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World War




The highest bridge in the world (245m tall) is the Millau Viaduct in France, which was opened in 2004.

Today, Europe’s high-speed electric trains. They are very comfortable and they travel at speeds of up to 330 km/h.The longest road tunnel in Europe is the Laerdal tunnel in Norway, between Bergen and Oslo. It is more than 24 km long.The longest railway tunnel in Europe is the Channel Tunnel. It carries Eurostar high-speed trains under the sea between Calais in France and Folkestone in England, and it’s more than 50 km long

Did you know that railways were invented in Europe? It was in England that George Stephenson introduced the first passenger train in 1825. His most famous locomotive was called ‘the Rocket’ and it reached speeds of more than 40km/h.

The fastest ever passenger plane, the Concorde, was designed by a team of French and British engineers. Concorde could fly at 2160 km/h – twice the speed of sound – and could cross the Atlantic in less than three hours!

Two of the longest bridges in Europe are the Oresund rail and road bridge (16 km long) between Denmark and Sweden and the Vasco da Gama road bridge (more than 17 km long) across the Tagus River in Portugal.

GERMANIC Danish Dutch English German Swedish Norwegian

ROMANCE From Latin by Romans French Italian Portuguese Romanian Spanish Aromaniam

SLAVIC Bulgarian Croatian Czech Polish Slovak Slovene Macedonian Kashubian Sorbian

OTHER LANGUAGES Basque Breton Catalan Estonian Finnish Gaelic Greek Hungarian Irish Latvian Lithuanian Maltese Welsh

CLIMATE Most of Europe has a ‘temperate’ climate – neither too hot nor too cold. The coldest places are in the far north and in the high mountains. Coping with the winter Wild animals in cold regions usually have thick fur or feathers to keep them warm, and their coats may be white to camouflage them in the snow. Some spend the winter sleeping to save energy.

CLIMATE The warmest places are in the far south and south-east. The weather is warmest and driest in summer (June to September) and coldest in winter (roughly December to March).

A dance of temperatures and colors. Europe has four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Spring begins on March 20, summer on June 21, autumn on September 22, and winter on December 21. The longest day of the year is June 21, and the shortest is December 21. Here are some fun facts about the seasons in Europe:

  • The word "spring" comes from the Old English word "spryng", which means "to grow".
  • The word "summer" comes from the Old English word "sumor", which means "sun".
  • The word "autumn" comes from the Latin word "autumnus", which means "fruitful".
  • The word "winter" comes from the Old English word "winter", which means "wet season".

THE SEA Europe has thousands and thousands of kilometres of coastline, which nature has shaped in various ways. In Norway, glaciers have carved the coast into steep-sided valleys called fjords.

THE SEA There are tall rocky cliffs and beaches of sand or colourful pebbles formed by the sea as it pounds away at the rocks. In some other countries, the sea and wind pile up the sand into dunes. The highest dune in Europe (117m tall) is the Dune du Pyla, near Arcachon in France.

The people sea. The Mediterranean was so important to the Romans that they called it Mare nostrum: ‘our sea’. Down through the centuries, Europeans have sailed the world’s oceans, discovered the other continents, explored them, traded with them and made their homes there.

GREECE About 4 000 years ago, people began to build cities. At first they were ruled by kings. Later, around 500 BC, the city of Athens introduced ‘democracy’. Democracy is an important European invention that has spread around the world.

ROME EMPIRE Started out as just a village in Italy. But the Romans were very well organised, their army was very good at fighting and they gradually conquered all the lands around the Mediterranean. Eventually the Roman empire stretched all the way from northern England to the Sahara Desert and from the Atlantic to Asia.


  • The Angles and Saxons moved to England andruled it until 1066.
  • The Franks conquered a large part of Europe,including France, between about 500 and 800 AD. Their most famous king was Charlemagne.
  • The Goths (Visigoths and Ostrogoths) set up kingdoms in Spain and Italy.
  • The Vikings lived in Scandinavia. In the 800s and 900s they sailed to other countries, stealing treasure, trading and settling where there was good farmland.

