Europe, the cradle of Western culture, left its mark in the world like no other cultural region, not least through its brute colonialism and a dominance in technological developments in recent centuries. Between the 17th and 20th centuries, European countries controlled at various times the Americas, most of Africa, and large parts of Asia. This peculiar history and the extremely complex cultural flows that ensued over the centuries produced the manifold continent we know today.
About 50 countries and more than 700 million people are packed into the second smallest of the world's continents. The names of many of these places conjure images of splendour. The beauty of Italy's Venice, the romance of Germany's Heidelberg, the joy of Hungary's Budapest, the sophistication of Sweden's Stockholm, or the elegance of France's Paris - all are counted among Europe's multifold marvels.
What the common European heritage exactly entails is very complicated. Europe could be described as a series of overlapping cultures, with many unique cultural mixes existing across the continent. Europeans strive in numerous ways to honour this heritage of their different peoples. There is also Europe's famed vibrant cultural scene, which is more richly diverse than virtually anywhere else in the world - and Europe celebrates that fact.
Europe - an evocative name, but at the same time a varied continent that most people cannot fathom in its complexity. We offer you the chance to unravel Europe for yourself. Embark on cultural explorations that will carry you through time and space into European countries. This perspective allows you to appreciate both the similarities and the differences among European cultures. You will appreciate the interconnectivity of what may seem like separate cultures and histories.
Pack your bags. Europe is expecting you!