Category: Europe

Geography of the Netherlands

Geography of the Netherlands

Located between 50°80′ and 52°30′ north latitude; 3°20′ and 7°10′ East. They are washed from the north and west by the waters of the North Sea. The length of the coastline is 451 km. They border on Belgium in the south and Germany in the east. The territory of the Netherlands includes the West Frisian Islands. Almost the entire territory of the Netherlands is a low-lying plain; The very word “Netherlands” means “low lands”. 2/3 of the territory is located at an altitude of up to 1 m above sea level; 1/3 is below this level (the lowest point is the Zuid Plaspolder – by 7 m) and only 2% of the territory is above 50 m (the highest point is Faalsberg – 322.5 m). There is a constant threat of flooding of low-lying areas during surges of the North Sea during storms. As a result of a catastrophic flood in 1282, the Zuider Zee was formed. Forests cover 7.6% of the country’s territory, mostly in the form of groves. Presented oak, beech, hornbeam, ash. The mouths of the Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt converging on the territory of the Netherlands form a vast common navigable delta. After the construction of a dam on the Zuider Zee, its southern part turned into a freshwater lake IJsselmeer, most of which is drained into fertile land – polders. In the forests there are squirrel, hare, marten, polecat, roe deer. Approximately 180 species of birds are found in the Netherlands; protected areas for mass wintering of waterfowl (geese, waders, gulls, etc.) have been created in the river delta. The North Sea is rich in fish – cod, herring. Among minerals is natural gas (explored reserves of 2 billion m3, 1st place in Western Europe). Oil is being produced on the Dutch part of the continental shelf. According to, there is coal, clay. The climate is mild maritime. The average temperature in January is -1-3 C°, in July +16-17 C°.

Population of the Netherlands

In terms of population, the Netherlands is the largest of the small Western European countries. 1st place in Western Europe and 3rd in the world in terms of population density: 393 people/km2, and in some areas – up to 850 people/km2. During 1980-2002, the population increased by 2.01 million people; annual growth in 2002 0.55%. High growth was determined by the characteristics of the natural movement of the population. The birth rate in the Netherlands, as in all developed countries, is low (2002 – 1.1‰); but mortality is at a low level (0.8‰). Child mortality 0.4 pers. per 1000 newborns, the average life expectancy is 78.6 years (men – 75.7 years, women – 81.6 years). The age structure is characterized by a tendency towards aging. In 2001, the proportion of people aged 0-14 years was 18.3%, 65 years and older was 13.9%. Retirement age: 65 for men, 60 for women. The ratio of men and women, practically unchanged since 1980, is 49.5:51.5. 82% of the population lives in cities, most of them live in the Randstad industrial, commercial and transport agglomeration, which includes Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Delft and Utrecht. In the 1980s-90s. immigration increased markedly in the Netherlands. Annual migration increase 0.25% (2002). Among the immigrants are people from Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles (12%), from Asia (22%) and from Africa (16%). The national composition of the population is very homogeneous. The vast majority (83%) are the Dutch and the Flemings, who are very close to them in terms of language and culture (in the provinces of Limburg and Brabant). In the north, in the provinces of Groningen and Friesland, a small Frisians (400 thousand people) live. 9% of the inhabitants are of non-European origin. Among the believing population there are 31% Catholics, 21% Protestants, 4.4% Muslims, and 3.6% others.

Geography of the Netherlands

Turkey Travel Guide

Turkey Travel Guide

First aid kit.
Before the trip, form and take a first aid kit with you, which will help you with minor ailments, save you time looking for medicines and get rid of the problems of communicating in a foreign language. In addition, many medicines may have different names in different countries.

We recommend taking with you:
– Painkillers and cardiovascular drugs;
– remedies for indigestion;
– choleretic;
– preparations against motion sickness in transport;
– remedies for insect bites;
– dressing material;
– waterproof adhesive plaster;
– barrier contraceptives;
– eye drops;
– Sun protection and skin care after sun exposure. In the first days of rest, we strongly recommend the use of these funds.

On April 16, 2011, the visa regime between Russia and Turkey was cancelled. According to the new rules, citizens of the Russian Federation can enter Turkey without a visa for a stay of up to 60 days.

Time coincides with Moscow.

The monetary unit of Turkey is the Turkish lira. The exchange rate is unstable, at the moment 1 $ = 6.50 TRY. Money can be imported in US dollars, euros or rubles, they are accepted in almost all exchange offices. You can exchange currency at exchange offices and banks. Bank branches are usually open on weekdays from 8:30 to 17 hours. Break – from 12:00 to 13:30.

There is no hourly work schedule in shops; during the tourist season, many shops are open until late at night.
It is customary to bargain in small shops and markets, you can bargain in large wholesale centers for the sale of leather and jewelry, as well as with taxi drivers.

All medical care in Turkey is paid, but if you have an insurance policy, the service is free of charge or with subsequent reimbursement of expenses according to the insurance policy (see the memo attached to the insurance policy). In the event of an insured event, you must contact the insurance company by phone numbers indicated in the insurance policy. Only with the direct notification of the insurance company and coordination by it of your actions will free (or with subsequent reimbursement of expenses) service be provided. If you plan to engage in extreme activities in Turkey, then take out a special insurance policy.

Mains voltage 220 V.

A car can only be rented if you have a driver’s license. All cars are insured with Casco. The minimum rental period is one day, mileage is not limited. Make sure the car is fully insured, including headlights and glass. Gasoline is bought independently. In the event of an accident, do not move the car until the arrival of the police. The police may not speak Russian or English and you will not be able to explain your version of the event, you must immediately inform the company where the car was rented and the representative of the host company about what happened. Don’t forget to bring your driver’s license, passport and car rental documents with you, as police checks are possible.

99% of the local population are Muslims.

The most popular purchases in Turkey are amulets against the evil eye, carpets (carpets are sold at every step, but you should buy only with a specialist – it is difficult to determine the quality yourself), ceramics (all kinds of cups and plates, vases, boxes and even painted cats and dogs), sweets (baklava of all varieties, Turkish delight, rose petal jam, marzipan, dried fruits and nuts), all kinds of spices, tea and tea set (not only black or green, but also apple, orange and berry. These, as well as other tea blends, are sold by weight in the bazaars, where you can choose your favorite flavor (they drink tea from interesting small tulip-shaped cups), jewelry (jewelry in Turkey is cheap and varied. It is worth paying attention to brooches in the form of flowers and birds.


You can take out of Russia without a bank certificate up to $ 10,000 per person. If you are exporting more than USD 10,000 per person, then you must have bank documents with you.
At the Turkish airport, be sure to include all electronic equipment, antiques and jewelry on the declaration (their presence can be checked upon departure). Duty-free import is allowed: 400 cigarettes, or 50 pieces of cigars, or 200 grams of tobacco, 5 (1000 ml each) or 7 (700 ml each) bottles of alcoholic beverages, of which no more than 3 can be of the same variety, cologne – 2 liters in uncorked bottles, perfume – 1 liter in uncorked bottles, gifts worth no more than $ 500, food within the limits of personal needs. The import of drugs, medicines containing a large dose of narcotic substances and weapons is prohibited.

Telephone communication in Turkey is very good and relatively inexpensive. You can call from the hotel, but it is more expensive than from the post office. You can buy a blue phone card for “100 units” and call the CIS from any street machine. It is better to buy cards at the post office or in large supermarkets. Post offices are open from 08:30 to 17:30, telephone call centers – until midnight. Mail identification marks – black on yellow PTT.
Cellular communication works great in Turkey. For calls to local numbers (for example, a guide in the city), it makes sense for mobile phone owners to buy a local SIM card for a few dollars, which justifies itself instantly.
You can contact Russia by +7 code, area code, subscriber’s phone number.
To call Turkey, dial + 10 90, area code.

The bus is the most popular means of communication within Turkey. The average ticket price in the city is 2.5-3 Turkish lira (0.5 US dollars). Taxi – the average cost for 1 km is 1.5 US dollars (payment by taximeter). At night (GECE) – from 24:00 to 6:00 there is a double tariff. Shuttle taxis operate from 06:00 am to 24:00 pm with a fixed fare. In small towns such as Belek, traffic ends at about 20:00 .

