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""Copenhagen is the capital and most populated city of Denmark.

"Europe is a "continent that comprises the westernmost part of "Eurasia. Europe is bordered by the "Arctic Ocean to the north, the "Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the "Mediterranean Sea to the south. To the east and southeast, Europe is generally considered as "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. Yet the non-oceanic borders of Europe—a concept dating back to "classical antiquity—are arbitrary. The primarily "physiographic term "continent" as applied to Europe also incorporates "cultural and political elements whose discontinuities are not always reflected by the continent's current overland boundaries.

Europe covers about 10,180,000 square kilometres (3,930,000 sq mi), or 2% of the Earth's surface (6.8% of land area). 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 740 million (about 11% of "world population) as of 2012.

The "history of Europe covers the peoples inhabiting the "European continent from "prehistory to the present. Some of the best-known civilizations of prehistoric Europe were the "Minoan and the "Mycenaean, which flourished during the "Bronze Age until they "collapsed in a short period of time around 1200 BC. The period known as "classical antiquity began with the emergence of the city-states of "Ancient Greece. After ultimately checking the "Persian advance in Europe through the "Greco-Persian Wars in the 5th century BC, Greek influence reached its zenith under the expansive empire of "Alexander the Great, spreading throughout "Asia, Africa, and other parts of Europe. The "Roman Empire came to dominate the entire Mediterranean basin in a vast empire based on "Roman law. By 300 AD the Roman Empire was divided into the "Western and "Eastern empires. During the 4th and 5th centuries, the "Germanic peoples of northern Europe grew in strength and repeated attacks led to the "Fall of the Western Roman Empire. AD 476 traditionally marks the end of the classical period and the start of the "Middle Ages.

The "culture of Europe is rooted in the art, architecture, music, literature, and philosophy that originated from the "European "cultural region. European culture is largely rooted in what is often referred to as its "common cultural heritage".

As a continent, the economy of Europe is currently the largest on Earth and it is the richest region as measured by assets under management with over $32.7 trillion compared to North America's $27.1 trillion in 2008. In 2009 Europe remained the wealthiest region. Its $37.1 trillion in assets under management represented one-third of the world's wealth. It was one of several regions where wealth surpassed its precrisis year-end peak. As with other continents, Europe has a large variation of wealth among its countries. The richer states tend to be in the "West; some of the "Central and Eastern European economies are still emerging from the "collapse of the Soviet Union and the "breakup of Yugoslavia.

Featured panorama

Credit: "Simo Räsänen

A mountain massif on "Flakstadøya Island overlooking "Norwegian County Road 807 to Nusfjord, "Lofoten, "Nordland, as seen in September 2010. On either side of the road, "coastal conifer forests can be seen.

Featured article

""Basilica della Collegiata in Catania, designed by Stefano Ittar, circa 1768.
"Sicilian Baroque is the distinctive form of "Baroque architecture which evolved on the island of "Sicily, off the southern coast of Italy, in the 17th and 18th centuries. The style is recognizable not only by its typical Baroque curves and flourishes, but also by its grinning "masks and "putti and a particular flamboyance that has given Sicily a unique architectural identity.

The Sicilian Baroque style came to fruition during a major surge of rebuilding following the massive "earthquake in 1693. Previously, the Baroque style had been used on the island in a naïve and "parochial manner, having evolved from "hybrid native architecture rather than being derived from the great Baroque architects of Rome. After the earthquake, local architects, many of them trained in Rome, were given plentiful opportunities to recreate the more sophisticated Baroque architecture that had become popular in mainland Italy; the work of these local architects — and the new genre of architectural "engravings that they pioneered — inspired more local architects to follow their lead. Around 1730, Sicilian architects had developed a confidence in their use of the Baroque style. Their particular interpretation led to further evolution to a personalised and highly localised art form on the island. From the 1780s onwards, the style was gradually replaced by the newly fashionable "neoclassicism.

Featured portrait

""Spanish football player David Villa celebrating after scoring a goal for Atlético de Madrid.
Credit: "Carlos Delgado

"David Villa is a Spanish professional "footballer who plays as a "striker and also serves as "captain for American club "New York City FC. Before transferring to the United States, Villa played for a number of Spanish teams, including "FC Barcelona, with whom he won his first "La Liga and "UEFA Champions League titles, "Valencia CF, and "Atlético de Madrid, shown here after scoring a goal.

Featured picture

""Sami indigenous northern European family in Norway around 1900.
Credit: "Detroit Publishing Co.

A "Sami family in "Norway around 1900. Also known as Lapps, the Sami are among the largest group of "indigenous peoples of Europe, inhabiting "Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of northern "Sweden, "Norway, "Finland and the "Kola Peninsula of "Russia. This image is a "photochrom (a hand-coloured monochrome plate), a common practice at the time.

Featured biography

""George I in the uniform of an Admiral of the Royal Hellenic Navy
"George I (24 December 1845 – 18 March 1913) was "King of "Greece from 1863 until his assassination in 1913.

Originally a "Danish prince, George was born in "Copenhagen, and seemed destined for a career in the "Royal Danish Navy. He was only 17 years old when he was elected king by the "Greek National Assembly, which had deposed the unpopular former king "Otto. His nomination was both suggested and supported by the "Great Powers: the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the "Second French Empire and the "Russian Empire. He married the Russian grand duchess "Olga Constantinovna of Russia, and became the first monarch of a "new Greek dynasty. Two of his sisters, "Alexandra and "Dagmar, married into the British and Russian royal families. "King Edward VII and "Tsar Alexander III were his brothers-in-law and "King George V and "Tsar Nicholas II were his nephews.

George's reign of almost 50 years (the longest in "modern Greek history) was characterized by territorial gains as "Greece established its place in pre-"World War I Europe. Britain ceded the "Ionian Islands peacefully, while "Thessaly was annexed from the "Ottoman Empire after the "Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878). Greece was not always successful in its territorial ambitions; it was defeated in the "Greco-Turkish War (1897). During the "First Balkan War, after Greek troops had captured much of "Greek Macedonia, George was assassinated in "Thessaloniki. Compared to his own long tenure, the reigns of his successors "Constantine, "Alexander, and "George II proved short and insecure.

Featured location

""The Royal Crescent in Bath
"Bath is a "city in the "ceremonial county of "Somerset, England, known for its Roman-built baths. In 2011, the population was 88,859. Bath is in the valley of the "River Avon, 97 miles (156 km) west of "London and 11 miles (18 km) south-east of "Bristol. The city became a "World Heritage Site in 1987.

The city became a "spa with the "Latin name "Aquæ Sulis ("the waters of Sulis") c. AD 60 when the Romans built "baths and a temple in the valley of the River Avon, although "hot springs were known even before then. "Bath Abbey was founded in the 7th century and became a religious centre; the building was rebuilt in the 12th and 16th centuries. In the 17th century, claims were made for the curative properties of water from the springs, and Bath became popular as a "spa town in the "Georgian era. "Georgian architecture, crafted from "Bath stone, includes the "Royal Crescent, "Circus, "Pump Room and "Assembly Rooms where "Beau Nash presided over the city's social life from 1705 until his death in 1761. Many of the streets and squares were laid out by "John Wood, the Elder, and in the 18th century the city became fashionable and the population grew. "Jane Austen lived in Bath in the early 19th century. Further building was undertaken in the 19th century and following the "Bath Blitz in World War II.

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