Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe, situated between the Baltic Sea in the north and two mountain ranges in the south. Bordered by Germany to the west, the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south and Belarus to the east, the total area of Poland is 312,679 square kilometres, making it the 69th largest country in the world and the 9th largest in Europe. With a population of over 38.5 million people, Poland is the 34th most populous country in the world, the 8th most populous country in Europe, Poland is a unitary state divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, and its capital and largest city is Warsaw. Other metropolises include Kraków, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk and Szczecin, the establishment of a Polish state can be traced back to 966, when Mieszko I, ruler of a territory roughly coextensive with that of present-day Poland, converted to Christianity. The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, and in 1569 it cemented a political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin.
This union formed the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th and 17th century Europe, Poland regained its independence in 1918 at the end of World War I, reconstituting much of its historical territory as the Second Polish Republic. In September 1939, World War II started with the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, followed thereafter by invasion by the Soviet Union. More than six million Polish citizens died in the war, after the war, Polands borders were shifted westwards under the terms of the Potsdam Conference. With the backing of the Soviet Union, a communist puppet government was formed, and after a referendum in 1946. During the Revolutions of 1989 Polands Communist government was overthrown and Poland adopted a new constitution establishing itself as a democracy, informally called the Third Polish Republic. Since the early 1990s, when the transition to a primarily market-based economy began, Poland has achieved a high ranking on the Human Development Index.
Poland is a country, which was categorised by the World Bank as having a high-income economy. Furthermore, it is visited by approximately 16 million tourists every year, Poland is the eighth largest economy in the European Union and was the 6th fastest growing economy on the continent between 2010 and 2015. According to the Global Peace Index for 2014, Poland is ranked 19th in the list of the safest countries in the world to live in. The origin of the name Poland derives from a West Slavic tribe of Polans that inhabited the Warta River basin of the historic Greater Poland region in the 8th century, the origin of the name Polanie itself derives from the western Slavic word pole. In some foreign languages such as Hungarian, Lithuanian and Turkish the exonym for Poland is Lechites, historians have postulated that throughout Late Antiquity, many distinct ethnic groups populated the regions of what is now Poland. The most famous archaeological find from the prehistory and protohistory of Poland is the Biskupin fortified settlement, dating from the Lusatian culture of the early Iron Age, the Slavic groups who would form Poland migrated to these areas in the second half of the 5th century AD.
With the Baptism of Poland the Polish rulers accepted Christianity and the authority of the Roman Church
Naples is the capital of the Italian region Campania and the third-largest municipality in Italy, after Rome and Milan. In 2015, around 975,260 people lived within the administrative limits. The Metropolitan City of Naples had a population of 3,115,320, Naples is the 9th-most populous urban area in the European Union with a population of between 3 million and 3.7 million. About 4.4 million people live in the Naples metropolitan area, Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Bronze Age Greek settlements were established in the Naples area in the second millennium BC, a larger colony – initially known as Parthenope, Παρθενόπη – developed on the Island of Megaride around the ninth century BC, at the end of the Greek Dark Ages. Naples remained influential after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, thereafter, in union with Sicily, it became the capital of the Two Sicilies until the unification of Italy in 1861. Naples was the most-bombed Italian city during World War II, much of the citys 20th-century periphery was constructed under Benito Mussolinis fascist government, and during reconstruction efforts after World War II.
The city has experienced significant economic growth in recent decades, and unemployment levels in the city, Naples still suffers from political and economic corruption, and unemployment levels remain high. Naples has the fourth-largest urban economy in Italy, after Milan, Rome and it is the worlds 103rd-richest city by purchasing power, with an estimated 2011 GDP of US$83.6 billion. The port of Naples is one of the most important in Europe, numerous major Italian companies, such as MSC Cruises Italy S. p. A, are headquartered in Naples. The city hosts NATOs Allied Joint Force Command Naples, the SRM Institution for Economic Research, Naples is a full member of the Eurocities network of European cities. The city was selected to become the headquarters of the European institution ACP/UE and was named a City of Literature by UNESCOs Creative Cities Network, the Villa Rosebery, one of the three official residences of the President of Italy, is located in the citys Posillipo district. Naples historic city centre is the largest in Europe, covering 1,700 hectares and enclosing 27 centuries of history, Naples has long been a major cultural centre with a global sphere of influence, particularly during the Renaissance and Enlightenment eras.
