Southern Europe is the southern region of the European continent. Most definitions of Southern Europe known as Mediterranean Europe, include Spain, Malta, Greece, Croatia and Herzegovina, Albania, Slovenia, the East Thrace of European Turkey and Cyprus. Portugal, Vatican City, San Marino and North Macedonia are often included despite not having a coast in the Mediterranean; some definitions may include mainland Southern France and Monaco, which are otherwise considered parts of Western Europe. Different methods can be used to define Southern Europe, including its political and cultural attributes. Southern Europe can be defined by its natural features — its geography and flora. Politically, seven of the Southern European states form the EU Med group. Geographically, Southern Europe is the southern half of the landmass of Europe; this definition is relative, although based in history, culture and flora, shared across the region. It includes southwestern Europe: the Iberian Peninsula, including the British overseas territory of Gibraltar.
Italy and the micro-states of San Marino and the Vatican City. Southeastern Europe includes Kosovo, Greece, Serbia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia and East Thrace; the Major islands in the region are Sardinia, Crete, the Balearic islands and the Island countries of Cyprus and Malta. Southern Europe's most emblematic climate is that of the Mediterranean climate, which has become a known characteristic of the area, due to the large subtropical semi-permanent centre of high atmospheric pressure found, not in the Mediterranean itself, but in the Atlantic Ocean, the Azores High; the Mediterranean climate covers much of Portugal, Southeast France, Italy, coastal Croatia, Greece, as well as the Mediterranean islands. Those areas of Mediterranean climate present similar vegetations and landscapes throughout, including dry hills, small plains, pine forests and olive trees. Cooler climates can be found in certain parts of Southern European countries, for example within the mountain ranges of Spain and Italy.
Additionally, the north coast of Spain experiences a wetter Atlantic climate. Southern Europe's flora is that of the Mediterranean Region, one of the phytochoria recognized by Armen Takhtajan; the Mediterranean and Submediterranean climate regions in Europe are found in much of Southern Europe in Southern Portugal, most of Spain, the southern coast of France, the Croatian coast, much of Bosnia, Kosovo, Albania, North Macedonia and the Mediterranean islands. The Phoenicians expanded from Canaan ports, by the 8th century dominating trade in the Mediterranean. Carthage was founded in 814 BC, the Carthaginians by 700 BC had established strongholds in Sicily and Sardinia, which created conflicts of interest with Etruria, its colonies reached the Western Mediterranean, such as Cádiz in Spain and most notably Carthage in North Africa, the Atlantic Ocean. The civilisation spread across the Mediterranean between 1500 BC and 300 BC; the period known as classical antiquity began with the rise of the city-states of Ancient Greece.
Greek influence reached its zenith under the expansive empire of Alexander the Great, spreading throughout Asia. The Roman Empire came to dominate the entire Mediterranean Basin in a vast empire based on Roman law and Roman legions, it promoted trade and Greek culture. By 300 AD the Roman Empire was divided into the Western Roman Empire based in Rome, the Eastern Roman Empire based in Constantinople; the attacks of the Goths led to the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD, a date which traditionally marks the end of the classical period and the start of the Middle Ages. During the Middle Ages, the Eastern Roman Empire survived, though modern historians refer to this state as the Byzantine Empire. In Western Europe, Germanic peoples moved into positions of power in the remnants of the former Western Roman Empire and established kingdoms and empires of their own; the period known as the Crusades, a series of religiously motivated military expeditions intended to bring the Levant back into Christian rule, began.
Several Crusader states were founded in the eastern Mediterranean. These were all short-lived; the Crusaders would have a profound impact on many parts of Europe. Their sack of Constantinople in 1204 brought an abrupt end to the Byzantine Empire. Though it would be re-established, it would never recover its former glory; the Crusaders would establish trade routes that would develop into the Silk Road and open the way for the merchant republics of Genoa and Venice to become major economic powers. The Reconquista, a related movement, worked to reconquer Iberia for Christendom; the late Middle Ages represented a period of upheaval in Europe. The epidemic known as the Black Death and an associated famine caused demographic catastrophe in Europe as the population plummeted. Dynastic struggles and wars of conquest kept many of the states of Europe at war for much of the period. In the Balkans, the Ottoman Empire, a Turkish state originating in Anatolia, encroached on former Byzantine lands, culminating in the fall of Constantinople in 1453.