The tip system applies to waiters in bars and restaurants, maids in hotels, porters, guides. Tipping is optional, but if the customer is satisfied with the service, tipping is a sign of good taste. Almost always, the average tip is 10% of the bill. However, in expensive restaurants it is customary to leave up to 20%. In hotels, in taxis, they do not give tea, but the meter readings are rounded up.

for drinking it is recommended to use mineral water, which can be purchased in shops and bars of the hotel;
– we recommend storing jewelry, money and documents in a safe located in the room or in a safe at the reception desk;
– it is recommended to hand over the room key to the hotel reception. If the key is lost, the hotel administration should be notified immediately.

If you have any questions during your stay in Turkey, please contact our host, whose phone numbers are indicated in the voucher and information letter Police – 155 Info for tourists – 154 Ambulance – 112

Turkey Travel Guide

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

Venice has many faces, like a mirage emerging from the shining sea surface, its outlines change – either flashing in the sun with the multi-colored facades of ancient buildings, or disappearing in clouds of fog. The unbridled fun of the carnival and the colorful kaleidoscope of costumes and masks that reign in San Marco, Piazzetta and the Schiavoni embankment fall silent in the narrow streets in the depths of Venice. And then, only the echoes of rare steps and a dull splash of water in the canals immerse you in the mysterious and unreal world of this amazing city, covered with legends of bygone times. The names of many great creators are associated with Venice, including Casanova and Dante, Titian and Tintoretto, Vivaldi and Albinoni, Marco Polo and Byron, Shakespeare and Pushkin, Gogol and Tolstoy, Dumas and Hemingway. “I recognize, Venice, your genius, I find in everything a living object for new feelings and new thoughts… ”- Lord Byron wrote at the beginning of the 19th century. Centuries pass, epochs change, but the extraordinary aura of this magical city continues to amaze with the novelty of feelings, thoughts and sensations.

Geography and location
Venice is a unique city in northern Italy, in the Veneto region, and a port on the Adriatic Sea. The historical center of the city is located on 118 islands of the Venetian lagoon, separated by 150 canals and channels, through which about 400 bridges are thrown. The population of Venice is 279.4 thousand people, and the city is divided into 6 districts: San Marco, Cannaregio, Castello, Dorsoduro, San Polo, Santa Croce

Climate The
climate of Venice is mild, subtropical: cool in winter and very warm in summer. The average daily temperature in January is +2.5°C, and in July +22.7°C. At the same time, the air has high humidity, and there are often thunderstorms with heavy rains. During sea tides (here they are called “aqua alta” – “high water”), the lowest part of Venice, located in the area of ​​Piazza San Marco, is covered with water.

The city got its name from the name of the ancient Veneti tribe, who inhabited the Northern Adriatic in the second half of the 2nd millennium BC. e. They say that Venice appeared from the foam of the sea in 421, and exactly at noon. However, according to history, an urban settlement on the islands of the Venetian lagoon began to be created in the second half of the 6th century. Initially, the center of the settlement was on the islands of Malamocco and Torcello, but from the 8th century. moved to modern location. In 697, the power of a doge elected for life (head of state, from Italian doge) was established in Venice. In total, 120 doges were elected in the entire history of the city – the last, Lodovico Manin, abdicated in 1797 when Venice was conquered by Napoleon. In 1805, Venice passed into the Italian kingdom of Napoleon, and in 1815 became part of the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom, owned by Austria. In 1866, Austria ceded Veneto to France, which in turn annexed it to the new Italian kingdom. Today Venice is a unique monument of architecture, history, culture and art, and therefore the city and the Venetian Lagoon are included in the World Heritage List.

Venice Carnival (Carnevale di Venezia)

Every year, about two weeks before Ash Wednesday (the day of the beginning of Lent in the Catholic Church), a grandiose action begins in Venice, which attracts tens of thousands of tourists from all over the world – the annual Venice Festival. The roots of the Venetian carnival originate in the ancient Roman festivals in honor of the god Saturn – the annual Saturnalia, held annually after the harvest. During the celebrations, both slaves and masters mixed up in the crowd and general mass celebrations, and in order to hide belonging to different social classes, the participants in the celebrations put on masks.
The first mention of the Venetian carnival dates back to 1094 AD. e. Masks and costumes became the main attribute of the carnival, but masks were allowed to be worn only during the celebration, otherwise severe punishments were applied. At the beginning of the XIX century. interest in the carnival began to subside, but in the 1970s the Italian government decided to revive the tradition of the annual Venetian carnival. Today, the carnival has regained its former scope and brilliance. Carnival begins with an old feast in honor of the release of Venetian girls kidnapped by Spanish pirates. Comedy performances are staged in St. Mark’s Square, and then an impressive carnival procession follows. Throughout Venice, during the days of the carnival, concerts, performances in the style of commedia dell’arte, costume performances are held, and balls are held in magnificent palaces-palazzos.

Venice Film Festival

No less striking and world-famous annual event is the Venice Film Festival. One of the oldest in the world, founded in 1932 on the initiative of the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, the film festival has been held annually on the island of Lido since 1934. The main prize of the Venice Film Festival is the Golden Lion, and based on the results of all sections of the festival, the Luigi Di Prize is also awarded Laurentis. Among the numerous laureates of the Venice Film Festival there are many representatives of the cinema of our country. So, only in the new millennium, prizes were received by: the films “Return” by Andrei Zvyagintsev (“Golden Lion” 2003), “Paper Soldier” by Alexei German Jr. (“Silver Lion” 2008), “Clown” by Irina Evteeva and “Oil” by Rustam Ibragimbekov (“Silver Lion” 2002 and 2003),

Venice, Italy

Switzerland Literature in French and Italian

Switzerland Literature in French and Italian

French language literature

The first eminent personalities of French-speaking Swiss literature also belong to the eighteenth century, but the most notable writers for their philosophical interests (EL de Muralt, J.-. J. Burlamaqui, J.-J. Rousseau), or scientific (C . Bonnet, HB de Saussure) rather belong, by right, to the more general European culture. It is remarkable that the most salient feature of French-speaking Swiss literature continues to be, even in the following period, the attention to problems relating to man, and therefore the broad problematic (economic, philosophical, moral) present not only in the greatest theorists of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries ( de Staël, B. Constant, Sismondi), but also in the following A. Vinet, AE Cherbuliez, V. de Gasparin, C. Sécrétan, Madame de Pressensé, J.-É. Naville with his son H.-A. Naville, philosopher and epistemologist, É. Rod, and most recently D. de Rougemont. M. Monnier and his son Philippe deserve a separate mention for the extensive attention devoted to the social and cultural problems of Italy, the linguist F. de Saussure, the psychologist J. Piaget. ● Another strand of French-speaking Swiss culture is that of criticism and non-fiction, in which, in addition to the aforementioned Monnier and É. Rod, must be reported: P. Godet ; P. Seippel; L. Dumur, co-founder of the Mercure de France ; E. Gilliard, founder in Lausanne, together with the art critic P. Budry, the poet and writer CF Ramuz and others, of the innovators Cahiers vaudois (1914-19); M. Raymond ; A. Béguin, founder in 1941 of the Cahiers du Rhône; G. Poulet, J. Rousset, J. Starobinski, exponents of the Geneva School. If not much authentically Swiss is found in several of the writers cited, as indeed in HF Amiel and B. Cendrars, who were among the most eminent figures expressed by the culture of the country, respectively in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, there are numerous writers who have decidedly oriented themselves towards French and cosmopolitan culture: V. Cherbuliez ; G. de Pourtalès; the poet CA Cingria, animator of the Geneva magazine La voile latine (1904-10); R. de Traz, founder with J. Chenevière of the Revue de Genève; the novelist and playwright A. Cohen, born in Greece but naturalized Swiss; G. Haldas, poet, essayist, translator of U. Saba and author of autobiographical stories; G. Piroué. Worthy of interest, however, is a whole rich production more intimately circumscribed to the natural and social environment of Switzerland. Among the poets, especially J. Olivier, founder of the Revue suisse (1838-61); the symbolist H. Spiess; PH Matthey; G. Roud, translator of F. Hölderlin and Novalis; E.-H. Crisinel; and again G. Trolliet, M. Chappaz, P. Jacottet, translator of G. Leopardi and G. Ungaretti. In fiction, in addition to R. Toepffer, the aforementioned Godet and Monnier, and P. Girard, also author of poetic collections, the aforementioned Ramuz stands out above all, in whose stories the eternal struggle between man and nature is reflected. In the footsteps of Ramuz are C.-F. Landry, M. Zermatten, G. Borgeaud, J.-P. Monnier, J. Chessex, poet, novelist, essayist, as well as founder in 1964 of the magazine Écriture. ● In the literary panorama of the 20th century. the production of some writers occupies an important place: M. Saint-Hélier, author of two cycles of novels constructed with an elaborate associative technique and long monologues; C. Colomb (pseudonym of M.-L. Reymond), in whose work the nouveau roman is prefigured; A. Rivaz (pseudonym of A. Golay), attentive to the problem of the female condition; CS Bille, novelist and poet; the feminist A. Cuneo; TO THE. Grobéty, which moves in the line of N. Sarraute. Among the playwrights we remember: F. Chavannes; R. Morax, founder of the Théâtre du Jorat (1903); the aforementioned Ramuz, whose Histoire du soldat (1918) was set to music by I. Stravinskij, and Cohen; B. Liègme; W. Weideli; M. Viala. Also worth noting: the novelist J. Mercanton; the poet J. Cuttat; the poet and essayist M. Eigeldinger; the narrator and playwright R. Pinget ; Y. Velan, animator of the dedicated magazine Rencontre (Lausanne, 1950-53); the surrealist poets A. Voisard (next to R. Char) and V. Godel; the novelist and essayist E. Barilier.

Italian language literature

In the Italian China, the Grisons gave a modest development to the dialectal literature; the Canton of Ticino, which maintained its spiritual adherence to Italian origins constant, had, starting from the 16th century, prestigious writers such as the humanist F. Cicereio, the polygraph P. Gaudenzi, the poet GB Riva, and F. Soave, popularizer of the sensory theories and teacher of A. Manzoni. ● But it was only in the 19th century, with the achievement of the constitutional reform (1830) and the awareness of its historical function, that the Canton of Ticino experienced a political-cultural awakening and produced its own substantial literature. From China Franscini drew impulse a thriving tradition of historical studies, fueled by P. Peri and later by A. Manzoni, A. Pioda, B. Bertoni, found in E. Motta its most accomplished representative. Of great importance is the work of the Dante artist GA Scartazzini and the linguist C. Salvioni. The awakening is also observed in the purely literary field, where among theater authors such as A. Pedrazzini, and storytellers such as G. Anastasi, attentive to local political struggles, A. Nessi, linked to the Milanese Scapigliatura, and many others, stand out, in the twentieth century, the figures of the poet and lyric narrator F. Chiesa, by G. Galgari, vigorous novelist and essayist, founder and director (1941-62) of the Italian-speaking Switzerland magazine, and by G. Zoppi, cantor of the mountain world. The verses permeated with religious spirit by V. Abbondio are also inspired by nature. ● In the middle of the 20th century, we can distinguish, among the poets, G. Orelli who moves in the area of ​​postermeticism, A. Pedrali, P. Martini, A. Casé, also known as the narrator. Writers such as A. Jenni, T. Poma, F. Filippini, also active as a painter, G. Bonalumi move between fiction and non-fiction. In fiction, we mention Giovanni Orelli, Giorgio’s cousin and novelist of undoubted originality, sensitive to socio-political issues, the writers A. Ceresa, A. Felder, F. Jaeggy, and again, witnesses of a local reality whose marginality they experience with a strong sense of belonging, E. Pedretti, A. Alberti, A. Nessi, C. Nembrini, A. Buletti. In non-fiction, alongside G. Fasani, also appreciated as a poet, and P. Fontana, we remember above all G. Pozzi, a European literary critic.

Switzerland Literature in French and Italian

Popular Destinations in Turkey

Popular Destinations in Turkey


Each Turkish resort is beautiful in its own way. Kusadasi, which means “bird island”, is deservedly called the pearl of the Aegean Sea. Today it would be more appropriate to call Kusadasi a tourist island. That is why our company has been offering holidays in this resort in Turkey for many years.

For detailed information, see the file “Useful information on Turkey”.

The main attraction of the city is Guverdzhin (Pigeon Island), on which stands the Genoese fortress. At dusk, illuminated by colorful lights, it sparkles and beckons you like a precious decoration lying on the transparent mirror of the bay. The cleanest beaches invite you to relax by the sea, and the modern equipped harbor is attractive for yachtsmen. You should definitely visit the Aqua Park and, of course, do not forget to look into the Caravanserai. Nowadays, it has become a hotel and restaurant offering a spectacular performance called “Turkish Night”. Nightlife lovers are waiting for discos and nightclubs. And of course, the city’s shopping centers will not leave anyone indifferent, because due to the proximity to the industrial Izmir, here you can inexpensively buy not only souvenirs, but also high-quality industrial goods (clothes, shoes, etc.).
However, tourists from all over the world go to Kusadasi not only for the sea, sun and relaxation. From here it is equally easy to get to places whose names we remember from the time of school – Ephesus and Miletus, Didyma and Priene, Aphrodisias and Hierapolis.


Marmaris is famous for having the longest promenade among Turkish resorts – about four kilometers, with restaurants, cafes, clubs 15-20 meters from the water. It goes continuously from the huge marina for yachts to the mountain that separates Marmaris from Icmeler.
Even Istanbul with a population of 15 million and the Bosphorus does not have such a long embankment.

On this very embankment you can find a bar or a restaurant to your liking, they go there in a row wall to wall and all are deployed towards the sea. Cuisine – for every taste – both local and European, and sea and vegetarian.

Here, an attraction not for the faint of heart, which is called the ejection seat, rises to the evening sky. ejection seat. On pillars as high as a 15-story building, a ball made of pipes is suspended on rubber cables, in which a double chair is held. Two wishing to fasten themselves to the chairs and the ball is shot up, i.e. you ejected from a combat aircraft. With a friend, if she serves in the same unit.
At the same time, the chair rotates terribly in all directions and flies up and down on rubber cables for a long time, until it loses all energy and goes down, having previously shaken out all the brains, the contents of the stomach and bladder from the volunteers. Most of all, the crowd of onlookers is crazy, which listens to the heart-rending, obscene cries of the pilots, synchronized with the movement of the catapult, and looks at the changing expressions of their faces on the big screen.

Since the sea in Marmaris comes right to the bars and restaurants, you can always take a break from dancing and swim, especially since the depth is gradually gaining there, and there are no big waves due to the fact that the bay is separated from the sea by an island.
And all this against the backdrop of a beautiful sea bay, where Admiral Nelson led his squadron 200 years ago. Whether before the battle of Aboukir, or before a quarrel with Lady Hamilton. Some historians believe that the storm of the seas refused to comply with the order of the command to return his squadron to the Balearic Islands, not because of Emma Hamilton, but because of the taverns on the Marmaris embankment.

Marmaris was built on the ancient site of Picos, a city whose creation dates back to 3500 BC. In ancient times, Marmaris was a fishing village. Marmaris was ruled by many peoples, among which were the Egyptians, Ionians, Dorians, Romans, and in 1425 it became part of the Ottoman Empire.

There are still traces of the reign of the Ottoman Suleiman the Magnificent in the city. Suleiman the Magnificent during the campaign of Rodian built a castle here – the Caravanserai of the 16th century, which today houses the archaeological museum of Marmaris. Here Suleiman gathered 200,000 warriors to attack and besiege Rhodes in 1522. The Agha Abraham Mosque dating back to 1789 is also worth a visit.

Marmaris is famous for its natural beauty, mountains clad in pine groves and a fantastic coastline full of small cozy coves.

The Phosforlu sea cave is very close. It is very convenient to go on excursions from Marmaris to other resorts in Turkey, for example, to Bodrum, Kaunos and Fethiye.

One of the favorite tourist attractions is Ataturk Park – one of the most beautiful parks in Turkey. It is located to the east of Marmaris. Ataturk is filled with incense and other dizzying scents.


The Uludag resort, located 35 km from the famous Bursa, the first capital of the Ottoman Empire, has long been well-deserved fame among lovers of winter holidays. First-class hotels, excellent service, developed infrastructure, mineral springs, magnificent nature, all this attracts vacationers.