In the immediate vicinity of Naples are numerous culturally and historically significant sites, including the Palace of Caserta, Naples is synonymous with pizza, which originated in the city. Neapolitan music has furthermore been highly influential, credited with the invention of the romantic guitar, according to CNN, the metro stop Toledo is the most beautiful in Europe and it won the LEAF Award 2013 as Public building of the year. Naples is the Italian city with the highest number of accredited stars from the Michelin Guide, Naples sports scene is dominated by football and Serie A club S. S. C. Napoli, two-time Italian champions and winner of European trophies, who play at the San Paolo Stadium in the south-west of the city, the Phlegraean Fields around Naples has been inhabited since the Neolithic period. The earliest Greek settlements were established in the Naples area in the second millennium BC, sailors from the Greek island of Rhodes established a small commercial port called Parthenope on the island of Megaride in the ninth century BC
The Czech Republic, known as Czechia, is a nation state 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 mostly temperate continental climate and 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 the territories of Bohemia, Moravia. 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 part of the Holy Roman Empire, becoming the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1198 and reaching its greatest territorial extent in the 14th century. Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the whole Crown of Bohemia was gradually integrated into the Habsburg Monarchy alongside the Archduchy of Austria, 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, reimposed Roman Catholicism, the Czech part of Czechoslovakia was occupied by Germany in World War II, and was liberated in 1945 by the armies of the Soviet Union and the United States. 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 détat, 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, on 6 March 1990, the Czech Socialistic Republic was renamed to the Czech Republic. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved, with its constituent states becoming the independent states of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.
The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004, it is a member of the United Nations, the OECD, the OSCE, and 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 ranks as the 6th most peaceful country, while achieving strong performance in democratic governance. It has the lowest unemployment rate in the European Union, the traditional English name Bohemia derives from Latin Boiohaemum, which means home of the Boii. The current name comes from the endonym Čech, spelled Cžech until the reform in 1842. The name comes from the Slavic tribe and, according to legend, their leader Čech, the etymology of the word Čech can be traced back to the Proto-Slavic root *čel-, meaning member of the people, thus making it cognate to the Czech word člověk. The country has traditionally divided into three lands, namely Bohemia in the west, Moravia in the southeast, and Czech Silesia in the northeast.
Following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia at the end of 1992, the Czech part of the former nation found itself without a common single-word geographical name in English, the name Czechia /ˈtʃɛkiə/ was recommended by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs
By population, Spain is the sixth largest in Europe and the fifth in the European Union. Spains capital and largest city is Madrid, other urban areas include Barcelona, Seville, Bilbao. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago, in the Middle Ages, the area was conquered by Germanic tribes and by the Moors. Spain is a democracy organised in the form of a government under a constitutional monarchy. It is a power and a major developed country with the worlds fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP. Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the span is the Phoenician word spy. Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean the land where metals are forged, two 15th-century Spanish Jewish scholars, Don Isaac Abravanel and Solomon ibn Verga, gave an explanation now considered folkloric. Both men wrote in two different published works that the first Jews to reach Spain were brought by ship by Phiros who was confederate with the king of Babylon when he laid siege to Jerusalem.
This man was a Grecian by birth, but who had given a kingdom in Spain. He became related by marriage to Espan, the nephew of king Heracles, Heracles renounced his throne in preference for his native Greece, leaving his kingdom to his nephew, from whom the country of España took its name. Based upon their testimonies, this eponym would have already been in use in Spain by c.350 BCE, Iberia enters written records as a land populated largely by the Iberians and Celts. Early on its coastal areas were settled by Phoenicians who founded Western Europe´s most ancient cities Cadiz, Phoenician influence expanded as much of the Peninsula was eventually incorporated into the Carthaginian Empire, becoming a major theater of the Punic Wars against the expanding Roman Empire. After an arduous conquest, the peninsula came fully under Roman Rule, during the early Middle Ages it came under Germanic rule but later, much of it was conquered by Moorish invaders from North Africa. In a process took centuries, the small Christian kingdoms in the north gradually regained control of the peninsula.