THE NORMANS were Vikings who settled in France (in the area we call Normandy) and then conquered England in 1066.

THE NORMANSThe Slavs settled in many parts of eastern Europe and became the ancestors of today’s Slavic-speaking peoples, including Belorussians, Bulgarians, Croatians, Czechs, Poles, Russians, Serbs, Slovaks, Slovenes and Ukrainians. After the Magyars settled in the Carpathian Basin in the 9th and 10th centuries, they founded the Kingdom of Hungary in the year 1000.

RENAISSANCE During the Middle Ages, most people could not read or write and they knew only what they learnt in church. Only monasteries and universities had copies of the books the ancient Greeks and Romans had written. But students began rediscovering the ancient books. They were amazed at the great ideas and knowledge they found there and the news began to spread.

Wealthy and educated people, in Florence, became very interested. They could afford to buy books and they fell in love with ancient Greece and Rome. They had their homes modelled on Roman palaces, and they paid talented artists and sculptors to decorate them with scenes from Greek and Roman stories, and with statues of gods, heroes and emperors.

INDUSTRY REVOLUTION A new revolution started in Europe about 250 years ago – in the world of ‘industry’. It all began with an energy crisis. For thousands of years, people had been burning wood and charcoal. There was plenty of it in Europe, and miners began digging for it. Coal powered the newly invented steam engines. It could also be roasted and turned into ‘coke’, which is a much cleaner fuel – ideal for making iron and steel.

RENAISSANCE Trade with distant lands was becoming very important for European merchants. It sold goods in India and bringing back valuable spices and precious stones. But travelling overland was difficult and took a long time, so the merchants wanted to reach India by sea. The problem was, Africa was in the way – and it is very big!

So, in 1492, Christopher Columbus and his sailors set out from Spain and crossed the Atlantic. But instead of reaching India they discovered the Bahamas. Other explorers soon followed. In 1497–98, Vasco da Gama – a Portuguese – was the first European to reach India by sailing around Africa. In 1519, another Portuguese explorer – Ferdinand Magellan, working for the King of Spain – led the first European expedition to sail right round the world!

The World War in Europe: A Summary The First World War, unleashed in 1914 and lasting until 1918, was a devastating conflict involving nations around the world. Emerging from a complex web of alliances and tensions, it was fought on multiple fronts, from the trenches of the Western Front to battles on the Eastern Front and conflicts in Africa and Asia. The war introduced deadly new technologies, such as mustard gas and the machine gun, and caused tremendous human suffering with millions of lives lost and lasting geopolitical changes, including the fall of empires and the rise of new powers.

World War II Europe began with Germany's invasion of Poland in 1939. It quickly spread across the continent, with Italy, Japan, and the Soviet Union joining the conflict. The war lasted six years and was characterized by large-scale battles, strategic bombing and the Holocaust. It ended with the defeat of Germany and its allies in 1945.

Peace in Europe after the WW. First World War: - Treaty of Versailles (1919): It imposed harsh conditions on Germany, creating resentment and sowing the seeds of Nazism. - League of Nations: Created to maintain peace, but had no power to prevent World War II. Second World War: - Potsdam Conference (1945): Divided Germany into occupation zones and developed the Marshall Plan for economic recovery. - Treaty of Paris (1951): Officially ended the war with Germany. - Creation of the European Union (1957): A project of economic and political integration to avoid future conflicts.

EU The European Union seeks to promote peace, stability and economic prosperity among its members, promoting political and economic cooperation. Its main objective is to build a united Europe, based on values such as democracy, human rights and the rule of law, promoting economic, social and political integration to improve the quality of life of its citizens and strengthen its position on the global stage.

References European Commission. (2014). Let's Explore Europe!. Publications Office of the European Union. 10.2775/74926

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The EU has made significant progress in all these areas. It has created a single market that is the largest in the world, has contributed to peace and stability in Europe and has been a pioneer in the fight against climate change.

  • Promote the free movement of people, goods, services and capital.
  • Develop a single European market.
  • Strengthen economic and social cohesion.
  • Protect the environment.
  • Fight climate change.
  • Promote democracy and human rights around the world.

Specific EU objectives include: