Category Archives: Europe

English Channel: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the English Channel.

  • The English Channel is the body of water that separates the south coast of England from the north coast of France.
  • It is one of the busiest shipping areas in the world.
  • It covers about 75,000 square km and stretches for about 560 km. At its narrowest point, the Straits of Dover, a distance of only 33 km separates England and France.
  • The Channel Islands belong to the UK, although are less than 50 km from the French coast. The islands were occupied by the Germans during World War II.
  • The deepest point in the English Channel is north of Guernsey, at about 180 metres. Many weapons from the two world wars have been dumped there, including poison gas shells.
  • The first passenger ferry crossed the English Channel in 1821.
  • In 1995, a hovercraft carrying cars crossed the channel in just over 22 minutes, the fastest ever hovercraft crossing.
  • Captain Matthew Webb made the first solo swim across the English Channel in 1875, taking 21 hours, 45 minutes. He battled strong currents and was stung by jellyfish.
  • In 1988 an 11 year old boy swam the Channel in just under 12 hours. A 70 year old Australian swam across the Channel in 2014, taking just under 13 hours.
  • A French aviator, Louis Bleriot was the first person to fly across the English Channel in 1909. Bleriot did it in 37 minutes and won 1,000 pounds for his achievement.
  • The Channel Tunnel was opened in 1994 and has the longest portion under the sea of any tunnel. Plans for a tunnel under the channel were announced as far back as 1802.
  • The so-called Miracle of Dunkirk took place off the French coast in summer, 1940. Hundreds of battleships, tugs and fishing boats rescued over 338,000 Allied troops from the French beaches.

Bosnia-Herzegovina: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Bosnia-Herzegovina. Bosnia-Herzegovina is a small country in southeast Europe, created when Yugoslavia split up into several countries. It covers about 51,000 square km and has a population of 3.8 million. Bosnia-Herzegovina was ruled by the Ottoman Empire from the 15th to the 19th centuries. After World War I, it became… Continue Reading

Cyprus: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Cyprus. Cyprus is an island country in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, with a population of about 1.2 million. It is the most populous island in the Mediterranean, and the third largest. About 40 percent of the island is under Turkish control, but is not officially recognized by most countries. The… Continue Reading

Montenegro: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Montenegro. Montenegro is one of the smallest countries in Europe, covering just less than 14,000 square km. It has a population of about 648,000 and borders Croatia, Albania, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The country’s name translates as Black Mountain, from when forests covered it during medieval times. Map makers often have… Continue Reading

Ireland: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Ireland. Ireland, or the Republic of Ireland, is an island country and part of the British Isles. It is in the North Atlantic, separated from the United Kingdom by the Irish Sea. About 15 percent of the island is occupied by Northern Ireland, which is a part of the United Kingdom.… Continue Reading

Northern Cyprus: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Northern Cyprus. Northern Cyprus is the name given to that part of the island of Cyprus occupied by Turkey. Turkey occupied the northern part of the island in 1974, following an invasion. Almost no other country recognizes Northern Cyprus as its own country. Ongoing attempts by Northern Cyprus and the… Continue Reading

Greece: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Greece. Greece is located in southeast Europe, at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa. It covers an area of 132,000 square km and is bordered by Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey. It is considered to be the birthplace of western civilization. Greek states in 800 and 700 BC developed… Continue Reading

The Netherlands: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the Netherlands. The Netherlands is a small country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium and Germany. Almost 20 percent of the country’s land has been reclaimed from the sea, and much of it is below sea level. The Netherlands has a population of about 17 million, but covers only about… Continue Reading

Italy: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Italy. Italy, often described as shaped like a boot, is a country in southern Europe. It covers about 301,000 square km and is bordered by France, Austria, Switzerland and Slovenia. With a population of about 61 million, it is the 5th most populous European country. It is known for its… Continue Reading

Slovakia: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Slovakia. Slovakia has a population of 5 million and is located in the heart of Europe. It covers 49,000 square km and borders Austria, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine and the Czech Republic. During the 9th century, Slovakia became part of Moravia and later part of Hungary, then the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After… Continue Reading