The last Moorish kingdom fell in the same year Columbus reached the Americas, a global empire began which saw Spain become the strongest kingdom in Europe, the leading world power for a century and a half, and the largest overseas empire for three centuries. Continued wars and other problems led to a diminished status. The Napoleonic invasions of Spain led to chaos, triggering independence movements that tore apart most of the empire, eventually democracy was peacefully restored in the form of a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Spain joined the European Union, experiencing a renaissance and steady economic growth
Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria. The city has a population of 1.26 million, while 1.68 million people live in its metropolitan area, the city is located at the foot of Vitosha Mountain in the western part of the country, within less than 50 kilometres drive from the Serbian border. Its location in the centre of the Balkan peninsula means that it is the midway between the Black Sea and the Adriatic Sea, whereas the Aegean Sea is the closest to it, Sofia has been an area of human habitation since at least 7000 BC. Being Bulgarias primate city, Sofia is a hometown of many of the local universities, cultural institutions. Sofia is one of the top 10 best places for business in the world. Sofia is Europes most affordable capital to visit as of 2013, for the longest time the city possessed a Thracian name, derived from the tribe Serdi, who were either of Thracian, Celtic, or mixed Thracian-Celtic origin. It seems that the first written mention of Serdica was made during his reign, during the Romans civitas Serdenisium was mentioned the brightest city of the Serdi in official inscriptions.
The city was major throughout the past ever since Antiquity, when Roman emperor Constantine the Great referred to it as my Rome, other names given to Sofia, such as Serdonpolis and Triaditza, were mentioned by Byzantine Greek sources or coins. The Slavic name Sredets, which is related to middle and to the citys earliest name, the city was called Atralissa by the Arab traveller Idrisi and Strelisa, Stralitsa or Stralitsion by the Crusaders. The name Sofia comes from the Saint Sofia Church, as opposed to the prevailing Slavic etymology among Bulgarian cities and towns. It is ultimately derived from the Egyptian Kemetic word sbÅ, meaning star, door and wisdom and this was a tradition of collection of wise literature, shared between Mediterranean cultures, which was called sophia in Greek. In these documents the city is called Sofia, but at the time the region and the citys inhabitants are still called Sredecheski. The city became popular to the Ottomans by the name Sofya. In 1879 there was a dispute about what the name of the new Bulgarian capital should be, the citys name is pronounced by Bulgarians with a stress on the o, in contrast with the tendency of foreigners to place the stress on i.
The female given name Sofia is pronounced by Bulgarians with a stress on the i, Sofia has an area of 492 km2, while Sofia City Province has an area of 1344 km2. Sofias development as a significant settlement owes much to its position in the Balkans. It is situated in western Bulgaria, at the foot of the Vitosha mountain, in the Sofia Valley that is surrounded by the Balkan mountains to the north. The valley has an altitude of 550 metres
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It stands on the Vistula River in east-central Poland, roughly 260 kilometres from the Baltic Sea and 300 kilometres from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population is estimated at 1.750 million residents within a metropolitan area of 3.101 million residents. The city limits cover 516.9 square kilometres, while the area covers 6,100.43 square kilometres. Once described as Paris of the East, Warsaw was believed to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world until World War II. On 9 November 1939, the city was awarded Polands highest military decoration for heroism, Warsaw is one of Europe’s most dynamic metropolitan cities. In 2012 the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Warsaw as the 32nd most liveable city in the world, in 2017 the city came 4th in the “Business-friendly” category and 8th in the “Human capital and life style”. It was ranked as one of the most liveable cities in Central, Warsaw is considered an Alpha– global city, a major international tourist destination and a significant cultural and economic hub.