A distinctive feature of Uludag is that here almost every hotel has its own lifts, the cost of using which is included in the price. But this does not mean that other lifts will be closed to you. For lifts that do not belong to your hotel, payment is made for each lift at the lower station. You can purchase a subscription for several lifts or days.

In winter, Uludag is an excellent ski resort, and in summer there is a great opportunity for picnics, hiking and cycling tours through the Turkish National Park. The ski season here is 120 days a year. The most favorable period for rest is from December 20 to March 20. At the beginning of the winter season in these places there is fine dry snow, and at the end – wet.

Both beginners and experienced skiers will find slopes to their taste here. Kids here for the first time get up on skis under the supervision of experienced instructors.


Palandoken – the youngest ski resort in Turkey – is located near the border with Armenia, 6 km from Erzurum. Palandoken is suitable for skiers of different skill levels.
Palandoken is the official training camp site for the Turkish Alpine Ski Team.
The skiing season is from October to May. The best time is from December 10 to May 10.
The highest point is 3176 m. The ski area is from 2200 to 3176 m. The elevation difference is 976 m.
40 km of slopes: blue slopes – 7, red slopes – 8, black slopes – 2. The longest route is 11 km. 7 lifts, the throughput of which is 6,300 people per hour. 2 children’s lifts.
Heli-ski. There are slopes for snow skiing.
Hire, qualified ski instructors.
For snowboarders, there are tracks in the resort, for the development of which it is not a pity to spend 2-3 days. After that, you can get out to the virgin lands. Snow-covered couloirs in the gorges and slopes away from the ski lifts are completely at the disposal of snowboarders.

Popular Destinations in Turkey

Italy Rivers and Lakes

Italy Rivers and Lakes

Italy is a southern European state, corresponding to one of the best identified European natural regions, given the clarity of the maritime and land borders: the Alpine chain, with which it connects to central Europe (from W to E: France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia). As a natural region, between the Alpine watershed and the three seas (Adriatic, Ionian and Ligurian-Tyrrhenian) that surround it, the Italy (with the islands lying on its continental shelf) has an area of ​​just over 300,000 km 2. Some continental regions (Canton Ticino, Istria), island regions (Corsica) and two autonomous states (San Marino and Vatican City) included in these limits are not part of the Italian state.

The Latin name Italia is of Oscan origin (Viteliu). The ancients derived it from that of an enotrio prince, Italo, or put it in relation with Lat. vitulus “calf”. According to modern scholars, Italy would mean “land of the Itali” and the Itali would have been an Italic population whose totem was the calf. The name initially designated (Ecateo) the southern extremity of Calabria; later (Herodotus) it extended to Metaponto and Taranto; then, in the 3rd century. BC, to Campania; shortly after, to the whole peninsula south of the Arno and Esino rivers and finally to the Alpine chain (Polybius and Cato). The official sanction of the name came with Octavian in 42 BC; the administrative union of the islands with Diocletian (Italian diocese). The geographical meaning of the name has always remained in use ever since, beyond the historical-political events.

The rich Italian hydrography involves a vast underground network, thanks to the great extension of limestone formations and coarse floods that feed mostly perennial streams.

Many lakes are scattered throughout the territory, especially in the summit areas of the Alpine mountains (circus lakes, generally small), in the pre-Alpine area (glacial excavated lakes, including Lake Garda, the largest of Italy), in the regions of recent volcanism (crater lakes), in the coastal strips characterized by dune strings (coastal lakes).

Italian rivers convey an average of 155 billion minto the sea every year of which 31% belongs to the Po system, 32% to the other Adriatic rivers, 26% to the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian ones, just 4% to the Ionian ones and 7% to the rivers of the islands. The glacial and nival regimes, typical of the watercourses fed by the melting of glaciers and the snowpack, have maximum flow rates in the summer months and minimum rates in winter; the fluvial regime, in the rivers that originate below the persistent snow limit, has flows conditioned by the rainfall regime. There is also a series of mixed regimes, regulated not only by rainfall but by the existence or otherwise of lakes, as well as by the possible presence of limestone rocks, which release rainwater even in periods of absence of rainfall.

The Po, the largest Italian river, is 652 km long and has a basin of about 70,000 km, collecting the waters of a large part of the internal side of the Alps and the external one of the Northern Apennines; its average flow, not far from the mouth, is estimated at 1460 m 3/ s; the amount of sediment that leads to the sea is abundant and has built a delta of considerable size. The slope of the bed, in a large part of the Po valley, is modest; 150 km from the mouth the river is only 2 m above sea level, in Pavia it already has a level higher than that of the plain, and from here it is dammed up to the mouth, where the elevation reaches 6 m. The second Italian river is the Adige, analogous to the Po for the hanging bed, the embankments, the sudden floods in autumn. The rivers of the Adriatic-Ionian side have a short course, modest extension of the basin, accentuated summer lean, conspicuous contribution of solid materials. The tributary rivers of the Tyrrhenian Sea often have longitudinal trunks, connected by intermontane basins or by cross sections, so they are characterized by a longer course and a more extensive basin. Typical are the Arno and the Tiber. The streams of Sicily, Sardinia and Calabria depend on rainfall, so they have conspicuous floods in winter and low summer temperatures; some are completely dry in summer, such as the Calabrian and Sicilian ‘rivers’, with a very wide and pebbled riverbed, due to the violent floods that occur as a result of rainfall.

Italy Rivers and Lakes

General Characteristics of the New Russian Economy

General Characteristics of the New Russian Economy

After the collapse of the USSR, it was easy to predict that a prolonged economic crisis would hit its successor states. First of all because the productive system of the USSR, whose bankruptcy management had worsened in the spiral of the arms race, was already in crisis – even if certain statistical devices, combined with the scarce power of control on the part of public opinion, limited the evidence of such a crisis – to the point of generating the need for perestroika (restructuring) in the last and most enlightened leader Gorbachev Soviet (1985). Secondly, because the transition from one system to another made a transition phase inevitable, in which the “plan” ceased to function before the “market” came into operation.

The latest data, or rather the latest evaluations, on the consistency of the gross national product per capita in Russia speak of 3,220 US dollars in 1991, a figure that would place the country in a slightly higher position than that of the major Latin countries. Americans (Brazil, Mexico and Argentina were around 2800-2900), but very far from that of Western European countries (mostly between 16,000 and 24,000 dollars per capita). The external debt would amount to 80 billion dollars in 1993, which is the fourth most important in the world after Mexico, Brazil and Indonesia. The composition of the active population (1992) is now close to that typical of Western countries, having greatly reduced the rate of agricultural workers (less than 15%) and also that of industry (formerly dominant and now slightly higher than 40%), and that of the tertiary sector (45%) is relatively inflated. But if from 1991-92, the last few years valid for reasonable international comparisons, we turn to internal data compared over time precisely in the years of transition, we find: negative growth rates starting from 1990; a decline in net material product (aggregate comparable to our gross domestic product) of order of 50% between 1991 and 1994 (with a downward stroke especially in 1992); a decline in industrial production of almost the same extent over the same period. At the same time, very strong inflation occurred, which devalued the purchasing power of the ruble by about 300 times between 1990 and early 1993, mainly due to the large public deficit and the carefree use of currency issuance and easy-to-credit credit. part of the Central Bank; this financial crisis continued in 1994 with a sharp surge in October. There is also the unprecedented phenomenon of the flight of Russian capital abroad. The only reassuring fact is that relating to the unemployment rate, which would not have exceeded 2% (1992).

Against the backdrop of this economic situation, a process of economic reforms developed in the early 1990s clearly aimed at transforming the planned and command economy into a market economy, but equally clearly uncertain and contradictory as to methods, times and methods. limits of this transformation. The process began in the years 1989-90, therefore still in the Soviet age, but the “ long march towards the market ”, as it is officially defined, developed above all from 1991 onwards, between strokes of the accelerator (e.g. liberalization of trade, which has greatly reduced the traditional shortage of goods in shops, and opening up to foreign capital) and slowdowns, particularly frequent after the elections at the end of 1993 (freezing of some prices, subsidies and credits to state-owned enterprises). The privatization of small enterprises, especially commercial ones, does not encounter particular obstacles, while that of large enterprises, substantially transformed into joint stock companies (1992-93), is slowly being achieved through traditional systems, of a corporate nature (facilitated sale to cooperatives of managers and employees), but also with courageously innovative methods (free distribution to all citizens of vouchers – worth 10,000 rubles 1992 per person – that can be used for the purchase of shares). There was no lack of deep distrust on the part of citizens; and strong resistance, especially in the broad environment of managers and officials of the public economy, particularly robust in the sector of collective and state agricultural enterprises; despite this, by mid-1993 there were already 200,000 farms and 60. 000 companies (commercial, artisanal and industrial) passed from the public sector to that of cooperatives and private individuals. The employment figures confirm this: public sector employees, who were 91% of the total in 1985, represented 68% of the workforce employed in 1992.

