Vitoria-Gasteiz is the seat of government and the capital city of the Basque Country and of the province of Araba/Álava in northern Spain. It holds the autonomous community's House of Parliament, the headquarters of the Government, the Lehendakari's official residency; the municipality — which comprises not only the city but the agricultural lands of 63 villages around — is the largest in the Basque Country, with a total area of 276.81 km2, it has a population of 242,082 people. The dwellers of Vitoria-Gasteiz are called vitorianos or gasteiztarrak, while traditionally they are dubbed babazorros. Vitoria-Gasteiz is a multicultural city with strengths in the arts, education, architectural conservation, vehicle industry and gastronomy, it is the first Spanish municipality to be awarded the title of European Green Capital and it is ranked as one of the 5 best places to live in Spain. The old town holds some of the best preserved medieval streets and plazas in the region and it is one of few cities to hold two Cathedrals.
The city holds well known festivals such as the Azkena rock festival, FesTVal, Vitoria-Gasteiz jazz festival, the Virgen Blanca Festivities. Vitoria-Gasteiz's vicinity is home to world-renowned wineries such as Ysios and the Marqués de Riscal Hotel. Beethoven dedicated his Opus 91 called the "Battle of Vitoria" or "Wellington's Victory", to one of the most famous events of the Napoleonic Wars: the Battle of Vitoria, in which a Spanish and British army under the command of General the Marquess of Wellington broke the French army and nearly captured the puppet king Joseph Bonaparte, it was a pivotal point in the Peninsular War, a precursor to the expulsion of the French from Spain. A memorial statue can be seen today in Virgen Blanca Square; the official name of Vitoria-Gasteiz is a compound name of its traditional names in Spanish and Basque, respectively. By inhabitants, it is still referred to as either Vitoria or Gasteiz, depending on the language spoken. More it may be referred to by Basque speakers as Vitorixe, a Basque form of the Spanish name.
In 581 AD, the Visigoth king Liuvigild founded the city of Victoriacum, trying to emulate the Roman foundations, as a celebration of the victory against the Vascones near what is assumed to be the hill occupied by the primitive village of Gasteiz. This however is not sufficiently proven, some historians and experts believe that Victoriacum was located not on the site of present-day Vitoria-Gasteiz but nearby. Several possible locations have been proposed, the foremost of, the late Roman military camp of Iruña-Veleia. Veleia is located some 11 km north of modern Vitoria, on the banks of the same river. However, modern archeological studies of the site suggest that Veleia was last inhabited c.5th century AD, archeologists are still to find a 6th-century visigothic resettlement in the site. Another theory has suggested that Victoriacum was located at the foot of Mount Gorbea where there is a village called Vitoriano; the town of Armentia, nowadays in the outskirts of Vitoria, has been proposed as a possible location of Victoriacum.
In either case, Victoriacum vanishes from history shortly after its foundation. In 1181, Sancho the Wise, King of Navarre founded the town of Nova Victoria as a defensive outpost on top of a hill at the site of the previous settlement of Gasteiz; the existence of Gastehiz inhabited by vasconic people, can be traced back to the lower Middle Ages. It is assumed that Sancho the Wise gave the new city its name in memory of the old settlement of Victoriacum, which must had long since been abandoned. In 1199, the town was besieged for nine months and captured by the troops of Alfonso VIII of Castile, who annexed the town to the Kingdom of Castile; the town was progressively enlarged and in 1431 it was granted a city charter by King Juan II of Castile. In 1463, it was one of the five founding villas of the Brotherhood of Álava alongside Sajazarra, Miranda de Ebro and Salvatierra/Agurain; the Battle of Vitoria of the Peninsular War occurred near Vitoria-Gasteiz along the river Zadorra on 21 June 1813.
