Hesse or Hessia the State of Hesse, is a federal state of the Federal Republic of Germany, with just over six million inhabitants. The state capital is Wiesbaden; as a cultural region, Hesse includes the area known as Rhenish Hesse in the neighbouring state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The German name Hessen, like the name of other German regions is derived from the dative plural form of the name of the inhabitants or eponymous tribe, the Hessians, short for the older compound name Hessenland; the Old High German form of the name is recorded as Hessun, in Middle Latin as Hassia, Hassonia. The name of the Hessians continues the tribal name of the Chatti; the ancient name Chatti by the 7th century is recorded as Chassi, from the 8th century as Hassi or Hessi. An inhabitant of Hesse is called a "Hessian"; the American English term Hessian for 18th-century British auxiliary troops originates with Landgrave Frederick II of Hesse-Cassel hiring out regular army units to the government of Great Britain to fight in the American Revolutionary War.
The English form Hesse is in common use by the 18th century, first in the hyphenated names Hesse-Cassel and Hesse-Darmstadt, but the latinate form Hessia remains in common English usage well into the 19th century. The German term Hessen is used by the European Commission in English-language contexts because their policy is to leave regional names untranslated; the synthetic element hassium, number 108 on the periodic table, was named after the state of Hesse in 1997, following a proposal of 1992. The territory of Hesse was delineated only as Greater Hesse, under American occupation, it corresponds only loosely to the medieval Landgraviate of Hesse. In the 19th century, prior to the unification of Germany, the territory of what is now Hesse comprised the territories of Grand Duchy of Hesse, the Duchy of Nassau, the free city of Frankfurt and the Electorate of Hesse; the Central Hessian region was inhabited in the Upper Paleolithic. Finds of tools in southern Hesse in Rüsselsheim suggest the presence of Pleistocene hunters about 13,000 years ago.
A fossil hominid skull, found in northern Hesse, just outside the village of Rhünda, has been dated at 12,000 years ago. The Züschen tomb is a prehistoric burial monument, located between Lohne and Züschen, near Fritzlar, Germany. Classified as a gallery grave or a Hessian-Westphalian stone cist, it is one of the most important megalithic monuments in Central Europe. Dating to c. 3000 BC, it belongs to the Late Neolithic Wartberg culture. An early Celtic presence in what is now Hesse is indicated by a mid-5th-century BC La Tène-style burial uncovered at Glauberg; the region was settled by the Germanic Chatti tribe around the 1st century BC, the name Hesse is a continuation of that tribal name. The ancient Romans had a military camp in Dorlar, in Waldgirmes directly on the eastern outskirts of Wetzlar was a civil settlement under construction; the provincial government for the occupied territories of the right bank of Germania was planned at this location. The governor of Germania, at least temporarily had resided here.
The settlement appears to have been abandoned by the Romans after the devastating Battle of the Teutoburg Forest failed in the year AD 9. The Chatti were involved in the Revolt of the Batavi in AD 69. Hessia, from the early 7th century on, served as a buffer between areas dominated by the Saxons and the Franks, who brought the area to the south under their control in the early sixth century and occupied Thuringia in 531. Hessia occupies the northwestern part of the modern German state of Hesse, its geographic center is Fritzlar. To the west, it occupies the valleys of the Rivers Lahn, it measured 90 kilometers north-south, 80 north-west. The area around Fritzlar shows evidence of significant pagan belief from the 1st century on. Geismar was a particular focus of such activity. Excavations have produced bronze artifacts. A possible religious cult may have centered on a natural spring in Geismar, called Heilgenbron; the village of Maden, now a part of Gudensberg near Fritzlar and less than ten miles from Geismar, was an ancient religious center.