On a more strictly territorial level, the new Russian economy seems to develop in a promising way especially where free economic zones have been established, such as in St. Petersburg, a city close to the West in many senses (another could arise in Kaliningrad also on the Baltic) and on the island of Sahalin, which benefits from the proximity of Japan. Western countries, individually (especially Germany) or through international economic organizations, have in effect openly encouraged the process of transformation of the Russian economy, stimulating it with financial aid conditional on the implementation of reforms; the appropriateness and effectiveness of such aids are also under discussion.

New Russian Economy

Greece Literature

Greece Literature

During the Eighties, the training of those writers initially grouped under the term ” post-war generation ” was completed; writers thus identified according to a biographical criterion that highlights the experiences of the resistance and above all of the civil war (1946-49). The traumas caused by the latter and the consequent contrasts between a culture inspired by Soviet Marxism and a culture that relied on pro-American nationalism guide thematic choices on a creative level, while on a critical level they hinder the application of unitary and persuasive criteria.

The writers of the 1950s struggled to gain their own space in publishing and printing, firmly controlled by the writers of the 1930s, and encountered considerable difficulty in winning recognition; but they themselves were unconvincing in giving a critical interpretation of their aspirations. Inaccurate labels such as ” poetry of the resistance ”, or ” of post-surrealism ”, with relative pigeonholing, which accompanied the activity of these writers for a couple of decades, could not promote any clarification regarding their programs. and their works.

Poetry.- Without underestimating intermediate positions, by age and by assumptions, of poets such as Greece Thémelis (1900-1976), Greece Gheralís (b.1917), A. Diktéos (1919-1980), T. Varvitsiotis (b.1916), K. Athanassùlis (1916-1979), A. Dekavales (b.1920), the tendencies that most clearly differ from past experiences are those of M. Sachturis, T. Sinòpulos, D. Papadhitsas, M. Anagnostakis, N. Karusos, T. Patrikios. Nonetheless, it is necessary to specify that even these younger poets, compared to those mentioned above, have not had the opportunity to implement sensational innovations, not because of their intrinsic inability, but because the previous generation, to which they are inevitably opposed, had made its own, living them in first person, the great changes of the century: the use of free verse, the weakening of logical connections, free association in image formation, surrealistic practices. The most persuasive results were obtained by poets who channeled their emotionality into the monological discourse, favoring dramatic movements and reducing the use of figures.

Sinòpulos (1917-1981) already in Μεταίχμιο (“Between two fronts”, 1951) shows to put aside the lyrical genre and to focus on the dramatic; M. Sachturis (b. 1919) reassembles familiar objects in such a way as to bring out their monstrosity; D. Papadhitsas (1922-1987) reaches abstract insights through everyday experiences; M. Anagnostakis (b. 1925) takes on a provocatively prosaic tone to challenge ” well-being ” and the politics of compromises; T. Patrikios (b. 1928), a militant poet in communism, followed a more varied research, without losing sight of the intentions of art. A case in itself constitutes N. Karusos (1926-1990) for the reference to the Christian faith.

Storytelling.- Equally numerous are the narrators of marked individuality. Some of them were initially inspired by the theme of the civil war. It is noteworthy that these writers, rather than pouring their burning experiences into a book of testimony, built novels based on a narrative character that allowed games of a more complex and captivating psychological perspective. In this sense, A. Kotziàs (b. 1926), N. Kàsdaglis (b. 1927), A. Franghiàs (b. 1921) are cited. Evidence of advanced technical writing has also been provided by less assiduous novelists, such as K. Tachtsìs (1927-1988), author of Τὸ τϱίτο στεϕάνι (“The third wedding”, 1962) or like A. Alexandru (1922-1978), author of the political fictional novel Τὸ ϰιβώτιο (“La cassa”, 1975). L’ insistence on civil issues rewarded R. Rufos (1924-1972), who gave his best in the historical novel Γϱαιϰύλοι (“Greculi”, 1967). On the international level, the best known narrator still remains V. Vassilikòs (b.1933), some works of which have also been translated into Italian (see App. IV, iii, p. 797). Also worth mentioning are: M. Kumantarèas (b.1933), Greece Ioannu (1927-1984), Th. Valtinòs (b.1932), D. Chatzìs (1913-1981), narrators who in various ways have delivered novels and tales of classic precision.

Numerous new writers appeared in the 1970s. In common with the precedents they have the bitter experience of the military dictatorship (1967-74). The impossibility of taking an active part in the youth movements of 1968 does not prevent them from assuming attitudes of protest. Poets reject paternalism, institutions, denounce consumerism. However, the improved conditions of life assure young people a more accurate culture, a more secure mastery of the means of expression. Some authors correspond to as many distinct cases in the research of poetry: L. Pùlios (b.1944), V. Steriadis (b.1947), Greece Kontòs (b.1943), M. Pratikakis (b.1943), D Kalokiris (b. 1948), who supports his peers also through magazines and series, S. Bekatoros (b. 1946), T. Mastoraki (b. 1949), A. Fostieris (b. 1953).

The narrative proposes a broader theme, with a preference for the monological discourse of an invented character, as in the works of F. Drakondaidìs and Greece Ghiatromanolakis (born 1940) as well as the resourceful writer M. Duka (b. 1947). There is no shortage of narrators who trust in autobiographical evocation in a simple and vibrant style, such as T. Kazantzìs, S. Papadimitrìu and D. Nolas.

The young people who made their debut in the eighties continue and deepen the themes and methods already established in the seventies, without attempting new literary experiences. This understanding, already clear in the programmatic anthology Γϱαϕή 1980-85 (“Scripture 1980-85”, 1986), is confirmed by poets such as Greece Varveris (b. 1955), Greece Kakulidis (b. 1956), K. Ghimosulis (b. 1960), and by narrators such as V. Raptòpulos (b. 1959), A. Sfakianakis (b. 1958), D. Tatsòpulos (b. 1959).

Greece Literature

Federal Republic of Germany Financial Organization

Federal Republic of Germany Financial Organization

The past decade has seen substantial changes in German financial structures. Immediately after the 1948 monetary reform (see below: History) various special bodies (in part already operating under the Third Reich) were established, with the allied consent, which the state then used to provide financial assistance to the steel and coal industries, construction activities, shipbuilding, agriculture, etc. In November 1948, the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau was created, with capital from American aid and funds granted by the central bank, in order to grant medium and long-term loans to economic enterprises in general. At the beginning of 1949 a similar institution was created: the Industriekreditbank, with activity limited only to industrial companies. In the following year two other institutions began to operate: the Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank for credit to agricultural activities and related industries; the Deutsche Genossenschaftskasse for the Cooperation Credit. In the first months of 1952, the financing of exports was entrusted to a new entity: Ausfuhrkredit AG, operating with funds drawn mainly from the central bank.

Through the Allied Banking Commission, the occupation authorities retained some supervisory and regulatory power over Bank Deutscher Länder until the spring of 1952, by which time the Commission was dissolved. With 1 August 1957, the central banking system, which included the Bank Deutscher Länder and the central banks of the nine federal districts (Länder) plus that of Berlin, was centralized in a single institution: the Deutsche Bundesbank. The original capital of the Deutsche Bundesbank was fixed at DM 290 million and transferred into ownership to the federal government. The independence of the Bundesbank from state directives is expressly established in art. 12 of the institutive law. However, it is obliged to “support the general economic policy of the government”,

On a functional level, the new provisions have legally sanctioned and clarified without the possibility of further evasion the practice previously followed by public authorities to deposit their cash reserves with the central bank, leaving, however, the latter the faculty to allow the funds to otherwise they are invested rather than deposited. Furthermore, the financial relations with the state and public administrations have been regulated by establishing the total amount of credits that the Bundesbank can allow them. Finally, the operational possibilities of the new central institution have been widened in correspondence with an expansion of the financial maneuver that it can carry out: through the purchase and sale of all kinds of public securities (short and long-term,

With the centralization of the central bank, the central banks that previously operated in the various Länder have ceased to have a separate legal personality and are now the headquarters of the new central body. However, they have partly retained their autonomy (for certain transactions with public bodies and banks in their respective regions) and have their own board of directors (Vorstände). At the center, monetary and credit policy directives are entrusted to the Zentralbankrat (made up of the various head office directors and members of the central administration), while their execution is reserved to the Direktorium, without prejudice to the competences of the regional councils.

