substitution". Uzbekistan has an area of 447,400 square kilometres. It is the 56th largest country in the world by area and the 42nd by population. Among the CIS countries, it is the 4th largest by area and the 2nd largest by population. Uzbekistan longitudes 74 ° E. It stretches 1,425 kilometres from west to east and 930 kilometres from north to south.Uzbekistan – Comparison of the Aral Sea between 1989 and 2014.
57. Afghanistan – Afghanistan /æfˈɡænᵻstæn/, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located within South Asia and Central Asia. It has a population of approximately million, making it the 42nd most populous country in the world. Its territory covers 652,000 km2, making the 41st largest country in the world. The political history of the modern state of Afghanistan began in the 18th century. In the 19th century, Afghanistan became a buffer state in the "Great Game" between British India and the Russian Empire. Following the Third Anglo-Afghan War in 1919, King Amanullah unsuccessfully attempted to modernize the country. It remained peaceful during Zahir Shah's forty years of monarchy. A series of coups in the 1970s was followed by a series of civil wars that continues to this day. The Afghānistān is believed to be as old as the ethnonym Afghan, documented in the 10th-century geography book Hudud ul - ` alam. The suffix" - stan" means "place of" in Persian. Therefore, Afghanistan translates to land of the Afghans or, more specifically in a historical sense, to land of the Pashtuns. However, the modern Constitution of Afghanistan states that "he word Afghan shall apply to every citizen of Afghanistan." An important site of many believe that Afghanistan compares to Egypt in terms of the historical value of its archaeological sites. The country sits at a unique point where numerous civilizations have interacted and often fought. Artifacts typical of the Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze, Iron ages have been found in Afghanistan.Afghanistan – History of Afghanistan
58. Algeria – Algeria, officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a sovereign state in North Africa on the Mediterranean coast. Most populous city is Algiers, located in the country's far north. With an area of 2,381,741 square kilometres, Algeria is the largest in Africa. The country is a semi-presidential republic consisting of 1,541 communes. Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been President since 1999. Berbers are generally considered to be the indigenous inhabitants of Algeria. Algeria is a middle power. Energy exports are the backbone of the economy. The national oil company, is the largest company in Africa. Algeria is the founding member of the Maghreb Union. The country's name derives from the city of Algiers. The city's name in turn derives from the Arabic al-Jazā ` a truncated form of the older Jazā ` ir Banī Mazghanna, employed by medieval geographers such as al-Idrisi. 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.Algeria – Ancient Roman Empire ruins of Timgad. Street leading to the Arch of Trajan.
59. Australia – Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area. Its largest urban area is Sydney. An additional five self-governing crown colonies established. On 1 the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy comprising six states and several territories. The population of million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia has the world's 13th-largest economy and per capita income. With the human development index globally, the country ranks highly in quality of life, health, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights. The name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis a name used for putative lands in the southern hemisphere since ancient times. The adjectival form Australische was used in a Dutch book in Batavia in 1638, to refer to the newly discovered lands to the south. On 12 Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office that it be formally adopted. In 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known officially as Australia. These first inhabitants may have been ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. Ethnically Melanesian, were originally horticulturists and hunter-gatherers.Australia – Aboriginal rock art in the Kimberley region of Western Australia
60. Egypt – It is the world's only contiguous Afrasian nation. Egypt has among the longest histories of emerging as one of the world's 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 central government. One of the earliest centres of Christianity, Egypt remains a predominantly Muslim country, albeit with a significant Christian minority. The large regions of the Sahara desert, which constitute most of Egypt's territory, are sparsely inhabited. Egypt is a member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Arab League, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. Miṣr is modern official name of Egypt, while Maṣr is the local pronunciation in Egyptian Arabic. The name is of Semitic origin, directly cognate with Semitic words for Egypt such as the Hebrew מִצְרַיִם. The oldest attestation of this name for Egypt is the Akkadian KURmi-iṣ-ru miṣru, meaning "border" or "frontier". There is evidence of rock carvings in desert oases. In the 10th millennium BC, a culture of fishers was replaced by a grain-grinding culture. Climate changes or overgrazing around 8000 BC began forming the Sahara. Early tribal peoples migrated to the Nile River where they developed more centralised society. By about 6000 BC, a Neolithic culture rooted in the Nile Valley. During the Neolithic era, predynastic cultures developed independently in Upper and Lower Egypt.Egypt – The Giza Necropolis is the oldest of the ancient Wonders and the only one still in existence.