An allied British and Spanish army under General the Marquess of Wellington broke the French army under Joseph Bonaparte and Marshal Jean-Baptiste Jourdan. The victory assured the eventual end of French control in Spain. There is a monument commemorating this battle in the main square of the city known as the Monument to Independence; when news came to Vienna in late July of that year, Johann Nepomuk Mälzel commissioned Ludwig van Beethoven to compose a symphony, the op. 91 Wellingtons Sieg oder die Schlacht bei Vittoria or Siegessymphonie. Work began on the Institute for Middle Education in 1843, with classes beginning during the 1853–54 academic year, it is now current headquarters of the Basque Parliament and the convent of Santa Clara. The Free University opened in the wake of the revolution of 1868; the University operated from 1869, to just prior to the 1873–1874 term because of the second Carlist War. Chief academ
Estonia the Republic of Estonia, is a country in North East Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland with Finland on the other side, to the west by the Baltic Sea with Sweden on the other side, to the south by Latvia, to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia; the territory of Estonia consists of a mainland and 2,222 islands in the Baltic Sea, covering a total area of 45,227 km2, water 2,839 km2, land area 42,388 km2, is influenced by a humid continental climate. The official language of the country, Estonian, is the third most spoken Finno-Ugric language; the territory of Estonia has been inhabited since at least 9,000 B. C. Ancient Estonians were some of the last European pagans to be Christianized, following the Livonian Crusade in the 13th century. After centuries of successive rule by Germans, Swedes and Russians, a distinct Estonian national identity began to emerge in the 19th and early 20th centuries; this culminated in independence from Russia in 1920 after a brief War of Independence at the end of World War I.
Democratic, after the Great Depression Estonia was governed by authoritarian rule since 1934 during the Era of Silence. During World War II, Estonia was contested and occupied by the Soviet Union and Germany being incorporated into the former as the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic. After the loss of its de facto independence, Estonia's de jure state continuity was preserved by diplomatic representatives and the government-in-exile. In 1987 the peaceful Singing Revolution began against Soviet rule, resulting in the restoration of de facto independence on 20 August 1991; the sovereign state of Estonia is a democratic unitary parliamentary republic divided into fifteen counties. Its capital and largest city is Tallinn. With a population of 1.3 million, it is one of the least-populous member states of the European Union since joining in 2004, the economic monetary Eurozone, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Schengen Area, of the Western military alliance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
It is a developed country with an advanced, high-income economy, among the fastest-growing in the EU. Estonia ranks high in the Human Development Index, performs favourably in measurements of economic freedom, civil liberties and press freedom. Estonian citizens are provided with universal health care, free education, the longest-paid maternity leave in the OECD. One of the world's most digitally advanced societies, in 2005 Estonia became the first state to hold elections over the Internet, in 2014 the first state to provide e-residency. In the Estonian language the oldest known endonym of the Estonians was maarahvas, meaning "country people" or "people of the soil"; the land inhabited by Estonians was called Maavald meaning "Country Realm" or "Land Realm". One hypothesis regarding the modern name of Estonia derives it from the Aesti, a people described by the Roman historian Tacitus in his Germania; the historic Aesti were Baltic people, whereas the modern Estonians are Finno-Ugric. The geographical areas of the Aesti and of Estonia do not match, with the Aesti living farther south.
Ancient Scandinavian sagas refer to an area called Eistland, as the country is still called in Icelandic, with close parallels to the Danish, Dutch and Norwegian terms Estland for the country. Early Latin and other ancient versions of the name include Hestia. Esthonia was a common alternative English spelling before 1921. Human settlement in Estonia became possible 13,000 to 11,000 years ago, when the ice from the last glacial era melted; the oldest known settlement in Estonia is the Pulli settlement, on the banks of the river Pärnu, near the town of Sindi, in south-western Estonia. According to radiocarbon dating it was settled around 11,000 years ago; the earliest human inhabitation during the Mesolithic period is connected to the Kunda culture, named after the town of Kunda in northern Estonia. At that time the country was covered with forests, people lived in semi-nomadic communities near bodies of water. Subsistence activities consisted of hunting and fishing. Around 4900 BC appear ceramics of the neolithic period, known as Narva culture.
Starting from around 3200 BC the Corded Ware culture appeared. The Bronze Age started around 1800 BC, saw the establishment of the first hill fort settlements. A transition from hunting-fishing-gathering subsistence to single-farm-based settlement started around 1000 BC, was complete by the beginning of the Iron Age around 500 BC; the large amount of bronze objects indicate the existence of active communication with Scandinavian and Germanic tribes. A more troubled and war-ridden middle Iron Age followed, with external threats appearing from different directions. Several Scandinavian sagas referred to major confrontations with Estonians, notably when Estonians defeated and killed the Swedish king Ingvar. Similar threats appeared in the east. In 1030 Yaroslav the Wise established a fort in modern-day Tartu. Around the 11th century, the Scandinavian Viking era around the Baltic Sea was succeeded by the Baltic Viking era, with seaborne
Nijmegen is a city in the Dutch province of Gelderland, on the Waal river close to the German border. Nijmegen is the oldest city in the Netherlands, the first to be recognized as such in Roman times, in 2005 celebrated 2,000 years of existence; the municipality is part of the Arnhem-Nijmegen urban region, a metropolitan area with 736,107 inhabitants in 2011. The municipality is formed by the city of Nijmegen, incorporating the former villages of Hatert and Neerbosch, as well as the urban expansion project of Waalsprong, situated north of the river Waal and including the village of Lent and the hamlet of't Zand, as well as the new suburbs of Nijmegen-Oosterhout and Nijmegen-Ressen; the city lies a few kilometers from the border with Germany, to some extent the westernmost villages in the municipality of Kranenburg, function as dormitories for people who work in the Dutch city of Nijmegen in part due to the immigration of Dutch people from the region who were attracted by the lower house pricing just across the border.