Currently, the German banking system includes over 13,000 units of all kinds, including commercial banks (351), savings banks (857), building credit institutions (47), agricultural credit (10,784), industrial credit (757). In the credit sector, the three large commercial banks (Deutsche Bank, Dresdner Bank and Commerzbank) occupy a prominent position, which together have a volume of outstanding loans greater than half of the total. Immediately after the war, the aforementioned banks were split into 30 distinct institutions. In 1952 these were again grouped into nine units. The integration process was carried out in 1958 through the concentration in Commerzbank of the banking institutions that were originally part of the group,

On the occasion of the general devaluation of the currencies, which took place in September 1949 following the adjustment of the sterling exchange rate, the German mark was also devalued, moreover to a lesser extent than that of the majority of the other countries (by 20.6%, compared to 30, 5). From then on, the official parity of the mark remained unchanged at DM 4.20 to one US dollar. Since December 1958 the exchange has been free to float within the limits of 0.75% around the parity level. After the declaration of convertibility by various OEEC countries in December 1958, Germany almost completely abolished the currency restrictions in force. On January 12, 1959, the German mark, like the US dollar, the Canadian dollar and the Swiss franc, was declared fully convertible.

German Democratic Republic. – In October 1951 the Deutsche Notenbank, created in July 1948, was declared the State Bank of the German Democratic Republic. Its powers “to actively support economic planning with the means of monetary and credit policy” are particularly extensive. The Deutsche Notenbank has (since January 1952) the functions of general organ of control of the entire economic process (of production, of the movement of business and of the observance of economic plans). It also collects and pays the turnover of all nationalized companies. In the context of the economic plans established by the special planning commission, it represents, alongside the Deutsche Bauerbank and the savings banks.

Federal Republic of Germany Financial Organization

Spain History – The First Christian States Part 8

Spain History – The First Christian States Part 8

According to, the limits of the respective conquests in eastern and southern Spain were fixed by the agreements of Cazola (Cazorla?) And Almizra concluded between Aragon and Castile respectively in 1179 and 1244, for which Murcia and its kingdom were closed to the Aragonese conquest., and therefore also the surviving Muslim monarchy of Grenada. Navarre was the sacrificed; García Ramírez managed to preserve the integrity of the state from the pressure of the neighboring sovereigns; but during the reign of Sancho VII the agreement of Cazola, establishing the Sierra del Moncayo as the borders of Castile and Aragon, closed forever the southern route to Navarre, which could save only Tudela from the hands of Aragon; and in vain Sancho VII moved to the rescue by allying himself with the Muslims, whose help he had asked for by going personally to Morocco: then the domain of Alfonso VIII of Castile and León became Alava (1200), while Guipúzcoa and Vizcaya had long since entered the Castilian sphere of influence. Indeed, Navarre did not lose its independence because in the last years of his life Sancho VII made an agreement with James I of Aragon, by which the two sovereigns mutually committed themselves to recognize each other as heirs of the state. of the other. And if, on the other hand, upon the death of the sovereign, Theobald son of Theobald of Champagne and White sister of the deceased ascended the throne, Navarre withdrew from the political life of Spain and entrusted the protection of its freedom to the discords that separated Aragon and Castile, always in dispute for its possession, and for the protection of the French monarchy, interested in preventing a powerful state from appearing on that dangerous stretch of its border: the end of the disagreements between the two major peninsular states and their even temporary triumph over the French monarchy will coincide with the decline of the independence of its Spanish part.

Finally, as regards the relations between Catalonia united with Aragon and southern France, the period of the greatest Catalan-Aragonese expansion beyond the Pyrenees coincided with the reign of Peter II. Ramón Berenguer IV had already intervened in the affairs of Provence during his nephew’s minor age the end of the disagreements between the two major peninsular states and their even temporary triumph over the French monarchy will coincide with the decline of the independence of its Spanish part. Finally, as regards the relations between Catalonia united with Aragon and southern France, the period of the greatest Catalan-Aragonese expansion beyond the Pyrenees coincided with the reign of Peter II. Ramón Berenguer IV had already intervened in the affairs of Provence during his nephew’s minor age the end of the disagreements between the two major peninsular states and their even temporary triumph over the French monarchy will coincide with the decline of the independence of its Spanish part. Finally, as regards the relations between Catalonia united with Aragon and southern France, the period of the greatest Catalan-Aragonese expansion beyond the Pyrenees coincided with the reign of Peter II. Ramón Berenguer IV had already intervened in the affairs of Provence during his nephew’s minor ageex fratreRamón Berenguer III, who had had that county from his father; renewing the traditional conflict of his family and with the help of various feudatars of southern France and Henry II of England (1159), he had defended him from the attacks of the Count of Toulouse and his allies De Baux, and had succeeded in making him have the investiture of the county by Federico Barbarossa together with that of Arles and Forcalquier. Then, his son Alfonso II had inherited Provence from his cousin, who died at the siege of Nice; supported by the King of England, he had once again repelled the assaults of the Count of Toulouse; and his vassals had become the lords of Bearn (1170), of Bigorra (1175), of Nîmes, of Béziers, of Carcassonne (1179). With Peter II further steps were taken: by marrying Mary of Montpellier he secured the inheritance of his dominions; he was always next to his brother Alfonso who had had Provence from his father; he obtained the friendship of the count of Comminges and ceded the Aran valley to him as a fief (1201); even the Count of Toulouse Raymond VI became his ally and brother-in-law, so that it seemed close to implementing the political unity of the country under the scepter of the Aragonese. But instead the king was overwhelmed by the crusade against the Albigensians; and, after having tried in vain a lasting agreement with Simon of Montfort, he was beaten and killed at Muret on 12 September 1213. His defeat marked the end of the Catalan-Aragonese dominance in southern France, to the benefit of the French monarchy; and the liquidation of the previous imperialism of his state was provided by James I of Aragon, who with the treaty of Corbeil in 1258 ceded all his rights in the region to Louis IX, except Montpellier which he had from his mother. But, in exchange, from the Capetian he had the renunciation of all the rights that he could have boasted over the Catalan counties as the successor of Charlemagne, and then, in confirmation of the treaty, a few years later, he obtained that the French crown prince Philip marry his daughter Isabella. In this way, after centuries of disputes involving the regions of uncertain dominion located on both sides of the Pyrenees, Catalonia began to clearly separate from France. And in this regard it should be added that, not even Alfonso VIII having managed to occupy the Duchy of Gascony, dowry of his wife Leonor Plantageneta (1204-06), the Pyrenean chain also became the border of Castile.

Spain History - The First Christian States Part 8

Spain History – The First Christian States Part 7

Spain History – The First Christian States Part 7

According to, Alfonso IX of León reconquered Cáceres (1227) and took possession of Mérida and Badajoz; and at the same time Ferdinand III of Castile occupied Andújar and other places near Cordoba. And when this latter sovereign also had the crown of León, with united forces, in agreement with James I of Aragon and with the help of the religious orders of Calatrava and Alcántara, he conquered Truijllo, Montiel, Medellín, Alhange, Magacela (1232-35), in July 1233 he took Ubeda, on June 29 1236 he capitulated Cordova, in 1241 he made the king of Murcia his vassal and occupied almost the whole state; in 1244-45 he went as far as Granada and the following year he obtained from his king Jaén, a tribute and promises, kept, aid in its further ventures; in 1247 he conquered Carmona; on 23 November 1248 he forced Seville to open its doors to him, and spent the last years of his life in Andalusia, where he took Jerex, Medina Sidonia, Lebrija, Arcos, Rota, Santa María del Puerto, Sanlúcar, going as far as Cadiz. At the same time, James I of Aragon in September 1229 landed on the island of Majorca and on the last day of the year he entered Palma; in 1232 he made the Muslims of Menorca tributary; in 1235 he obtained Iviza, while other successes brought him back to the kingdom of Valenza, where he and his followers occupied Ares, Morella (1232), Burriana, Peñiscola (1233), Alzamora (1234) and reached the Júcar; then, giving himself all to the conquest of this kingdom, he forced his capital to surrender on 28 September 1238 and completed its occupation in 1245, when seized Játiva, Alcira, Biar; finally, he granted his help to Alfonso X, son of Ferdinand III, when the kingdom of Murcia rose up against Castile, of which he was a tributary, and for his ally he conquered Elche, Alicante, Murcia (1266).