The city is a significant centre of research and development, BPO, ITO, the Warsaw Stock Exchange is the largest and most important in Central and Eastern Europe. Frontex, the European Union agency for external security, has its headquarters in Warsaw. Together with Frankfurt and Paris, Warsaw is one of the cities with the highest number of skyscrapers in the European Union, the city is the seat of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra and the University of Warsaw. The historic city-centre of Warsaw with its picturesque Old Town in 1980 was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, buildings represent examples of nearly every European architectural style and historical period. Warsaw provides many examples of architecture from the gothic, baroque and modern periods, the city is positioning itself as Europes chic cultural capital with thriving art and club scenes and renowned restaurants. Folk etymology attributes the city name to a fisherman, according to legend, Sawa was a mermaid living in the Vistula River with whom Wars fell in love.
In actuality, Warsz was a 12th/13th-century nobleman who owned a village located at the site of Mariensztat neighbourhood. See the Vršovci family which had escaped to Poland, the official city name in full is miasto stołeczne Warszawa. A native or resident of Warsaw is known as a Varsovian – in Polish warszawiak, warszawianka, other names for Warsaw include Varsovia and Varsóvia, Varsavia, Warschau, װאַרשע /Varshe, Варшава /Varšava /Varshava, Varšuva, Varsó. The first fortified settlements on the site of todays Warsaw were located in Bródno, after Jazdów was raided by nearby clans and dukes, a new similar settlement was established on the site of a small fishing village called Warszowa
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. It is the 14th largest city in the European Union and it is the historical capital of Bohemia. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city has a temperate climate, with warm summers and chilly winters. Prague has been a political and economic centre of central Europe with waxing and waning fortunes during its history and it was an important city to the Habsburg Monarchy and its Austro-Hungarian Empire. Prague is home to a number of cultural attractions, many of which survived the violence. Main attractions include the Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge, Old Town Square with the Prague astronomical clock, since 1992, the extensive historic centre of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. The city has more than ten major museums, along with theatres, cinemas. An extensive modern public transportation system connects the city, also, it is home to a wide range of public and private schools, including Charles University in Prague, the oldest university in Central Europe.
Prague is classified as an Alpha- global city according to GaWC studies, Prague ranked sixth in the Tripadvisor world list of best destinations in 2016. Its rich history makes it a popular tourist destination, and the city more than 6.4 million international visitors annually. Prague is the fifth most visited European city after London, Istanbul, the region was settled as early as the Paleolithic age. In the last century BC, the Celts were slowly driven away by Germanic tribes, around the area where present-day Prague stands, the 2nd century map of Ptolemaios mentioned a Germanic city called Casurgis. In the following century, the Czech tribes built several fortified settlements in the area, most notably in Levý Hradec, Butovice and in the Šárka valley. The construction of what came to be known as the Prague Castle began near the end of the 9th century, the first masonry under Prague Castle dates from the year 885 at the latest. The other prominent Prague fort, the Přemyslid fort Vyšehrad, was founded in the 10th century, Prague Castle is dominated by the cathedral, which was founded in 1344, but completed in the 20th century.
The legendary origins of Prague attribute its foundation to the 8th century Czech duchess and prophetess Libuše and her husband, Přemysl, legend says that Libuše came out on a rocky cliff high above the Vltava and prophesied, I see a great city whose glory will touch the stars. She ordered a castle and a town called Praha to be built on the site, a 17th century Jewish chronicler David Solomon Ganz, citing Cyriacus Spangenberg, claimed that the city was founded as Boihaem in c.1306 BC by an ancient king, Boyya. The region became the seat of the dukes, and kings of Bohemia, under Roman Emperor Otto II the area became a bishopric in 973
Budapest is the capital and most populous city of Hungary, one of the largest cities in the European Union and sometimes described as the primate city of Hungary. It has an area of 525 square kilometres and a population of about 1.8 million within the limits in 2016. Budapest became a single city occupying both banks of the Danube river with the unification of Buda and Óbuda on the west bank, the history of Budapest began with Aquincum, originally a Celtic settlement that became the Roman capital of Lower Pannonia. Hungarians arrived in the territory in the 9th century and their first settlement was pillaged by the Mongols in 1241–1242. The re-established town became one of the centres of Renaissance humanist culture by the 15th century, following the Battle of Mohács and nearly 150 years of Ottoman rule, the region entered a new age of prosperity, and Budapest became a global city after its unification in 1873. It became the co-capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a power that dissolved in 1918.
