Continental Europe

Last updated

Extent of the contiguous mainland of Europe, the Continental Europe. Mainland Europe (orthographic projection).svg
Extent of the contiguous mainland of Europe, the Continental Europe.
Europa regina map (Sebastian Munster, 1570), excluding Fennoscandia, Great Britain and Ireland, but including Bulgaria, Scythia, Moscovia and Tartaria; Sicily is clasped by Europe in the form of a Globus cruciger. Europe As A Queen Sebastian Munster 1570.jpg
Europa regina map (Sebastian Munster, 1570), excluding Fennoscandia, Great Britain and Ireland, but including Bulgaria, Scythia, Moscovia and Tartaria ; Sicily is clasped by Europe in the form of a Globus cruciger .

Continental or mainland Europe is the continuous continent of Europe, excluding its surrounding islands. [1] It can also be referred to ambiguously as the European continent – which can conversely mean the whole of Europe – and by Europeans, simply the Continent.

Contents

The most common definition of continental Europe excludes continental islands, encompassing the Greek Islands, Cyprus, Malta, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, the Balearic Islands, Great Britain and Ireland and surrounding islands, Novaya Zemlya and the Nordic archipelago, as well as nearby oceanic islands, including the Canary Islands, Madeira, the Azores, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and Svalbard.

The Scandinavian Peninsula is sometimes also excluded, as even though it is technically part of "mainland Europe", the de facto connections to the rest of the continent are across the Baltic Sea or North Sea (rather than via the lengthy land route that involves travelling to the north of the peninsula where it meets Finland, and then south through north-east Europe).

The old notion of Europe as a cultural and European unification term was centred on core Europe (Kerneuropa), the continental territory of the historical Carolingian Empire, corresponding to modern France, Italy, Germany (or German-speaking Europe) and the Benelux states (historical Austrasia).

Extent of Carolingian Europe Francia 814.svg
Extent of Carolingian Europe

This historical core of "Carolingian Europe" was consciously invoked in the 1950s as the historical ethno-cultural basis for the prospective European integration (see also Multi-speed Europe). [2] [3]

The "core Europe" of the Inner Six signatories of the Treaty of Paris (1951) (shown in blue; the French Fourth Republic shown with Algeria). Inner Six and Outer Seven.svg
The "core Europe" of the Inner Six signatories of the Treaty of Paris (1951) (shown in blue; the French Fourth Republic shown with Algeria).

Use

Great Britain and Ireland

In both Great Britain and Ireland, the Continent is widely and generally used to refer to the mainland of Europe. An apocryphal British newspaper headline supposedly once read, "Fog in Channel; Continent Cut Off". [4] It has also been claimed that this was a regular weather forecast in Britain in the 1930s. [5] In addition, the word Europe itself is also regularly used to mean Europe excluding the islands of Great Britain, Iceland, and Ireland (although the term is often used to refer to the European Union [6] ). The term mainland Europe is also sometimes used. Usage may reflect political or cultural allegiances. Pro-European UK citizens are much less likely to use "Europe" in ways that exclude the UK and Ireland.

Derivatively, the adjective continental refers to the social practices or fashion of continental Europe. Examples include breakfast, topless sunbathing and, historically, long-range driving (before Britain had motorways) often known as Grand Touring.[ citation needed ] Differences include electrical plugs, time zones for the most part, the use of left-hand traffic, and for the United Kingdom, currency and the continued use of imperial units alongside metric.

Britain is physically connected to continental Europe through the undersea Channel Tunnel (the longest undersea tunnel in the world), which accommodates both the Getlink (passenger and vehicle use – vehicle required) and Eurostar (passenger use only) services. These services were established to transport passengers and vehicles through the tunnel on a 24/7 basis between England and continental Europe, while still maintaining passport and immigration control measures on both sides of the tunnel. This route is popular with refugees and migrants seeking to enter the UK. [7]

Scandinavia

Map of the Scandiae islands by Nicolaus Germanus for a 1467 publication of Cosmographia Claudii Ptolomaei Alexandrini. Ptolemaios 1467 Scandinavia.jpg
Map of the Scandiae islands by Nicolaus Germanus for a 1467 publication of Cosmographia Claudii Ptolomaei Alexandrini.

Especially in Germanic studies, continental refers to the European continent excluding the Scandinavian peninsula, Britain, Ireland, and Iceland. The reason for this is that although the Scandinavian peninsula is attached to continental Europe, and accessible via a land route along the 66th parallel north, it is usually reached by sea.