By the mid-7th century, the Franks had established themselves as overlords, suggested by archeological evidence of burials, they built fortifications in various places, including Christenberg. By 690, they took direct control over Hessia to counteract expansion by the Saxons, who built fortifications in Gaulskopf and Eresburg across the River Diemel, the northern boundary of Hessia; the Büraburg
Kent is a county in South East England and one of the home counties. It borders Surrey to the west and East Sussex to the south-west; the county shares borders with Essex along the estuary of the River Thames, with the French department of Pas-de-Calais through the Channel Tunnel. The county town is Maidstone. Canterbury Cathedral in Kent has been the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Church of England, since the Reformation. Prior to that it was built by Catholics, dating back to the conversion of England to Catholicism by Saint Augustine that began in the 6th century. Before the English Reformation the cathedral was part of a Benedictine monastic community known as Christ Church, Canterbury, as well as being the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury; the last Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury was Reginald Pole. Rochester Cathedral is in Kent, in Medway, it is the second-oldest cathedral in England, with Canterbury Cathedral being the oldest. Between London and the Strait of Dover, which separates it from mainland Europe, Kent has seen both diplomacy and conflict, ranging from the Leeds Castle peace talks of 1978 and 2004 to the Battle of Britain in World War II.
England relied on the county's ports to provide warships through much of its history. France can be seen in fine weather from Folkestone and the White Cliffs of Dover. Hills in the form of the North Downs and the Greensand Ridge span the length of the county and in the series of valleys in between and to the south are most of the county's 26 castles; because of its relative abundance of fruit-growing and hop gardens, Kent is known as "The Garden of England". Kent's economy is diversified. In northwest Kent industries include extraction of aggregate building materials and scientific research. Coal mining has played its part in Kent's industrial heritage. Large parts of Kent are within the London commuter belt and its strong transport connections to the capital and the nearby continent makes Kent a high-income county. Twenty-eight per cent of the county forms part of two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: the North Downs and The High Weald; the name Kent is believed to be of British Celtic origin and was known in Old English as Cent, Cent lond, Centrice.
In Latin sources Kent is mentioned as Canticum. The meaning is explained by some researchers as "coastal district," or "corner-land, land on the edge". If so, the name could be etymologically related to the placename Cantabria a Celtiberian-speaking coastal region in pre-Roman Iberia, today a province of Spain; the area has been occupied since the Palaeolithic era, as attested by finds from the quarries at Swanscombe. The Medway megaliths were built during the Neolithic era. There is a rich sequence of Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman era occupation, as indicated by finds and features such as the Ringlemere gold cup and the Roman villas of the Darent valley; the modern name of Kent is derived from the Brythonic word kantos meaning "rim" or "border", or from a homonymous word kanto "horn, hook". This describes the eastern part of the current county area as coastal district. Julius Caesar had described the area as um, or home of the Cantiaci in 51 BC; the extreme west of the modern county was by the time of Roman Britain occupied by Iron Age tribes, known as the Regnenses.
Caesar wrote that the people of Kent are'by far the most civilised inhabitants of Britain'. East Kent became a kingdom of the Jutes during the 5th century and was known as Cantia from about 730 and recorded as Cent in 835; the early medieval inhabitants of the county were known as the Kent people. These people regarded the city of Canterbury as their capital. In 597, Pope Gregory I appointed the religious missionary as the first Archbishop of Canterbury. In the previous year, Augustine converted the pagan King Æthelberht of Kent to Christianity; the Diocese of Canterbury became England's first Episcopal See with first cathedral and has since remained England's centre of Christianity. The second designated English cathedral was in Kent at Rochester Cathedral. In the 11th century, the people of Kent adopted the motto Invicta, meaning "undefeated" or "unconquered"; this naming followed the invasion of Britain by William of Normandy. The Kent people's continued resistance against the Normans led to Kent's designation as a semi-autonomous county palatine in 1067.