The German city of Duisburg is about 78 km away. The first mention of Nijmegen in history is in the 1st century BC, when the Romans built a military camp on the place where Nijmegen was to appear. By 69, when the Batavians, the original inhabitants of the Rhine and Maas delta, revolted, a village called Oppidum Batavorum had formed near the Roman camp; this village was destroyed in the revolt, but when it had ended the Romans built another, bigger camp where the Legio X Gemina was stationed. Soon after, another village formed around this camp. In 98, Nijmegen was the first of two settlements in what is now the Kingdom of the Netherlands to receive Roman city rights. In 103, the X Gemina was re-stationed to Vindobona, modern day Vienna, which may have been a major blow to the economy of the village around the camp, losing around 5000 inhabitants. In 104 Emperor Trajan renamed the town, which now became known as Ulpia Noviomagus Batavorum, Noviomagus for short. Beginning in the second half of the 4th century, Roman power decreased and Noviomagus became part of the Frankish kingdom.
It appeared around this time on the Peutinger Map. It has been contended that in the 8th century Emperor Charlemagne maintained his palatium in Nijmegen on at least four occasions. During his brief deposition of 830, the emperor Louis the Pious was sent to Nijmegen by his son Lothar I. Thanks to the Waal river, trade flourished; the powerful Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor was born at Nijmegen in 1165. In 1230 his son Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor granted Nijmegen city rights. In 1247, the city was ceded to the count of Guelders as collateral for a loan; the loan was never repaid, Nijmegen has been a part of Gelderland since. This did not hamper trade; the arts flourished in this period. Famous medieval painters like the Limbourg brothers were educated in Nijmegen; some of Hieronymus Bosch's ancestors came from the city. During the Dutch Revolt, trade came to a halt and though Nijmegen became a part of the Republic of United Provinces after its capture from the Spanish in 1591, it remained a border town and had to endure multiple sieges.
In 1678 Nijmegen was host to the negotiations between the European powers that aimed to put an end to the constant warfare that had ravaged the continent for years. The result was the Treaty of Nijmegen that failed to provide for a lasting peace. In the second half of the 19th century, the fortifications around the city became a major problem. There were too many inhabitants inside the walls, but the fortifications could not be demolished because Nijmegen was deemed as being of vital importance to the defence of the Netherlands; when events in the Franco-Prussian war proved that old-fashioned fortifications were no more of use, this policy was changed and the fortifications were dismantled in 1874. The old castle had been demolished in 1797, so that its bricks could be sold. Through the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, Nijmegen grew steadily; the Waal was bridged in 1878 by a rail bridge and in 1936 by a car bridge, claimed to be Europe's biggest bridge at the time.
In 1923 the current Radboud University Nijmegen was founded and in 1927 a channel was dug between the Waal and Maas rivers. World War IIIn 1940, the Netherlands was invaded by Germany with Nijmegen being the first Dutch city to fall into German hands. On 22 February 1944, Nijmegen was bombed by American planes, causing great damage to the city centre, it was subsequently claimed by the Allies that the American pilots thought they were bombing the German city of Kleve, while the Germans alleged that it was a planned operation authorised by the Dutch government in exile. The Dutch organization for investigating wartime atrocities, the NIOD, announced in January 2005 that its study of the incident confirmed that it was an accident caused by poor communications and chaos in the airspace. Over 750 people died in the bombardment. During September 1944, the city saw heavy fighting during Operation Market Garden; the objective in Nijmegen was to prevent the Germans from destroying the bridges. Capturing the road bridge allowed the British Army XXX Corps to attempt to reach the 1st British Airborne Division in Arnhem.