Kontinenten ("the Continent") is a vernacular Swedish expression that refers to the area excluding Sweden, Norway, and Finland but including Denmark (even the Danish archipelago with is technically not a part of continental Europe) and the rest of continental Europe. In Norway, similarly, one speaks about Kontinentet as a separate entity. In Denmark the Jutland is referred to as the mainland and hereby a part of continental Europe.

The Scandinavian peninsula is now connected to the Danish mainland (the Jutland peninsula) by several bridges and tunnels.

Mediterranean and Atlantic islands

The Continent may sometimes refer to the continental part of Italy (excluding Sardinia, Sicily, etc.), the continental part of Spain (excluding the Balearic islands, the Canary Islands, Alboran, etc.), the continental part of France (excluding Corsica, etc.), the continental part of Portugal (excluding the Madeira and Azores islands), or the continental part of Greece (excluding the Ionian Islands, the Aegean Islands, and Crete). The term is used from the perspective of the island residents of each country to describe the continental portion of their country or the continent (or mainland) as a whole.

Continental France is also known as l'Hexagone, "the Hexagon", referring to its approximate shape on a map.

See also

Related Research Articles

Archipelago A group of islands

An archipelago, sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing a small number of scattered islands.

Scandinavia Region in Northern Europe

Scandinavia is a region in Northern Europe, with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties. The term Scandinavia in local usage covers the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. The majority national languages of these three belong to the Scandinavian dialect continuum, and are mutually intelligible North Germanic languages. In English usage, Scandinavia also sometimes refers to the Scandinavian Peninsula, or to the broader region including Finland and Iceland, which is always known locally as the Nordic countries.

Scandinavian Peninsula peninsula in Northern Europe, which covers Norway, Sweden and most of northern Finland

The Scandinavian Peninsula is a peninsula of Eurasia located in Northern Europe, which roughly comprises the mainland of Sweden, the mainland of Norway, and the northwestern area of Finland.

North Germanic languages Branch of Germanic languages spoken predominantly in the Nordic countries

The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages, a sub-family of the Indo-European languages, along with the West Germanic languages and the extinct East Germanic languages. The language group is also referred to as the "Nordic languages", a direct translation of the most common term used among Danish, Faroese, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Swedish scholars and laypeople.

Northern Europe Region of the European continent

Northern Europe is the geographical region in Europe roughly north of the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, which is about 54°N. Narrower definitions may be based on other geographical factors such as climate and ecology. A broader definition would include the area north of the Alps. Countries which are central-western, central or central-eastern are not usually considered part of either Northern or Southern Europe.

Mainland is defined as "relating to or forming the main part of a country or continent, not including the islands around it [regardless of status under territorial jurisdiction by an entity]." The term is often politically, economically and/or demographically more significant than politically associated remote territories, such as exclaves or oceanic islands situated outside the continental shelf.

Baltic region Geographic region in Northern Europe

The terms Baltic region, Baltic Rim countries, and the Baltic Sea countries refer to slightly different combinations of countries in the general area surrounding the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe.

North Jutlandic Island name for the northernmost part of Denmark and of Jutland

The North Jutlandic Island, Vendsyssel-Thy, or simply Jutland north of the Limfjord are lesser-used names for the northernmost part of Denmark and of Jutland. It is more common to refer to the three traditional districts Vendsyssel, Hanherred and Thy. The area was not surrounded by water until a storm in February 1825, which caused a connection between the North Sea and the fjord Limfjorden. Hence it is traditionally regarded as a part of Jutland rather than an island.

The Danes were a North Germanic tribe inhabiting southern Scandinavia, including the area now comprising Denmark proper, and the Scanian provinces of modern southern Sweden, during the Nordic Iron Age and the Viking Age. They founded what became the Kingdom of Denmark. The name of their realm is believed to mean "Danish Field", viz. "the Land of the Danes" in Old Low German, referring to their southern border zone between the Eider and Schlei rivers, known as Danevirke.

Europe is often divided into regions based on geographical, cultural or historical criteria. Many European structures currently exist, some are cultural, economic, or political - examples include the Council of Europe, the European Broadcasting Union with the Eurovision Song Contest, and the European Olympic Committees with the European Games. Several transcontinental countries which border mainland Europe, are often included as belonging to a "wider Europe" including, Russia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Cyprus, Armenia, Greenland, as well as the Special member state territories and the European Union.