Under the nominal rule of William's half-brother Odo of Bayeux, the county was granted similar powers to those granted in the areas bordering Wales and Scotland. Kent was traditionally partitioned into East and West Kent, into lathes and hundreds; the traditional border of East and West Kent was the Medway. Men and women from east of the Medway are Men of Kent, those from the west are Kentishmen or Kentish Maids. During the medieval and early modern period, Kent played a major role in several of England's most notable rebellions, including the Peasants' Revolt of 1381, led by Wat Tyler,Jack Cade's Kent rebellion of 1450, Wyatt's Rebellion of 1554 against Queen Mary I; the Royal Navy first used the River Medway in 1547. By the reign of Elizabeth I a small dockyard had been established at Chatham. By 1618, storehouses, a ropewalk, a drydock, houses for officials had
Dunkirk, is a commune in Nord, a French department in northern France. It is the most northern city of France, it has the third-largest French harbour. The population of the commune at the 2016 census was 91,412; the name of Dunkirk derives from West Flemish dun'dune' or'dun' and kerke'church', which together means'church in the dunes'. Until the middle of the 20th century, the city was situated in the French Flemish area. Today Dunkirk is the world's northernmost Francophone city. A fishing village arose late in the tenth century, in the flooded coastal area of the English Channel south of the Western Scheldt, when the area was held by the Counts of Flanders, vassals of the French Crown. About 960AD, Count Baldwin III had a town wall erected in order to protect the settlement against Viking raids; the surrounding wetlands were cultivated by the monks of nearby Bergues Abbey. The name Dunkirka was first mentioned in a tithe privilege of 27 May 1067, issued by Count Baldwin V of Flanders. Count Philip I brought further large tracts of marshland under cultivation, laid out the first plans to build a Canal from Dunkirk to Bergues and vested the Dunkirkers with market rights.
In the late 13th century, when the Dampierre count Guy of Flanders entered into the Franco-Flemish War with his suzerain King Philippe IV of France, the citizens of Dunkirk sided with the French against their count, who at first was defeated at the 1297 Battle of Furnes, but reached de facto autonomy upon the victorious Battle of the Golden Spurs five years and exacted vengeance. Guy's son, Count Robert III granted further city rights to Dunkirk. Count Louis remained a loyal liensman of the French king upon the outbreak of the Hundred Years' War with England in 1337, prohibited the maritime trade, which led to another revolt by the Dunkirk citizens. After the count had been killed in the 1346 Battle of Crécy, his son and successor Count Louis II of Flanders signed a truce with the English. However, in the course of the Western Schism from 1378, English supporters of Pope Urban VI disembarked at Dunkirk, captured the city and flooded the surrounding estates, they left great devastations in and around the town.
Upon the extinction of the Counts of Flanders with the death of Louis II in 1384, Flanders was acquired by the Burgundian, Duke Philip the Bold. The fortifications were again enlarged, including the construction of a belfry daymark; as a strategic point, Dunkirk has always been exposed to political covetousness, by Duke Robert I of Bar in 1395, by Louis de Luxembourg in 1435 and by the Austrian archduke Maximilian I of Habsburg, who in 1477 married Mary of Burgundy, sole heiress of late Duke Charles the Bold. As Maximilian was the son of Emperor Frederick III, all Flanders was seized by King Louis XI of France. However, the archduke defeated the French troops in 1479 at the Battle of Guinegate; when Mary died in 1482, Maximilian retained Flanders according to the terms of the 1482 Treaty of Arras. Dunkirk, along with the rest of Flanders, was incorporated into the Habsburg Netherlands and upon the 1581 secession of the Seven United Netherlands, remained part of the Southern Netherlands, which were held by Habsburg Spain as Imperial fiefs.
The area remained much disputed between the Kingdom of Spain, the United Netherlands, the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of France. At the beginning of the Eighty Years' War, Dunkirk was in the hands of the Dutch rebels, from 1577. Spanish forces under Duke Alexander Farnese of Parma re-established Spanish rule in 1583 and it became a base for the notorious Dunkirkers; the Dunkirkers lost their home port when the city was conquered by the French in 1646 but Spanish forces recaptured the city in 1652. In 1658, as a result of the long war between France and Spain, it was captured after a siege by Franco-English forces following the battle of the Dunes; the city along with Fort-Mardyck was awarded to England in the peace the following year as agreed in the Franco-English alliance against Spain. The English governors were Sir Edward Harley and Lord Rutherford, it came under French rule when King Charles II of England sold it to France for £320,000 on 17 October 1662. The French government developed the town as a fortified port.