61. Japan – Japan is an island nation in East Asia. It is often called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago of 6,852 islands. Largest are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions. The population of million is the world's tenth largest. Japanese people make up 98.5% of Japan's total population. Approximately million people live in the core city of Tokyo, the capital of Japan. Archaeological research indicates that Japan was inhabited early as the Upper Paleolithic period. The first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st AD. Influence from other regions, mainly China, followed from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive military shoguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Since adopting its revised constitution in 1947, Japan has maintained a constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet. Japan is considered a great power. The country has the world's fourth-largest economy by purchasing power parity.Japan – The Golden Hall and five-storey pagoda of Hōryū-ji, among the oldest wooden buildings in the world, National Treasures, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
62. 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 large portions of desert. It has Mediterranean coastlines. Morocco has an area of 446,550 km2. The largest city is Casablanca. Major cities include Marrakesh, Tangier, Tetouan, Salé, Fes, Agadir, Meknes, Oujda, Kenitra, Nador. A historically prominent regional power, Morocco has a history of independence not shared by its neighbours. Morocco remained the only North-African country to avoid Ottoman occupation. The current ruling dynasty, seized power in 1666. In 1912 Morocco was regained its independence in 1956. Culture is a blend of Arab, indigenous Berber, Sub-Saharan African, European influences. Morocco claims the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara as its Southern Provinces. Morocco annexed the territory in 1975, leading until a cease-fire in 1991. Peace processes have far failed to break the political deadlock. Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament.Morocco – Berber Roman King Ptolemy of Mauretania.
63. South Korea – South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea, is a sovereign state in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula. The earliest Korean pottery dates with three kingdoms flourishing in the 1st century BC. Its vibrant culture left 19 UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritages of Humanity, the third largest in the world, along with 12 World Heritage Sites. Annexed by Imperial Japan in 1910 due to its central location, Korea was divided after its surrender in 1945. A Korean invasion led to the Korean War. A long legacy of focus in innovation made it successful. It is the only G20 nation trading freely with China, the US and EU simultaneously. It is rated highly in peaceful tolerance and inclusion of minorities. South Korea is East Asia's most developed country in the Human Development Index. The name Korea derives from Goryeo, the first Korean dynasty visited by Persian merchants, who called it "Korea". The name Goryeo originally referred to the ancient kingdom of Goguryeo, which referred to itself, was widely referred to, since the 5th century. The modern spelling, "Korea", first appeared in the travel writings of the Dutch East India Company's Hendrick Hamel. After Goryeo was replaced in 1392, Joseon became the official name for the entire territory, though it was not universally accepted. The new name has its origin in the ancient country of Gojoseon. In 1897, the Joseon dynasty changed the official name of the country to Daehan Jeguk.South Korea – Flag
64. Thailand – Thailand, officially the Kingdom of Thailand, formerly known as Siam, is a country at the centre of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia. With a total area of approximately 513,000 km2, Thailand is the world's 51st-largest country. It is the 20th-most-populous country in the world, with around million people. Largest city is Bangkok. Most populous city is Bangkok. Its maritime boundaries include Indonesia and India on the Andaman Sea to the southwest. The Thai economy is the world's 20th largest by nominal GDP and the 27th largest by GDP at PPP. It became a major exporter in the 1990s. Manufacturing, tourism are leading sectors of the economy. It is considered a middle power around the world. The country has always been called Mueang Thai by its citizens. By outsiders prior to 1949, it was usually known by the exonym Siam. The Siam has been identified with the Sanskrit Śyāma. A-hom seem to be variants of the same word. The Śyâma is possibly not its origin, but a learned and artificial distortion.Thailand – The ruins of Wat Chaiwatthanaram at Ayutthaya.
65. Tunisia – Tunisia, officially the Tunisian Republic is the northernmost country in Africa, covering 165,000 square kilometres. Its northernmost point, Cape Angela, is the northernmost point on the African continent. It is bordered to the west and southwest, the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Tunisia's population was estimated to be just under 11 million in 2014. Tunisia's name is derived from Tunis, located on Tunisia's coast. Geographically, Tunisia contains the eastern end of the Atlas Mountains and the northern reaches of the Sahara desert. Much of the rest of the country's land is fertile soil. Tunisia is a unitary semi-presidential representative democratic republic. It is considered to be the only full democracy in the Arab World. It has a human index. In addition, Tunisia is also a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Close relations with Europe -- with Italy -- have been forged through economic cooperation, industrial modernization. In ancient times, Tunisia was primarily inhabited by Berbers. Immigration began in the 12th BC; these immigrants founded Carthage. A military rival of the Roman Republic, Carthage was defeated in 146 BC.Tunisia – Ancient ruins of a Roman villa at Carthage
66. ODIHR – The Office, originally named Office for Free Elections, was established in 1991. The name of the office was changed in 1992 to reflect the broadened mandate it received at the 1992 Helsinki Summit. Based in Warsaw, ODIHR is active throughout the 57 participating States of the OSCE. The Office also hosts the organization's Contact Point for Roma and Sinti Issues. ODIHR is best known for its role in observing elections. It has deployed some 70,000 observers. The Office organizes the annual OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Europe's largest human rights conference. ODIHR's Director is Michael Georg Link. The office has a staff of close to 150. Michael Georg Link: 2014- Janez Lenarčič: 2008-2014 Christian Strohal: 2003-2008 Gérard Stoudmann: 1997-2003 Audrey Glover: 1994-1997 Luchino Cortese: 1991-1997 Official websiteODIHR – Młodziejowski Palace in Warsaw, the seat of ODIHR