Beginning in the 12th century in Florence, spreading through Europe with the development of the printing press, a Renaissance of knowledge challenged traditional doctrines in science and theology, with the Arabic texts and thought bringing about rediscovery of classical Greek and Roman knowledge. The Catholic reconquest of Portugal and Spain led to a series of oceanic expl
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
Lake Kovdozero is a large freshwater lake in the southern Murmansk Oblast, northwestern part of Russia. It is located at around 66°46′58″N 32°00′00″E. There are many islands in the lake; the hydroelectric power plant was built in 1955. The surface area of Kovdozero has risen from 224–294 km² to 608 km². Many rivers empty into Kovdozero and it flows to the White Sea through the Kovda River; the lake is used to fishery, water transport and timber rafting
Imandra is a lake in the south-western part of the Kola Peninsula in Murmansk Oblast, Russia beyond the Arctic circle. It is located 127 m above sea level; the shape of the shore line is complicated. There are a number of islands and the largest one, Erm Island measures 26 km². There are three principal parts of the lake connected by narrow straits: Greater Imandra or Khibinskaya Imandra in the north, Ekostrovskaya Imandra in the centre, Babinskaya Imandra in the west; the lake drains into the Kandalaksha Gulf of the White Sea by the Niva River. The lake is known for its abundance of fish; the town of Monchegorsk, located on the Monche-Guba inlet in the north-western part of the lake, is known as a centre of winter sports. During the summer, many residents enjoy boating on the lake, while in winter the frozen lake is popular with cross-country skiers. Apatity is located near the eastern shore of the lake, Polyarnye Zori are on the Niva River a few kilometers below its outflow from the lake. Presently, Lake Imandra is only used by local residents for recreational boating.
However, for several years in the 1930s, before the railway branch between Monchegorsk and the Leningrad-Murmansk mainline was built, Monchegorsk was connected to the rest of the country in summer by boat across Lake Imandra. Ferries from Monchegorsk would dock in Tik-Guba, on the main rail line
Western Europe is the region comprising the western part of Europe. Though the term Western Europe is used, there is no agreed-upon definition of the countries that it encompasses. Significant historical events that have shaped the concept of Western Europe include the rise of Rome, the adoption of Greek culture during the Roman Republic, the adoption of Christianity by Roman Emperors, the division of the Latin West and Greek East, the Fall of the Western Roman Empire, the reign of Charlemagne, the Viking invasions, the East–West Schism, the Black Death, the Renaissance, the Age of Discovery, the Protestant Reformation as well as the Counter-Reformation of the Catholic Church, the Age of Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, the two world wars, the Cold War, the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the expansion of the European Union. Prior to the Roman conquest, a large part of Western Europe had adopted the newly developed La Tène culture; as the Roman domain expanded, a cultural and linguistic division appeared between the Greek-speaking eastern provinces, which had formed the urbanized Hellenistic civilization, the western territories, which in contrast adopted the Latin language.
This cultural and linguistic division was reinforced by the political east-west division of the Roman Empire. The Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire controlled the two divergent regions between the 3rd and the 5th centuries; the division between these two was enhanced during Late antiquity and the Middle Ages by a number of events. The Western Roman Empire collapsed. By contrast, the Eastern Roman Empire known as the Greek or Byzantine Empire and thrived for another 1000 years; the rise of the Carolingian Empire in the west, in particular the Great Schism between Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism, enhanced the cultural and religious distinctiveness between Eastern and Western Europe. After the conquest of the Byzantine Empire, center of the Eastern Orthodox Church, by the Muslim Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, the gradual fragmentation of the Holy Roman Empire, the division between Roman Catholic and Protestant became more important in Europe than that with Eastern Orthodoxy.
In East Asia, Western Europe was known as taixi in China and taisei in Japan, which translates as the "Far West". The term Far West became synonymous with Western Europe in China during the Ming dynasty; the Italian Jesuit priest Matteo Ricci was one of the first writers in China to use the Far West as an Asian counterpart to the European concept of the Far East. In Ricci's writings, Ricci referred to himself as "Matteo of the Far West"; the term was still in use in the late early 20th centuries. Christianity is still the largest religion in Western Europe, according to a 2018 study by the Pew Research Center, 71.0% of the Western European population identified themselves as Christians. The East–West Schism, which has lasted since the 11th century, divided Christianity in Europe, the world, into Western Christianity and Eastern Christianity. With certain simplifications, Western Europe is thus Catholic or Protestant and uses the Latin alphabet. Eastern Europe uses the Greek alphabet or Cyrillic script.
According to this definition, Western Europe is formed by countries with dominant Roman Catholic and Protestant churches, including countries which are considered part of Central Europe now: Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden and United Kingdom. Eastern Europe, meanwhile is formed by countries with dominant Eastern Orthodox churches, including Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine for instance; the schism is the break of communion and theology between what are now the Eastern and Western churches. This division dominated Europe for centuries, in opposition to the rather short-lived Cold War division of four decades. Since the Great Schism of 1054, Europe has been divided between Roman Catholic and Protestant churches in the West and the Eastern Orthodox Christian churches in the east. Due to this religious cleavage, Eastern Orthodox countries are associated with Eastern Europe. A cleavage of this sort is, however problematic.
During the four decades of the Cold War, the definition of East and West was rather simplified by the existence of the Eastern Bloc. Historians and social scientists view the Cold War definition of Western and Eastern Europe as outdated or relegating. During the final stages of World War II, the future of Europe was decided between the Allies in the 1945 Yalta Conference, between the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, the U. S. President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Premier of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin. Post-war Europe would be divided into two major spheres: the Western Bloc, influenced by the United States, the Eastern Bloc, influenced by the Soviet Union. With the onset of the Cold War, Europe was divided by the Iron Curtain; this term had been used during World War II by German Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels and Count Lutz Schwerin von Krosigk in the last days of the war.