Vendsyssel district that makes up most of North Jutland

Vendsyssel is the northernmost traditional district of Denmark and of Jutland. Being divided from mainland Jutland by the Limfjord, it is technically a part of the North Jutlandic Island. Vendsyssel is part of the North Denmark Region.

Geography of Europe description of Europes physical land mass

Europe is traditionally defined as one of seven continents. Physiographically, it is the northwestern peninsula of the larger landmass known as Eurasia ; Asia occupies the eastern bulk of this continuous landmass and all share a common continental shelf. Europe's eastern frontier is delineated by the Ural Mountains in Russia. The southeast boundary with Asia is not universally defined, but the modern definition is generally the Ural River or, less commonly, the Emba River. The boundary continues to the Caspian Sea, the crest of the Caucasus Mountains, and on to the Black Sea. The Bosporus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles conclude the Asian boundary. The Mediterranean Sea to the south separates Europe from Africa. The western boundary is the Atlantic Ocean. Iceland, though on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and nearer to Greenland than mainland Europe, is generally included in Europe for cultural reasons and because it is over twice as close to mainland Europe as mainland North America. There is ongoing debate on where the geographical centre of Europe falls.

Europe is a continent that comprises the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, the Scandinavian Peninsula, Great Britain, Ireland, Iceland and many smaller surrounding islands in the North Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.

UTC+01:00 Identifier for a time offset from UTC of +01:00

UTC+01:00 is an identifier for a time offset from UTC of +01:00. In ISO 8601 the associated time would be written as 2019-02-07T23:28:34+01:00. This time is used in:

Continental Portugal

Continental Portugal or mainland Portugal comprises the bulk of the Portuguese Republic, namely that part on the Iberian Peninsula and so in Continental Europe, having approximately 95% of the total population and 96.6% of the country's land. Mainland Portugal is therefore commonly called by residents of the archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira Portuguese: o continente – the continent in all respects including minor elements of combined governance from Lisbon, the country's capital. Before 1975, when the Portuguese territory also stretched to several now-independent states in Africa, the designation metropolis was also used.

Boundaries between the continents of Earth Global geographic limits

The boundaries between the continents of Earth are generally a matter of geographical convention. Several slightly different conventions are in use. The number of continents is most commonly considered seven but may range as low as four when the Americas and Afro-Eurasia are each considered a single continent. According to the definition of a continent in the strict sense, an island cannot be part of any continent, but by convention and in practice most major islands are associated with a continent.

Continental crustal fragments, partially synonymous with microcontinents, are fragments of continents that have broken off from main continental masses to form distinct islands, often several hundred kilometers from their place of origin. All continents are fragments; the terms "continental fragment" and "microcontinent" are usually restricted to those smaller than Australia, taking Australia conventionally as the smallest continent. They are not known to contain a craton or fragment of a craton. Continental fragments include some seamounts and underwater plateaus.

Continent Very large landmass identified by convention

A continent is one of several very large landmasses. Generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered from largest in area to smallest, they are: Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.

Jutland mainland of Denmark, a peninsula north of Germany

Jutland, also known as the Cimbric or Cimbrian Peninsula, is a peninsula of Northern Europe that forms the continental portion of Denmark and part of northern Germany. The names are derived from the Jutes and the Cimbri, respectively.

References

  1. "Europe". Merriam Webster Dictionary . Archived from the original on April 22, 2014. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  2. Trachtenberg, Marc (2003). Gavin, Francis J.; Gehrz, Christopher; Mahan, Erin (eds.). Between Empire and Alliance: America and Europe During the Cold War. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 67. ISBN   9780742521773.
  3. Hyde-Price, Adrian (2000). Germany and European Order: Enlarging NATO and the EU. Manchester University Press. p. 128. ISBN   9780719054280.
  4. Oakley, Robin (April 19, 2005). "Europe no star as election issue". CNN. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
  5. results, search (September 2, 2009). Sykes, Tom (ed.). Fog in Channel?: Exploring Britain's Relationship with Europe. Shoehorn Publishing. ASIN   1907149066.
  6. Fraser, Douglas (August 15, 2011). "Britain pushes hard choices for Europe's hard core". BBC News.
  7. "France boosts Calais tunnel security". BBC News. July 29, 2015 via www.bbc.co.uk.