Finally, in the same epoch the various Christian states decided or saw their future decided, perfecting in this respect the work of reorganization already begun in previous years. And, moreover, the particular development that each of the states gave to the reconquest and that we have indicated, must be considered precisely as one of the expressions and consequences of the direction gradually assumed by their life; the others were the division among the various monarchies of the territories previously restored to Christianity, the definitive territorial delimitation of Spain, which had its border in the Pyrenees, and, for some states, the determination of the direction that their expansion beyond of the seas. In the complex process of clarification, with respect to the previous arrangement, negative elements were the separation of Navarre from Aragon, the confirmed independence of Portugal and, temporarily, the division between the kingdom of León and the kingdom of Castile; on the other hand, a positive element was the union between Aragon and the Catalan states, which put an end to their peninsular disputes, allowed them to gather all their energies in an attempt to strengthen their expansion in southern France, to which previously they had targeted each one on its own; with Aragon it gave security, strength, markets for its trade to Catalonia all reaching out towards the Mediterranean, and with Catalonia it ensured an outlet on the Mediterranean to Aragon, removed from the ocean due to its separation from Navarre: so that when the French monarchy pushed back the Catalans and the Aragonese beyond the Pyrenees, they were able to give another direction to their activity and regain with usury what they had lost. During the government of Alfonso VII of León and Castile the direction of the peninsular political life of the Spanish Catholic states was centered in the hands of that king, to the benefit of his monarchy. Renewing the policy of his grandfather Alfonso VI with more success, on the death of Alfonso I of Aragon he occupied Tarazona, Daroca, Calatayud, Zaragoza (1134); and if he then returned this city to Ramiro II (1136) for the intervention of the counts of Urgel and Barcelona interested in preventing Zaragoza from becoming Castilian to free himself the way to Lérida and the Ebro, nevertheless he obtained that Ramón Berenguer IV pay homage; moreover, together with the king of France, the attempts made by the new prince of Aragon to force the monarch of Navarre to return some frontier territories that had been attributed to himself in the separation were in vain; forced Affonso Henriques of Portugal to come to terms, and he saw recognized by all the princes his superiority as emperor of Spain “. But at his death the dispute resumed with great fury and with a rich variety of alliances and wars between the various states, made even more intricate by the continuous conflict between Castile and León. Through long struggles with León, Portugal came to fix its northern border; and, if on the eastern border it could not secure the dominion of Badajoz, more south in 1263 confirmed the possession of the Algarve.

Spain History - The First Christian States Part 7

Spain History – The First Christian States Part 6

Spain History – The First Christian States Part 6

Then the situation cleared up completely between the second half of the twelfth century and the first of the thirteenth. Undoubtedly, in this period there was a new territorial division. On the death of Alfonso I of Aragon (1134), Navarre did not want Ramiro II as sovereign and, having returned independent, it gave itself to García Ramírez (1134-50) nephew of Sancho IV, who was succeeded by his son Sancho VI and Sabio (1150-94) and his nephew ex filio Sancho VII el Fuerte(1194-1234). Alfonso VII of Castile and León in 1157 left his dominions divided between his sons, giving Castile to Sancho III (1157-58), who was succeeded by Alfonso VIII (1158-1214), Henry I (1214-17) and his sister Berenguela, second wife of Alfonso IX of Leon, and Leon to Ferdinand II (1157-88) who was succeeded by Alfonso IX (1188-1230). Finally, taking advantage of the civil struggles that broke out at the time of Urraca and in which he had a notable part, the county of Portugal, located between the Miño and the Duero, which Alfonso VI of León and Castile had already made great strides towards independence. given to his daughter Teresa, married to Henry of Lorraine, and whom their son Affonso Henriques (1128-85) had transformed into a kingdom after winning the Muslims at Ourique (1139); now with Sancho I (1185-1211) and with Alfonso II (1211-1223) the state independence had its definitive confirmation. However, an event of great importance in the history of Spain, with the marriage between Petronila of Aragon and Ramón Berenguer IV of Barcelona in 1137 (date of the marriage promise and abdication of Ramiro II) the Catalan-Aragonese monarchy actually originated; to which, later, during the reigns of Alfonso II (1162-96), Pedro II (1196-1213) and James Iel Conquistador (1213-76), the counties of Roussillon (1172), of Pallás (1198), of Urgel (1230) passed. And then the two crowns of León and Castile joined again, and forever, on the head of Ferdinand III el Santo (1217-52), son of Berenguela of Castile and Alfonso IX of León. Who became king of Castile in 1217 for the abdication of his mother in his favor and after having won the opposition of his father, still aspiring to the throne and in his attempts to conquer aided by a part of the nobility, which was definitively won in 1219; and in 1230, on the death of Alfonso IX, he also received the crown of León, through the renunciation of the heirs designated by the monarch.

According to, as for the war of reconquest, in the early days the Christian advance towards the South was made slower by the offensive of the Almohads and then by the wars that broke out between the various Catholic states and within some of them, and in which they took part. even the Africans. In fact, even the great feat of Almeria carried out by Alfonso VII with the help of troops from Aragon, Catalonia, Urgel, commanded by Ramón Berenguer IV, García Ramírez and the Count of Urgel Ermengol VI el de did not have lasting results. Castella, and with the help of Pisan and Genoese ships: the city was conquered and sacked (1147), but after a few years it fell into the power of the Almohads (1158). Thus, the great conquests made by Portugal during the reign of Affonso Henriques, who had taken possession of Santarem, of Lisbon (1147), of Alcácer (1158), of Évora, of Beja (1159) and had crushed the power of the Muslims of Badajoz, were mostly lost during the government of Sancho I. Alfonso VII of León and Castile had to limit himself to making continuous incursions into Andalusia, very daring, but almost completely ineffective: Cordova, which he occupied twice, returned to the domain of the Almohads; against the latter useless were his agreements with some kingdoms of Taifas; and in vain he besieged Jaén (1151) and Guadix (1152). During the short reign of Sancho III of Castile there was only the opposition in Calatrava to the Muslim attacks by some Cistercian monks, thus starting the military order of Calatrava. And when Alfonso VIII of Castile, having come of age, was able to take over the government of the state and put an end to the civil wars that broke out in the kingdom during his minority, if he managed to conquer Cuenca with the Aragonese rescue (1177), moreover, left to himself by Alfonso IX of León and by Sancho VI of Navarre who had promised him help, and launched an attack too lightly, he was beaten at Alarcos (18 June 1195) and saw Toledo and Cuenca besieged by the Almohads. The reconquest made notable progress only in the eastern regions. Here he conquered Tortosa (1148); then yes he took possession of Lérida (1149), of Fraga, of Mequinenza again, finally of the castle of Ciurana (1153), whose conquest ensured him the dominion of the Sierra de Prades and freed all future Catalonia from Muslim domination. And his son Alfonso II moved against the kingdom of Valencia: he besieged the capital (1171), conquered Rueda, took Teruel, which became the bulwark of Christian resistance against the Muslims of Valencia, reached Guadalaviar and Alfambra, gave to the future Aragon its borders. However, in the first decade of the century. XII to Don Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada, archbishop of Toledo, was able to put Christian principles in agreement; the crusade was banned; and on July 16, 1212 at Las Navas de Tolosa the Almohads were defeated by the Spanish and Portuguese troops commanded by their kings – those of León and Portugal were missing – and aided by foreign contingents who had intervened under the orders of French bishops and princes. Then the war of reconquest was resumed with renewed enthusiasm; and since the state of the Almohads had split up and could profit from the internal strife of the kingdoms that had arisen on its ruins, and furthermore in 1230 the two kingdoms of León and Castile were again subjected to a single ruler, and Navarre he moved away from Spanish political life and generally the wars between the other three peninsular states stopped, the results obtained were of enormous importance. Sancho II of Portugal (1223-48) took up what was lost and pushed forward; and his successor Alfonso III (1248-78) occupied the Algarve and gave the ocean as the southern border to his own monarchy.