Budapest was the point of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, the Hungarian Republic of Councils in 1919, the Battle of Budapest in 1945. Budapest is an Alpha- global city, with strengths in arts, design, entertainment, finance, media, services and tourism. Its business district hosts the Budapest Stock Exchange and the headquarters of the largest national and international banks and it is the highest ranked Central and Eastern European city on Innovation Cities Top 100 index. Budapest attracts 4.4 million international tourists per year, making it the 25th most popular city in the world, further famous landmarks include Andrássy Avenue, St. It has around 80 geothermal springs, the worlds largest thermal water system, second largest synagogue. Budapest is home to the headquarters of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, the European Police College, over 40 colleges and universities are located in Budapest, including the Eötvös Loránd University, Central European University and Budapest University of Technology and Economics.
Budapest is the combination of the city names Buda and Pest, One of the first documented occurrences of the combined name Buda-Pest was in 1831 in the book Világ, written by Count István Széchenyi. The origins of the names Buda and Pest are obscure, according to chronicles from the Middle Ages, the name Buda comes from the name of its founder, brother of the Hunnic ruler Attila. The theory that Buda was named after a person is supported by modern scholars, an alternative explanation suggests that Buda derives from the Slavic word вода, voda, a translation of the Latin name Aquincum, which was the main Roman settlement in the region. There are theories about the origin of the name Pest. One of the states that the word Pest comes from the Roman times. According to another theory, Pest originates from the Slavic word for cave, or oven, the first settlement on the territory of Budapest was built by Celts before 1 AD
Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe. It includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,021 square kilometres, with about 82 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. Germanys capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while its largest conurbation is the Ruhr, other major cities include Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf and Leipzig. Various 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, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation, in 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire.
After World War I and the German Revolution of 1918–1919, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic, the establishment of the national socialist dictatorship in 1933 led to World War II and the Holocaust. After a period of Allied occupation, two German states were founded, the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic, in 1990, the country was reunified. In the 21st century, Germany is a power and has the worlds fourth-largest economy by nominal GDP. As a global leader in industrial and technological sectors, it is both the worlds third-largest exporter and importer of goods. Germany is a country with a very high standard of living sustained by a skilled. It upholds a social security and universal health system, environmental protection. Germany was a member of the European Economic Community in 1957. It is part of the Schengen Area, and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999, Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G8, the G20, and the OECD.
The national military expenditure is the 9th highest in the world, the English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz popular, derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- people, the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a mine in Schöningen where three 380, 000-year-old wooden javelins were unearthed
Hamburg, officially Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg, is the second largest city in Germany and the eighth largest city in the European Union. It is the second smallest German state by area and its population is over 1.7 million people, and the wider Hamburg Metropolitan Region covers more than 5.1 million inhabitants. The city is situated on the river Elbe, the official long name reflects Hamburgs history as a member of the medieval Hanseatic League, a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire, a city-state, and one of the 16 states of Germany. Before the 1871 Unification of Germany, it was a sovereign state. Prior to the changes in 1919, the civic republic was ruled by a class of hereditary grand burghers or Hanseaten. Though repeatedly destroyed by the Great Fire of Hamburg, the floods and military conflicts including WW2 bombing raids, the city managed to recover and emerge wealthier after each catastrophe. On the river Elbe, Hamburg is a port and a global service, media and industrial hub, with headquarters and facilities of Airbus, Blohm + Voss, Beiersdorf.