Vänern is the largest lake in Sweden, the largest lake in the European Union and the third-largest lake in Europe after Ladoga and Onega in Russia. It is located in the provinces of Västergötland, Värmland in the southwest of the country. Geologically, the lake was formed after the Quaternary glaciation about 10,000 years ago. Due to the fact that ensuing post-glacial rebound surpassed concurrent sea-level rise, lake Vänern became a part of the Ancylus Lake that occupied the Baltic basin. Vänern was connected to Ancylus Lake by a strait at Närke. Further uplift made lakes such as Vättern became cut off from the Baltic; as a result, there are still species remaining from the ice age not encountered in freshwater lakes, such as the amphipod Monoporeia affinis. A Viking ship was found on the lake's bottom on May 6, 2009. A story told by the 13th-century Icelandic mythographer Snorri Sturluson in his Prose Edda about the origin of Mälaren was originally about Vänern: the Swedish king Gylfi promised a woman, Gefjon, as much land as four oxen could plough in a day and a night, but she used oxen from the land of the giants, moreover uprooted the land and dragged it into the sea, where it became the island of Zealand.
The Prose Edda says that'the inlets in the lake correspond to the headlands in Zealand'. The Battle on the Ice of Lake Vänern was a 6th century battle recorded in the Norse sagas and referred to in the Old English epic Beowulf. In Beowulf, Vänern is stated to be near the location of the dragon's mound at Earnaness. Vänern covers an area of 5,655 km2, its surface is 44 m above sea level and it is on average 27 m deep. The maximum depth of the lake is 106 m; the water level of the lake is regulated by the Vargön Hydroelectric Power Station. Geographically, it is situated on the border between the Swedish regions of Götaland and Svealand, divided between several Swedish provinces: The western body of water is known as the Dalbosjön, with its main part belonging to Dalsland, its main tributary is Klarälven, which flows into the lake near the city of Karlstad, on the northern shore. Other tributaries include Byälven and Norsälven, it is drained to the south-west by Göta älv, which forms part of the Göta Canal waterway, to Lake Viken into Lake Vättern, southeast across Sweden.
The economic opportunities Vänern offers are illustrated by the surrounding towns, which have supported themselves for centuries by fishing and allowing easy transportation to other cities or west by Göta älv to the sea of Kattegat. This directly includes: Karlstad, Mariestad, Lidköping Vänersborg, Åmål, Säffle, indirectly Trollhättan; the Djurö archipelago surrounds the island of Djurö, in the middle of the lake, has been given national park status as Djurö National Park. The ridge Kinnekulle is a popular tourist attraction near the south-eastern shore of Vänern, it has the best view over the lake. Another nearby mountain is Halleberg. Environmental monitoring studies are conducted annually. In a 2002 report, the data showed no marked decrease in overall water quality, but a slight decrease in visibility due to an increase of algae. An increasing level of nitrogen had been problematic during the 1970s through 1990s, but is now being regulated and is at a steady level; some bays have problems with eutrophication and have become overgrown with algae and plant plankton.
Vänern has many different fish species. Locals and government officials try to enforce fishing preservation projects, due to threats to the fish habitat; these threats include water cultivation in the tributaries and the M74 syndrome. Sport fishing in Vänern is unregulated, both from the shore and from boats. Commercial fishing requires permission. In the open waters of Vänern, the most common fish is the smelt, dominating in the eastern Dalbosjön, where the average is 2,600 smelt per hectare; the second most common is the vendace most prominently in Dalbosjön, with 200–300 fish per hectare. The populations may vary between years, depending on temperature, water level and quality. Vänern has two sub-groups of land-locked Atlantic salmon known as Vänern salmon, they are native to spawn in the adjacent lakes. The first sub-group is named after the eastern tributary Gullspångsälven as the Gullspång salmon; the second is the Klarälv salmon spawning in the Klarälven. These sub-groups are related to Atlantic salmon of the Baltic Sea, they have developed in Vänern for over 9,000 years.
They are notable in. These large lake salmon are known to weigh some 18 kg; the world's largest lake salmon, exceeding 20 kg, was caught in Vänern. There are other species of salmonids in the connecting rivers; the most important large fish in the lake are zander. The most important small fish is the stickleback. Vänern has five distinguished species of whitefish: Coregonus pallasii Lacustrine fluvial whitefish Coregonus maxillaris (popula
The Kremenchuk Reservoir is the largest water reservoir located on the Dnieper River. Named for the city of Kremenchuk, it covers a total area of 2,250 square kilometres in the territories of the Poltava and Kirovohrad Oblasts in central Ukraine; the reservoir is 149 km long, 28 km wide, has an average depth of six meters. The total water volume is 13.5 km³. It is used for irrigation, flood control and transport within the area; the main ports located on the reservoir are Cherkasy, Svitlovodsk. The Sula River flows into the reservoir; the reservoir was created in 1959. The body of water flooded the whole Novoheorhivsk Raion with 23 populated places ending up submerged including such historical places like Kryliv and others. | | Threat of the Dnieper reservoirs 1:100,000 topographic map, showing the dam that creates the reservoir