The bridge was defended by over 300 German troops on both the north and south sides with close to 20 anti-tank guns and two anti-aircraft guns, supported with artillery. The
Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and the most populous urban area in the Nordic countries. The city stretches across fourteen islands. Just outside the city and along the coast is the island chain of the Stockholm archipelago; the area has been settled since the Stone Age, in the 6th millennium BC, was founded as a city in 1252 by Swedish statesman Birger Jarl. It is the capital of Stockholm County. Stockholm is the cultural, media and economic centre of Sweden; the Stockholm region alone accounts for over a third of the country's GDP, is among the top 10 regions in Europe by GDP per capita. It is an important global city, the main centre for corporate headquarters in the Nordic region; the city is home to some of Europe's top ranking universities, such as the Stockholm School of Economics, Karolinska Institute and Royal Institute of Technology. It hosts the annual Nobel Prize ceremonies and banquet at the Stockholm Concert Hall and Stockholm City Hall. One of the city's most prized museums, the Vasa Museum, is the most visited non-art museum in Scandinavia.
The Stockholm metro, opened in 1950, is well known for the decor of its stations. Sweden's national football arena is located north of the city centre, in Solna. Ericsson Globe, the national indoor arena, is in the southern part of the city; the city was the host of the 1912 Summer Olympics, hosted the equestrian portion of the 1956 Summer Olympics otherwise held in Melbourne, Australia. Stockholm is the seat of the Swedish government and most of its agencies, including the highest courts in the judiciary, the official residencies of the Swedish monarch and the Prime Minister; the government has its seat in the Rosenbad building, the Riksdag is seated in the Parliament House, the Prime Minister's residence is adjacent at Sager House. Stockholm Palace is the official residence and principal workplace of the Swedish monarch, while Drottningholm Palace, a World Heritage Site on the outskirts of Stockholm, serves as the Royal Family's private residence. After the Ice Age, around 8,000 BC, there were many people living in what is today the Stockholm area, but as temperatures dropped, inhabitants moved south.
Thousands of years as the ground thawed, the climate became tolerable and the lands became fertile, people began to migrate back to the North. At the intersection of the Baltic Sea and lake Mälaren is an archipelago site where the Old Town of Stockholm was first built from about 1000 CE by Vikings, they had a positive trade impact on the area because of the trade routes they created. Stockholm's location appears in Norse sagas as Agnafit, in Heimskringla in connection with the legendary king Agne; the earliest written mention of the name Stockholm dates from 1252, by which time the mines in Bergslagen made it an important site in the iron trade. The first part of the name means log in Swedish, although it may be connected to an old German word meaning fortification; the second part of the name means islet, is thought to refer to the islet Helgeandsholmen in central Stockholm. According to Eric Chronicles the city is said to have been founded by Birger Jarl to protect Sweden from sea invasions made by Karelians after the pillage of Sigtuna on Lake Mälaren in the summer of 1187.
Stockholm's core, the present Old Town was built on the central island next to Helgeandsholmen from the mid-13th century onward. The city rose to prominence as a result of the Baltic trade of the Hanseatic League. Stockholm developed strong economic and cultural linkages with Lübeck, Gdańsk, Visby and Riga during this time. Between 1296 and 1478 Stockholm's City Council was made up of 24 members, half of whom were selected from the town's German-speaking burghers; the strategic and economic importance of the city made Stockholm an important factor in relations between the Danish Kings of the Kalmar Union and the national independence movement in the 15th century. The Danish King Christian II was able to enter the city in 1520. On 8 November 1520 a massacre of opposition figures called the Stockholm Bloodbath took place and set off further uprisings that led to the breakup of the Kalmar Union. With the accession of Gustav Vasa in 1523 and the establishment of a royal power, the population of Stockholm began to grow, reaching 10,000 by 1600.
The 17th century saw Sweden grow into a major European power, reflected in the development of the city of Stockholm. From 1610 to 1680 the population multiplied sixfold. In 1634, Stockholm became the official capital of the Swedish empire. Trading rules were created that gave Stockholm an essential monopoly over trade between foreign merchants and other Swedish and Scandinavian territories. In 1697, Tre Kronor was replaced by Stockholm Palace. In 1710, a plague killed about 20,000 of the population. After the end of the Great Northern War the city stagnated. Population growth halted and economic growth slowed; the city was in shock after having lost its place as the capital of a Great power. However, Stockholm maintained its role as the political centre of Sweden and continued to develop culturally under Gustav III. By the second half of the 19th century, Stockholm had regained its leading economic role. New industries emerged and Stockholm was transformed into an important trade and service centre as well as a key gateway point within Sweden.
