Map of Europe / Map of Europe – Facts, Geography, History of Europe
As for Europe, a brief chronological account of its significant events begins in prehistoric times with the emergence of Homo sapiens (first man), some 40,000 years ago.
The earliest inhabitants of the Paleolithic Age, in an effort to survive, banded together into small societies such as bands and subsisted by gathering plants and hunting wild animals.
The practice of cultivating the soil, producing crops and raising livestock began in the Neolithic Age about 9,000 years ago; stone tools were used and people began to live in small groups or villages.
As man continued to travel from east to west through Eurasia (a combination of Asia and Europe) knowledge of tools and new methods of organization arrived; civilizations flourished while metal axes and arrowheads improved survival.
In the 8th century BC, Greece began to emerge from the Dark Ages. Classical Greek culture had a powerful influence on the Roman Empire, which brought a version of it to many parts of the Mediterranean region and northern Europe. In short, Greek culture provided the foundation for modern Western culture.
Among the great civilizations that developed in Europe, the aforementioned Roman Empire certainly had the most lasting influence. During his often tumultuous 500-year period of innovation, he changed the continent and had a deep and lasting influence on the development of modern architecture, language, law and religion.
After its collapse, the Eastern Roman Empire survived (285-1450) as the Byzantine Empire. In Western Europe, a wide range of tribes and tribal alliances held positions of power in the remnants of the ancient Roman Empire; small kingdoms were being established and the geography of Western Europe was about to change.
The Frankish Kingdom was a territory in southeastern Europe inhabited and ruled by the Franks. They would evolve into the Kingdom of France, and parts of it would turn into the Holy Roman Empire, a forerunner of Germany as we know it today.
The Anglo-Saxons quickly crossed (what is now) the English Channel to southern Britain and established a series of kingdoms in what would become the Kingdom of England in AD 927; 100 years later, the kingdoms of Poland and Hungary will also take shape.
The Viking Age in Northern Europe and Scandinavia extended from the late 8th to the mid 13th century. With little interest in acquiring land, the Scandinavian (Nordic) Vikings aggressively explored Europe for trade and wealth. The Vikings also reached Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland and Anatolia (Turkey).
The Normans (a Viking people) gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. Appearing in the first half of the 10th century, they had a significant impact on many parts of Europe, from the Norman conquest of England to southern Italy and Sicily.
At the end of the 15th century, great powers emerged in Europe, with England, France, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain playing a predominant role in world affairs from the 15th century onwards, especially after the beginning of colonialism.
The European colonial period, from the 1500s to the mid-1900s, was the time when the European powers mentioned above established colonies in Asia, Africa and the Americas. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European nations controlled, at various times, the Americas (north and south), most of Africa, Oceania, and much of Asia.
As people yearned for freedom across the world, the European colonial era began to collapse. Specifically, the British Empire, the first truly global empire, began to lose its powers in Africa, India and much of the Middle East, and they quickly collapsed.
World Wars I and II were also detrimental to the continent, as they were largely focused on Europe. The enormous costs of both wars greatly contributed to the decline of Western European dominance in world affairs, and some Eastern European countries have not yet fully recovered.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989 and after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Europe has certainly changed for the better. European cultures and factions quickly integrated, the Council of Europe was formed, and the European Union (EU) flourished in Western Europe.
Today it is safe to say that Europe is a major center of economic and political power. As for its people, this is an innovative, optimistic and resilient group that has changed our world for the better more than once, and they surely will do it again.
Facts about the geography of Europe
For more geographic details, please use the yellow navigation bar at the top of this page. Note that some statistics shown below are in European Russia, although this landmass is geographically considered to be part of Russia, an Asian country.
- The Vatican is the smallest country in Europe
- Germany is the largest country in Europe in terms of population
- The Vatican is the smallest country in Europe in terms of population
- The highest point in Europe is Mount Elbrus in Russia
- The lowest point in Europe is the Caspian Sea bordering Russia
- The highest point in Europe is Mont Blanc in France and Italy
- The lowest point in Europe is Lemmefjord in Denmark
(If European Russian is excluded, the higher and lower statistics shown below apply to mainland Western Europe)
Notes on geography of Europe
The Russian landmass west of the Urals Mountains is commonly referred to as European Russia in most educational atlases and by the vast majority of geography experts. It is not a separate country, but rather so called due to its long-term political, cultural and geographic merger with neighboring European countries. For reference purposes, it is stated above, however, the whole country (as a whole) is still considered to be part of the Asian continent.
European Russia is approximately 3,960,000 km² (1,528,560 square miles) and covers approximately 40% of Europe. Its eastern border is defined by the Ural Mountains and to the south it is defined by the border with Kazakhstan. Note that nearly 77% of the entire Russian population (approximately 110,000,000 people out of an approximate total Russian population of 141,000,000) live in European Russia.
Links to daily updated European news.
- Famous native sons and daughters of Europe
- Facts and figures about Europe, capitals and currency
- Flags of European countries
- Land statistics in Europe, highest and lowest points
- Reliefs, lakes, mountains and rivers of Europe
- Europe latitude, longitude and relative locations
- Europe connects the main attractions and points of interest
- Maps of Europe, outline, political and topographic
- Symbols, coat of arms and flags of Europe
- European time zones and current times
- Chronology of events and history of Europe
- European travel information, air fares, cruises and train journeys
- Weather forecast and current conditions in Europe
Europe is the 6th largest continent on the planet AND includes 47 countries and various dependencies, islands and territories. The recognized area of Europe covers approximately 9,938,000 km² (3,837,083 mi²) or 2% of the Earth’s surface, and approximately 6.8% of its area.
In demanding geographical definitions, Europe is really not a continent, but a part of the Eurasian peninsula which includes all of Europe and Asia. However, it is still widely referred to as an individual continent.
The European continent, bordered by numerous bodies of water, is separated from Asia by the roller coaster of the Urals and by the Caspian and Black Seas. It is separated from Africa by the Mediterranean Sea.
European Topographic Map
A topographic map highlights the hills, mountains and valleys of a specific land area by exaggerated shading rather than using contour lines. In this image, although small in size, one can easily see the mountainous areas of Norway and Spain. For a better view of the mountains and topography of Central Europe, check out the map below.
Topographic map of Europe (Central Europe)
On this larger slice of a European topographic map, you can clearly see the main rivers of Central Europe, as well as the Alps that flow through Austria and Switzerland. Note the Apennine chain that stretches across Italy. Specific details on a wide variety of European landforms can be found on this page.
Blank Map of Europe
Political map of europe
Political maps are designed to show the government boundaries of countries, states, and counties, the location of major cities, and they typically include significant bodies of water. Like the European political map above, bright colors are often used to help the user find borders. A larger version of this map here.
Map of rivers of Europe
Hundreds of rivers and their tributaries cross the European continent. Here we highlight those over 600 miles long, and a few more of note. Specific details on these rivers can be found here.
Facts of the world
Useful information about populations and more that is updated weekly.