The town's existing defences were adapted to create ten bastions. The port was expanded in the 1670s by the construction of a basin that could hold up to thirty warships with a double lock system to maintain water levels at low tide; the basin was linked to the sea by a channel. This work was completed by 1678; the jetties were defended a few years by the construction of five forts, Château d'Espérance, Château Vert, Grand Risban, Château Gaillard, Fort de Revers. An additional fort was built in 1701 called Fort Blanc; the jetties, their forts, the port facilities were demolished in 1713 under the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht. During
The winter solstice known as midwinter, occurs when one of the Earth's poles has its maximum tilt away from the Sun. It happens twice once in each hemisphere. For that hemisphere, the winter solstice is the day with the shortest period of daylight and longest night of the year, when the Sun is at its lowest daily maximum elevation in the sky. At the pole, there is continuous darkness or twilight around the winter solstice, its opposite is the summer solstice. The winter solstice occurs during the hemisphere's winter. In the Northern Hemisphere, this is the December solstice and in the Southern Hemisphere, this is the June solstice. Although the winter solstice itself lasts only a moment, the term sometimes refers to the day on which it occurs. Other names are "midwinter", the "extreme of winter", or the "shortest day". Traditionally, in many temperate regions, the winter solstice is seen as the middle of winter, but today in some countries and calendars, it is seen as the beginning of winter. In meteorology, winter is reckoned as beginning about three weeks before the winter solstice.
Since prehistory, the winter solstice has been seen as a significant time of year in many cultures, has been marked by festivals and rituals. It marked the symbolic rebirth of the Sun; the seasonal significance of the winter solstice is in the reversal of the gradual lengthening of nights and shortening of days. Seasonal lag is the term relating the lag shift between the coldest winter weather and the winter solstice; as latitude increases, midwinter correlates more with the winter solstice. The solstice may have been a special moment of the annual cycle for some cultures during neolithic times. Astronomical events were used to guide activities, such as the mating of animals, the sowing of crops and the monitoring of winter reserves of food. Many cultural mythologies and traditions are derived from this; this is attested by physical remains in the layouts of late Neolithic and Bronze Age archaeological sites, such as Stonehenge in England and Newgrange in Ireland. The primary axes of both of these monuments seem to have been aligned on a sight-line pointing to the winter solstice sunrise and the winter solstice sunset.
It is significant that at Stonehenge the Great Trilithon was oriented outwards from the middle of the monument, i.e. its smooth flat face was turned towards the midwinter Sun. The winter solstice was immensely important because the people were economically dependent on monitoring the progress of the seasons. Starvation was common during the first months of the winter, January to April or July to October known as "the famine months". In temperate climates, the midwinter festival was the last feast celebration, before deep winter began. Most cattle were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during the winter, so it was the only time of year when a plentiful supply of fresh meat was available; the majority of wine and beer made during the year was fermented and ready for drinking at this time. The concentration of the observances were not always on the day commencing at midnight or at dawn, but at the beginning of the pagan day, which in many cultures fell on the previous eve; because the event was seen as the reversal of the Sun's ebbing presence in the sky, concepts of the birth or rebirth of sun gods have been common.
In cultures which used cyclic calendars based on the winter solstice, the "year as reborn" was celebrated with reference to life-death-rebirth deities or "new beginnings" such as Hogmanay's redding, a New Year cleaning tradition. "reversal" is yet another frequent theme, as in Saturnalia's slave and master reversals. Makara Sankranti known as Makaraa Sankrānti or Maghi, is a festival day in the Hindu calendar, in reference to deity Surya, it is observed each year in January. It marks the first day of Sun's transit into Makara, marking the end of the month with the winter solstice and the start of longer days. Iranian people celebrate the night of the Northern Hemisphere's winter solstice as, "Yalda night", known to be the "longest and darkest night of the year". Yalda night celebration, or as some call it "Shabe Chelleh", is one the oldest Iranian traditions, present in Persian culture from the ancient years. In this night all the family gather together at the house of the eldest, celebrate it by eating and reciting poetry.