The population grew during this time through immigration. At the end
Vienna is the federal capital and largest city of Austria, one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primate city, with a population of about 1.9 million, its cultural and political centre. It is the 7th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union; until the beginning of the 20th century, it was the largest German-speaking city in the world, before the splitting of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I, the city had 2 million inhabitants. Today, it has the second largest number of German speakers after Berlin. Vienna is host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC; the city is located in the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic and Hungary. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region. Along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In July 2017 it was moved to the list of World Heritage in Danger.
Apart from being regarded as the City of Music because of its musical legacy, Vienna is said to be "The City of Dreams" because it was home to the world's first psychoanalyst – Sigmund Freud. The city's roots lie in early Celtic and Roman settlements that transformed into a Medieval and Baroque city, the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, it is well known for having played an essential role as a leading European music centre, from the great age of Viennese Classicism through the early part of the 20th century. The historic centre of Vienna is rich in architectural ensembles, including Baroque castles and gardens, the late-19th-century Ringstraße lined with grand buildings and parks. Vienna is known for its high quality of life. In a 2005 study of 127 world cities, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked the city first for the world's most liveable cities. Between 2011 and 2015, Vienna was ranked second, behind Melbourne. In 2018, it replaced Melbourne as the number one spot. For ten consecutive years, the human-resource-consulting firm Mercer ranked Vienna first in its annual "Quality of Living" survey of hundreds of cities around the world.
Monocle's 2015 "Quality of Life Survey" ranked Vienna second on a list of the top 25 cities in the world "to make a base within."The UN-Habitat classified Vienna as the most prosperous city in the world in 2012/2013. The city was ranked 1st globally for its culture of innovation in 2007 and 2008, sixth globally in the 2014 Innovation Cities Index, which analyzed 162 indicators in covering three areas: culture and markets. Vienna hosts urban planning conferences and is used as a case study by urban planners. Between 2005 and 2010, Vienna was the world's number-one destination for international congresses and conventions, it attracts over 6.8 million tourists a year. The English name Vienna is borrowed from the homonymous Italian version of the city's name or the French Vienne; the etymology of the city's name is still subject to scholarly dispute. Some claim that the name comes from Vedunia, meaning "forest stream", which subsequently produced the Old High German Uuenia, the New High German Wien and its dialectal variant Wean.
Others believe that the name comes from the Roman settlement name of Celtic extraction Vindobona meaning "fair village, white settlement" from Celtic roots, vindo-, meaning "bright" or "fair" – as in the Irish fionn and the Welsh gwyn –, -bona "village, settlement". The Celtic word Vindos may reflect a widespread prehistorical cult of a Celtic God. A variant of this Celtic name could be preserved in the Czech and Polish names of the city and in that of the city's district Wieden; the name of the city in Hungarian, Serbo-Croatian and Ottoman Turkish has a different Slavonic origin, referred to an Avar fort in the area. Slovene-speakers call the city Dunaj, which in other Central European Slavic languages means the Danube River, on which the city stands. Evidence has been found of continuous habitation in the Vienna area since 500 BC, when Celts settled the site on the Danube River. In 15 BC the Romans fortified the frontier city they called Vindobona to guard the empire against Germanic tribes to the north.
Close ties with other Celtic peoples continued through the ages. The Irish monk Saint Colman is buried in Melk Abbey and Saint Fergil served as Bishop of Salzburg for forty years. Irish Benedictines founded twelfth-century monastic settlements. Evidence of these ties persists in the form of Vienna's great Schottenstift monastery, once home to many Irish monks. In 976 Leopold I of Babenberg became count of the Eastern March, a 60-mile district centering on the Danube on the eastern frontier of Bavaria; this initial district grew into the duchy of Austria. Each succeeding Babenberg ruler expanded the march east along the Danube encompassing Vienna and the lands east. In 1145 Duke Henry II Jasomirgott moved the Babenberg family residence from Klosterneuburg in Lower Austria to Vienna. From that time, Vienna remained the center of the Babenberg dynasty. In 1440 Vienna became the resident city of the Habsburg dynasty, it grew to become the de facto capital of the Holy Roman Empire in 1437 and a cultural centre for arts and science and fine cuisine.