The radio and television broadcaster NDR, Europes largest printing and publishing firm Gruner + Jahr, Hamburg has been an important financial centre for centuries, and is the seat of Germanys oldest stock exchange and the worlds second oldest bank, Berenberg Bank. The city is a fast expanding tourist destination for domestic and international visitors. It ranked 16th in the world for livability in 2015, the ensemble Speicherstadt and Kontorhausviertel was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 2015. Hamburg is a major European science and education hub with several universities and institutes and its creative industries and major cultural venues include the renowned Elbphilharmonie and Laeisz concert halls, various art venues, music producers and artists. It is regarded as a haven for artists, gave birth to movements like Hamburger Schule. Hamburg is known for theatres and a variety of musical shows. St. Paulis Reeperbahn is among the best known European entertainment districts, Hamburg is on the southern point of the Jutland Peninsula, between Continental Europe to the south and Scandinavia to the north, with the North Sea to the west and the Baltic Sea to the north-east.
It is on the River Elbe at its confluence with the Alster, the city centre is around the Binnenalster and Außenalster, both formed by damming the River Alster to create lakes. The island of Neuwerk and two neighbouring islands Scharhörn and Nigehörn, in the Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park, are part of Hamburg. The neighbourhoods of Neuenfelde, Cranz and Finkenwerder are part of the Altes Land region, neugraben-Fischbek has Hamburgs highest elevation, the Hasselbrack at 116.2 metres AMSL. Hamburg has a climate, influenced by its proximity to the coast
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe bordered by France, the Netherlands, Germany and the North Sea. It is a small, densely populated country which covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres and has a population of about 11 million people. Additionally, there is a group of German-speakers who live in the East Cantons located around the High Fens area. Historically, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were known as the Low Countries, the region was called Belgica in Latin, after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, Belgium is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. It is divided into three regions and three communities, that exist next to each other and 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 a bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. A German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia, Belgiums linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments.
Upon its independence, declared in 1830, Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Belgium is a member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD and WTO. Its capital, hosts several of the EUs official seats as well as the headquarters of major international organizations such as NATO. Belgium is a part of the Schengen Area, Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy and is categorized as very high in the Human Development Index. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings, a gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 14th and 15th centuries, the Eighty Years War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands.
The latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and this was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. The reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, although the franchise was initially restricted, universal suffrage for men was introduced after the general strike of 1893 and for women in 1949. The main political parties of the 19th century were the Catholic Party, French was originally the single official language adopted by the nobility and the bourgeoisie
Rome is a special comune and the capital of Italy. Rome serves as the capital of the Lazio region, with 2,873,598 residents in 1,285 km2, it is the countrys largest and most populated comune and fourth-most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the center of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4.3 million residents, the city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio, along the shores of the Tiber. Romes history spans more than 2,500 years, while Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at only around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe. The citys early population originated from a mix of Latins, Etruscans and it was first called The Eternal City by the Roman poet Tibullus in the 1st century BC, and the expression was taken up by Ovid and Livy. Rome is called the Caput Mundi, due to that, Rome became first one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, and the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism.
Famous artists, painters and architects made Rome the centre of their activity, in 1871 Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, and in 1946 that of the Italian Republic. Rome has the status of a global city, Rome ranked in 2014 as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, and the most popular tourist attraction in Italy. Its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and museums such as the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum are among the worlds most visited tourist destinations with both locations receiving millions of tourists a year. Rome hosted the 1960 Summer Olympics and is the seat of United Nations Food, however, it is a possibility that the name Romulus was actually derived from Rome itself. As early as the 4th century, there have been alternate theories proposed on the origin of the name Roma. There is archaeological evidence of occupation of the Rome area from approximately 14,000 years ago. Evidence of stone tools and stone weapons attest to about 10,000 years of human presence, several excavations support the view that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill built above the area of the future Roman Forum.
Between the end of the age and the beginning of the Iron age. However, none of them had yet an urban quality, there is a wide consensus that the city was gradually born through the aggregation of several villages around the largest one, placed above the Palatine. All these happenings, which according to the excavations took place more or less around the mid of the 8th century BC. Despite recent excavations at the Palatine hill, the view that Rome has been indeed founded with an act of will as the legend suggests in the middle of the 8th century BC remains a fringe hypothesis. Traditional stories handed down by the ancient Romans themselves explain the earliest history of their city in terms of legend and myth