Nuts and watermelons are served during this festival. The pagan Scandinavian and Germanic people of northern Europe celebrated a twelve-day "midwinter" holiday called Yule. Many modern Christmas traditions, such as the Christmas tree, the Christmas wreath, the Yule log, others, are direct descendents of Yule customs. Scandinavians still call Christmas "Jul". In English, the word "Yule" is used in combination with the season "yuletide" a usage first recorded in 900, it is believed that the celebration of this day was a worship of these peculiar days, interpreted as the reawakening of nature. The Yule particular god was Jólner, one of Odin's many names; the concept of Yule occurs in a tribute poem to Harold Hårfager from about AD 900, where someone said "drinking Yule". Julblot is the most solemn sacrifice feast. At the Yule blót, sacrifices were given to the gods to earn blessing on the forthcoming germinating crops; the Yule blót was integrated into the Christian Christmas. As a remainder from this Viking era, the Midsummer is
Limburg is the southernmost of the 12 provinces of the Netherlands. It is in the southeastern part of the country, stretched out from the north, where it touches the province of Gelderland, to the south, where it internationally borders Belgium, its northern part has the North Brabant province to its west. Its long eastern boundary is the international border with the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Much of the west border runs along the River Maas, bordering the Flemish province of Limburg, a small part of the Walloon province of Liège. On the south end, it has borders with the Flemish exclave of Voeren and its surrounding part of Liège, Wallonia; the Vaalserberg is on the extreme south-eastern point, marking the tripoint of Netherlands and Belgium. Limburg's major cities are the provincial capital Maastricht, as well as Heerlen, Sittard-Geleen in the south, Venlo in the north and Roermond and Weert in the middle. More than half of the population 620,000 people, live in the south of Limburg, which corresponds to one-third of the province's area proper.
In South Limburg, most people live in the urban agglomerations of Maastricht and Sittard-Geleen. Limburg has a distinctive character; the social and economic trends that have affected the province in recent decades have generated a process of change and renewal which has enabled Limburg to transform its peripheral location into a globalized regional nexus, linking the Netherlands to the Ruhr metro area and the southern part of the Benelux region. A less appreciated consequence of this international gateway location is rising international crime drug-related in the southernmost part of the province. Limburg's name derives from the fortified town of the same name, situated on the river Vesdre near the High Fens, now in the nearby Belgian province of Liège, its name is derived from the Germanic elements *lindo, "lime tree," and burg, "fortification." Limburg town was the seat of the medieval Duchy of Limburg. None of present-day Limburg was part of this duchy, which had its northern border along what is the modern southern border of South Limburg.
South Limburg in the Middle Ages was made up of the lands of Valkenburg and Herzogenrath, which under the rule of the Duchy of Brabant came to be known collectively as the Lands of Overmaas. The Duchy of Limburg and its dependencies first came under Brabantian control in 1288, as a result of the Battle of Worringen in the 15th century under the Duchy of Burgundy. By 1473, the Lands of Overmaas and the Duchy of Limburg formed one unified delegation to the States General of the Burgundian Netherlands. Both the terms Overmaas and Limburg came to be used loosely to refer to this sparsely populated province of the so-called Seventeen Provinces. Maastricht was never part of this polity; the central and northern part of present-day Limburg belonged to different political entities, notably the Duchy of Jülich and the Duchy of Guelders. After 1794, the French unified the region, along with Belgian Limburg, removed all ties to the old feudal society; the new name, as with all the names of the départements, was based on natural features, in this case Meuse-Inférieure or Neder-Maas.
After the defeat of Napoleon the newly-created United Kingdom of the Netherlands desired a new name for this province. It was decided that the historic connection to the town and duchy of Limburg was to be restored, albeit only in name, it is important to note that the history given below is that of the region, the current province Limburg of the Netherlands. There existed no polity or other entity going by that name covering this territory until 1815. For centuries, the strategic location of the current province made it a much-coveted region among Europe's major powers. Romans, Habsburg Spaniards, Habsburg Austrians and French have all ruled parts of Limburg. For long periods of history the region was not united under the same rule; the first inhabitants of whom traces have been found were Neanderthals. In Neolithic times flint was mined in underground mines, including one at Rijckholt, open to visitors. Just after the Roman conquest the Eburones, the inhabitants of most of the area of current Limburg, were annihilated by the legions of Julius Caesar with help of neighbour tribes, this as a punishment for a successful ambush set by their leader Ambiorix.
After this genocide the area was repopulated with a diverse set of peoples that under Roman rules, amalgated in the Tungri. The southern part of current Limburg, along the Via Belgica was Romanized and a few still existing towns and cities were founded in this period, including Mosa Trajectum and Coriovallum. Bishop Servatius introduced Christianity in Roman Maastricht, where he died in 384; as Roman authority in the area weakened, Franks took over from the Romans, the area, now called Austrasia, flourished under their rule. The middle and southern part of the current province formed an important part of the heartland of Austrasia. In 714 Susteren Abbey was founded, as far as is known the first proprietary abbey in the current Netherlands. Main benefactor was the consort of Pepin of Herstal. Charles Martel was born in nearby Herstal and Charlemagne had close links with the area, he made Aachen the capital of the Frankish empire. In 870 the treaty of Meerssen, the third partition
Europe is a continent located in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, it comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Since around 1850, Europe is most considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Although the term "continent" implies physical geography, the land border is somewhat arbitrary and has been redefined several times since its first conception in classical antiquity; the division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East-West cultural and ethnic differences which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The geographic border does not follow political boundaries, with Turkey and Kazakhstan being transcontinental countries. A strict application of the Caucasus Mountains boundary places two comparatively small countries and Georgia, in both continents.
Europe covers 2 % of the Earth's surface. Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a total population of about 741 million as of 2016; the European climate is affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent at latitudes along which the climate in Asia and North America is severe. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast. Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization; the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and the subsequent Migration Period marked the end of ancient history and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Renaissance humanism, exploration and science led to the modern era. Since the Age of Discovery started by Portugal and Spain, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at various times the Americas all of Africa and Oceania and the majority of Asia.
The Age of Enlightenment, the subsequent French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars shaped the continent culturally and economically from the end of the 17th century until the first half of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to radical economic and social change in Western Europe and the wider world. Both world wars took place for the most part in Europe, contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the Soviet Union and the United States took prominence. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1949 the Council of Europe was founded, following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill, with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals, it includes all European states except for Belarus and Vatican City. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, a separate political entity that lies between a confederation and a federation.
The EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The currency of most countries of the European Union, the euro, is the most used among Europeans. In classical Greek mythology, Europa was a Phoenician princess; the word Europe is derived from her name. The name contains the elements εὐρύς, "wide, broad" and ὤψ "eye, countenance", hence their composite Eurṓpē would mean "wide-gazing" or "broad of aspect". Broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion and the poetry devoted to it. There have been attempts to connect Eurṓpē to a Semitic term for "west", this being either Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set" or Phoenician'ereb "evening, west", at the origin of Arabic Maghreb and Hebrew ma'arav. Michael A. Barry, professor in Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies Department, finds the mention of the word Ereb on an Assyrian stele with the meaning of "night, sunset", in opposition to Asu " sunrise", i.e. Asia.
The same naming motive according to "cartographic convention" appears in Greek Ἀνατολή. Martin Litchfield West stated that "phonologically, the match between Europa's name and any form of the Semitic word is poor." Next to these hypotheses there is a Proto-Indo-European root *h1regʷos, meaning "darkness", which produced Greek Erebus. Most major world languages use words derived from Europa to refer to the continent. Chinese, for example, uses the word Ōuzhōu. In some Turkic languages the Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa; the prevalent definition of Europe as a geographical term has been in use since the mid-19th century. Europe is taken to be bounded by large bodies of water
The Czech Republic known by its short-form name, Czechia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the northeast. The Czech Republic covers an area of 78,866 square kilometres with a temperate continental climate and oceanic climate, it is a unitary parliamentary republic, with 10.6 million inhabitants. Other major cities are Brno, Ostrava and Pilsen; the Czech Republic is a member of the European Union, NATO, the OECD, the United Nations, the OSCE, the Council of Europe. It is a developed country with an advanced, high income export-oriented social market economy based in services and innovation; the UNDP ranks the country 14th in inequality-adjusted human development. The Czech Republic is a welfare state with a "continental" European social model, a universal health care system, tuition-free university education and is ranked 14th in the Human Capital Index, it ranks as the 6th safest or most peaceful country and is one of the most non-religious countries in the world, while achieving strong performance in democratic governance.
The Czech Republic includes the historical territories of Bohemia and 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. In 1002, the duchy was formally recognized as an Imperial State of the Holy Roman Empire along with the Kingdom of Germany, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, numerous other territories, becoming the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1198 and reaching its greatest territorial extent in the 14th century. Beside Bohemia itself, the King of Bohemia ruled the lands of the Bohemian Crown, holding a vote in the election of the Holy Roman Emperor. In the Hussite Wars of the 15th century driven by the Protestant Bohemian Reformation, the kingdom faced economic embargoes and defeated five consecutive crusades proclaimed by the leaders of the Catholic Church. Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the whole Crown of Bohemia was integrated into the Habsburg Monarchy alongside the Archduchy of Austria and the Kingdom of Hungary.
The Protestant Bohemian Revolt against the Catholic Habsburgs led to the Thirty Years' War. After the Battle of the White Mountain, the Habsburgs consolidated their rule, eradicated Protestantism and reimposed Catholicism, adopted a policy of gradual Germanization; this contributed to the anti-Habsburg sentiment. A long history of resentment of the Catholic Church followed and still continues. With the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the Bohemian Kingdom became part of the German Confederation 1815-1866 as part of Austrian Empire and the Czech language experienced a revival as a consequence of widespread romantic nationalism. In the 19th century, the Czech lands became the industrial powerhouse of the monarchy and were subsequently the core of the Republic of Czechoslovakia, formed in 1918 following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I. Czechoslovakia remained the only democracy in this part of Europe in the interwar period. However, the Czech part of Czechoslovakia was occupied by Germany in World War II, while the Slovak region became the Slovak Republic.
Most of the three millions of the German-speaking minority were expelled following the war. The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia won the 1946 elections and after 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 market economy was reintroduced. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved, with its constituent states becoming the independent states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia; the Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the EU in 2004. The traditional English name "Bohemia" derives from Latin "Boiohaemum", which means "home of the Boii"; the current English name comes from the Polish ethnonym associated with the area, which comes from the Czech word Čech. The name comes from the Slavic tribe and, according to legend, their leader Čech, who brought them to Bohemia, to settle on Říp Mountain.
The etymology of the word Čech can be traced back to the Proto-Slavic root *čel-, meaning "member of the people. The country has been traditionally divided into three lands, namely Bohemia in the west, Moravia in the east, Czech Silesia in the northeast. Known as the lands of the Bohemian Crown since the 14th century, a number of other names for the country have been used, including Czech/Bohemian lands, Bohemian Crown and the lands of the Crown of Saint Wenceslas; when the country regained its independence after the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian empire in 1918, the new name of Czechoslovakia was coined to reflect the union of the Czech and Slovak nations within the one country. After Czechoslovakia dissolved in 1992, the Czech part lac