Hungary occupied the city between 1485 and 1490. In the 16th and 1
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Oslo is the capital and most populous city of Norway. It constitutes both a municipality. Founded in the year 1040 as Ánslo, established as a kaupstad or trading place in 1048 by Harald Hardrada, the city was elevated to a bishopric in 1070 and a capital under Haakon V of Norway around 1300. Personal unions with Denmark from 1397 to 1523 and again from 1536 to 1814 reduced its influence, with Sweden from 1814 to 1905 it functioned as a co-official capital. After being destroyed by a fire in 1624, during the reign of King Christian IV, a new city was built closer to Akershus Fortress and named Christiania in the king's honour, it was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838. The city's name was spelled Kristiania between 1897 by state and municipal authorities. In 1925 the city was renamed Oslo. Oslo is the governmental centre of Norway; the city is a hub of Norwegian trade, banking and shipping. It is maritime trade in Europe; the city is home to many companies within the maritime sector, some of which are among the world's largest shipping companies and maritime insurance brokers.
Oslo is a pilot city of the Council of Europe and the European Commission intercultural cities programme. Oslo is considered a global city and was ranked "Beta World City" in studies carried out by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network in 2008, it was ranked number one in terms of quality of life among European large cities in the European Cities of the Future 2012 report by fDi magazine. A survey conducted by ECA International in 2011 placed Oslo as the second most expensive city in the world for living expenses after Tokyo. In 2013 Oslo tied with the Australian city of Melbourne as the fourth most expensive city in the world, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's Worldwide Cost of Living study; as of 1 July 2017, the municipality of Oslo had a population of 672,061, while the population of the city's urban area of 3 December 2018 was 1,000,467. The metropolitan area had an estimated population of 1.71 million. The population was increasing at record rates during the early 2000s, making it the fastest growing major city in Europe at the time.
This growth stems for the most part from international immigration and related high birth rates, but from intra-national migration. The immigrant population in the city is growing somewhat faster than the Norwegian population, in the city proper this is now more than 25% of the total population if immigrant parents are included; as of 1 January 2016, the municipality of Oslo had a population of 658,390. The urban area extends beyond the boundaries of the municipality into the surrounding county of Akershus; the city centre is situated at the end of the Oslofjord, from which point the city sprawls out in three distinct "corridors"—inland north-eastwards, southwards along both sides of the fjord—which gives the urbanized area a shape reminiscent of an upside-down reclining "Y". To the north and east, wide forested hills rise above the city giving the location the shape of a giant amphitheatre; the urban municipality of Oslo and county of Oslo are two parts of the same entity, making Oslo the only city in Norway where two administrative levels are integrated.
Of Oslo's total area, 130 km2 is built-up and 7 km2. The open areas within the built-up zone amount to 22 km2; the city of Oslo was established as a municipality on 3 January 1838. It was separated from the county of Akershus to become a county of its own in 1842; the rural municipality of Aker was merged with Oslo on 1 January 1948. Furthermore, Oslo shares several important functions with Akershus county; as defined in January 2004 by the city council ^ The definition has since been revised in the 2015 census. After being destroyed by a fire in 1624, during the reign of King Christian IV, a new city was built closer to Akershus Fortress and named Christiania in the king's honour; the old site east of the Aker river was not abandoned however and the village of Oslo remained as a suburb outside the city gates. The suburb called Oslo was included in the city proper. In 1925 the name of the suburb was transferred to the whole city, while the suburb was renamed "Gamlebyen" to avoid confusion; the Old Town is an area within the administrative district Gamle Oslo.
The previous names are reflected in street names like Oslo Oslo hospital. The origin of the name Oslo has been the subject of much debate, it is derived from Old Norse and was — in all probability — the name of a large farm at Bjørvika, but the meaning of that name is disputed. Modern linguists interpret the original Óslo, Áslo or Ánslo as either "Meadow at the Foot of a Hill" or "Meadow Consecrated to the Gods", with both considered likely. Erroneously, it was once assumed that "Oslo" meant "the mouth of the Lo river", a supposed previous name for the river Alna. However, not only has no evidence been found of a river "Lo" predating the work where Peder Claussøn Friis first proposed this etymology, but the name is ungrammatical in Norwegian: the correct form would have been Loaros; the name Lo is now believed to be a back-formation arrived at by Friis in support of his etymology