European culture is the root of Western civilisation, which traces its lineage back to ancient Greece and ancient Rome.   The fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 CE and the related Migration Period marked the end of Europe's ancient history, and the beginning of the Middle Ages.   The Renaissance began in Florence and spread to the rest of the continent, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, exploration, art, and science which contributed to the beginning of the modern era.   Since the Age of Discovery, led by Spain and Portugal, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs with multiple explorations and conquests around the world.   Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers colonised at various times the Americas, almost all of Africa and Oceania, and the majority of Asia.

The Age of Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and the Napoleonic Wars shaped the continent culturally, politically 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, cultural and social change in Western Europe and eventually the wider world.   Both world wars began and were fought to a great extent 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, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

The European Union and the Council of Europe are two important international organisations aiming to represent the European continent on a political level.   The Council of Europe was founded in 1948 with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals and prevent future wars.   Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, a separate supranational political entity based on a system of European law 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.   A majority of its members have adopted a common currency, the euro, and participate in the European single market and a customs union.   A large bloc of countries, the Schengen Area, have also abolished internal border and immigration controls.   Regular popular elections take place every five years within the EU; they are considered to be the second largest democratic elections in the world after India.

Europe makes up the western fifth of the Eurasian landmass.   It has a higher ratio of coast to landmass than any other continent or subcontinent.   Its maritime borders consist of the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean, Black and Caspian Seas to the south.   Land relief in Europe shows great variation within relatively small areas.   The southern regions are more mountainous, while moving north the terrain descends from the high Alps, Pyrenees and Carpathians, through hilly uplands, into broad, low northern plains, which are vast in the east.   This extended lowland is known as the Great European Plain and at its heart lies the North German Plain.   An arc of uplands also exists along the north-western seaboard, which begins in the western parts of the islands of Britain and Ireland, and then continues along the mountainous, fjord-cut spine of Norway.

The geology of Europe is hugely varied and complex and gives rise to the wide variety of landscapes found across the continent, from the Scottish Highlands to the rolling plains of Hungary.[244] Europe's most significant feature is the dichotomy between highland and mountainous Southern Europe and a vast, partially underwater, northern plain ranging from Ireland in the west to the Ural Mountains in the east. These two halves are separated by the mountain chains of the Pyrenees and Alps/Carpathians. The northern plains are delimited in the west by the Scandinavian Mountains and the mountainous parts of the British Isles. Major shallow water bodies submerging parts of the northern plains are the Celtic Sea, the North Sea, the Baltic Sea complex and Barents Sea.

The European countries are: Russia, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, Czech Republic, Sweden, Portuga, Hungary, Belarus, Austria, Switzerland, Serbia, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Slovakia, Ireland, Croatia, Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lithuania, Albania, Moldova, Slovenia, Macedonia, Latvia, Kosovo, Estonia, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Malta, Iceland, Andorra, Faroe Islands, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Gibraltar, San Marino, and Vatican City.

Alesund        Norway

Amsterdam        Netherlands

Antwerp        Belgium

Arhus        Denmark

Athens        Greece

Barcelona        Spain

Basel        Switzerland

Batumi        Georgia

Benicassim        Spain

Benidorm        Spain

Bergen        Norway

Berlin        Germany

Bialystok        Poland

Bilbao        Spain

Birmingham        United Kingdon

Bodo        Norway

Bologna        Italy

Bonn        Germany

Bratislava        Slovakia

Brno        Czech Republic

Brussels        Belgium

Cardiff        United Kingdom

Chisinau        Spain

Cluj Napoca        Romania

Copenhagan        Denmark

Cullera        Spain

Donetsk        Ukraine

Dordrecht        Netherlands

Dortmund        Germany

Dresden        Germany

Dublin        Ireland

Edinburgh        Great Britain

Essen        Germany

Florence        Italy

Frankfurt        Germany

Gdansk        Poland

Gibraltar        United Kingdom

Genova        Italy

Glasgow        United Kingdom

Gothenburg        Sweden

Hamburg        Germany

Hannover        Germany

Kakanj        Bosnia & Herzegovina

Katowice        Poland

Kharkiv        Ukraine

Kyiv        Ukraine

Leipzig        Germany

Liege        Belgium

Limassol        Cyprus

Lisbon        Portugal

Liverpool        Great Britain

Ljubljana        Slovenia

Luxembourg City        Luxebmourg

Luzern        Switzerland

Lyon        France

Madrid        Spain

Malmo        Sweden

Malaga        Spain

Manchester        United Kingdom

Mannheim        Germany

Marbella        Spain

Marseille        France

Milan        Italy

Minsk        Belarus

Monaco        Monaco

Nantes        France

Naples        Italy

Nice        France

Nicosia        Cyprus

Odessa        Ukraine

Oslo        Norway

Paris        France

Podgorica        Montenegro

Porto        Portugal

Portsmouth        United Kingdom

Poznan        Poland

Prishtina        Kosovo

Resita        Romania

Reykjavik        Iceland

Riga        Latvia

Rome        Italy

Rotterdam        Netherlands

Rzeszow        Poland

Sarajevo        Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sheffield        Great Britain

Sint Truiden        Belgium

Sofia        Bulgaria

Split        Croatia

Stavenger        Norway

Stockholm        Sweden

Stuttgart        Germany

Suhl        Germany

Tallinn        Estonia

Tampere        Finland

Tbilisi        Georgia

The Hague        Netherlands

Timisoara        Romania

Tirana        Albania

Utrecht        Netherlands

Vaduz        Liechtenstein

Valencia        Spain

Valleta        Malta

Vatican City        Italy

Velenje        Slovenia

Venice        Italy

Verona        Italy

Vienna        Austria

Vigo        Spain

Vilnius        Lithuania

Warsaw        Poland

Wroclaw        Poland

Yalta        Ukraine

Yerevan        Armenia

Zagreb        Croatia

Zurich        Switzerland