Spain History - The First Christian States Part 6

Spain History – The First Christian States Part 5

Spain History – The First Christian States Part 5

According to, they were the first great Christian conquests. And the passions of Spanish Catholics – in whose formation religious propaganda had hybridly collaborated, the continuous wars, the eagerness to achieve a well-being that their poor homeland denied them, the spirit of adventure, especially, which had induced them and induced them to fight even among the ranks of the Mohammedans – they were exalted by the richness of the booty, by the spectacle of the marvelous fruits of the Andalusian civilization, which in the raids appeared to the astonished eyes of the conquerors and warmed their hopes and increased their desiresî, by brilliant successes that gave them clear awareness of their value and destroyed the myth of Arab military superiority. At that time, in fact, Catholic Spain had its own champion in Rodrigo Díazel Cid, soldier of Alfonso VI of Castile, then defender of the ruler of Zaragoza and his ally of Valenza, finally the real lord of this city. He, a mixture of ferocious and unscrupulous adventurer and magnificent leader, while fighting for his personal interests, did much in favor of Christianity, with his extraordinary deeds he brightly proved that the Spaniards were capable of winning victory over the Arabs and ruling them, yes that “for the firmness of his character and for his heroic valor” even by the Arabs, who were terrified of him, he was called “one of the greatest miracles of the Lord”; he obtained the recognition of his work from the Christian monarchs, who were related to him and placed him on their own level.

But in recent years, through the same complex of struggles which, as we have seen, intertwine with the conquest campaigns, contribute to the formation of new states, they give the life of Spain a marked unity of direction and political methods and therefore the its peculiar character, the various Christian states – which arose from the earlier more minute fragmentation of the Catholic country and animated by the same passions of their subjects – set out to give themselves a reason for living, to fix their own future, to suffer what was imposed on them. The struggle burned between Castile, Navarre, Aragon; and then, when Navarre and Aragon had a single sovereign, the Aragonese monarch persevered in the fight against Castile with united forces, finally, the counts of Barcelona, ​​Urgel and Pallás also took part in the conflicts.el Mayor(because Fernando I had conquered his brother and occupied part of his kingdom, to then fall back before the coalition of Sancho IV with Ramiro I), and some of them in fact autonomous; on the contrary, it is to be believed that Navarre at the death of Sancho IV also gave itself to the Aragonese to receive help against Alfonso VI, who had taken possession of the Rioja. And it was a question of sharing the possession of the great roads of the South, towards which the Christian states were now anxiously pointing, which amounted to determining the respective areas of influence in the Muslim territories and to fix in advance the future borders of the various monarchies – to avoid d ‘ being cut off in the reconquest of the country and thus losing the possibility of further expansion. Indeed, Alfonso VI of León and Castile already besieged Zaragoza, when he had to interrupt the operations for the invasion of the Almoravids, and then tried to oppose the Aragonese advance by supporting the Muslims of Huesca in their resistance against Peter I. Instead Zaragoza fell into the hands of Alfonso I, when Castile, during the government of Urraca, was drawn into civil strife; and indeed the Aragonese in the last years of his life with the possession of Mequinenza advanced towards the banks of the Segre and the lower course of the Ebro. However, if, as in the past, Alfonso I saw the counts of Urgel and Pallás leaning towards his monarchy, on the road to Lérida, a very important road junction, he found himself up against Ramón Berenguer III. Thus, the interests of the major monarchies were clearly clarified in the first half of the century. XII blatantly failed the dream of Alfonso VI who, giving his daughter Urraca in marriage to Alfonso I, he had thought of uniting the three royal crowns of Christian Spain, and the separation between the respective states became deeper: after years of chaotic conflicts, in which all ties and anarchy took over in a confused jumble of revolts and wars, Alfonso I gave up the fight in disgust; and, conversely, on his death, during the reign of his brother Ramiro IIel Monje(1134-37), the Aragonese nobility opposed a marriage between his daughter and heir Petronila with the eldest son of the king of León and Castile. Moreover, in the same years, taking advantage of the conditions of southern France, a profound work of political expansion in the lands beyond the Pyrenees began Alfonso I and the counts of Barcelona: which was, at least, a clear demonstration of the independence of that part. of Spain from the Capetian monarchy, heir to the rights of the Carolingian, which had already dominated it. The first in 1116 welcomed the count of Toulouse as a vassal, in 1122 he went to Gascony to receive the vassalage of the count of Bigorra and to help him, and in 1130 he sided in favor of Gastone de Bearne and besieged and conquered Bajona, so that the Gaul already gota submitted to his dominion; seconds, Ramón Berenguer I for his marriages with princesses of the South of France ended up being engaged in the local feudal struggles, and Ramón Berenguer III, marrying Dolce di Provence in third marriage, acquired the right to succeed her in this county, which he occupied in part after a few years of struggle with the count of Toulouse (1125) and which he then left to his son Berenguer Ramón, while the eldest son Ramón Berenguer IV became count of Barcelona. Finally Ramón Berenguer III himself began to turn his attention to the sea; it was in relations with the Italian maritime republics; he participated in a crusade promoted by Pisa (1114) against the Balearics, and, if this latter undertaking was of little immediate use, since it was only possible to reduce piracy, it was nevertheless the first manifestation of the nascent maritime power of the Catalan state:Liber maiolichinus.

Spain History - The First Christian States Part 5

Spain History – The First Christian States Part 4

Spain History – The First Christian States Part 4

At the same time great progress was made towards Catalan unity: and even in Barcelona fratricide bloodied the count’s throne if, as it seems, Ramón Berenguer II was killed by his brother Berenguer Ramón II, sons and heirs of Ramón Berenguer I, who had left to them their own domains. With this count (1035-76), son of Berenguer Ramón I el Corbat (el Curvo, 1018-35), the county of Barcelona placed itself at the head of the various counties of the region: the brothers gave up the paternal inheritance in his favor and some accounts entered into agreements with him or declared themselves his vassals. Then, Ramón Berenguer III el Gran (el Grande, 1096-1131) obtained the counties of Besalú (1111) and Cerdaña (1117); so that, at his death, only the counties of Urgel, Roussillon and Ampurias, of Pallás remained independent.

According to, the formation of these vast political organisms, as well as the means employed to achieve it, and, in contrast, the contemporary splitting of Muslim Spain facilitated and hastened the Christian reconquest. Indeed, the “kingdoms of Taifas” by their weakness were in themselves incapable of supporting the reinforced Catholic offensive; and, on the other hand, by siding with this or that prince in their struggles, thus increasing the matter of the dispute and justifying at least part of the expeditions made by Christian monarchs against them as allies of their adversaries, they made the conquest of their opponents easier. territories. Ferdinand I of León and Castile took possession of Viseo, Lamego (1057), Coimbra (1064), brought the frontier from Duero to Mondego, won the king of Valenza, he made tributaries the king of Zaragoza (from whom he took away the fortresses south of the Duero) and the kings of Toledo, Badajoz, Seville (1063), and in a raid he went as far as the vicinity of this city. His son Alfonso VI returned to invade the kingdom of Seville, which had supported García of Galicia, reaching as far as Tarifa (1082); with the occupation of Toledo (1085) it reached the Tagus and was able to consolidate the previous conquests between the Duero and this river, populating or seizing numerous cities, such as Salamanca, Ávila, Medina, Segovia, Talavera, Madrid, Uceda, Guadalajara, Mora, Alarcón, Uclés, Cuenca; he took possession of the castle of Aledo, near Lorca, which allowed him to dominate the kingdom of Almeria; besieged Zaragoza; he forced the monarch of Seville to give him the territories belonging to the kingdom of Toledo and usurped by him; he gave Valenza to his ancient ally in the struggles against Sancho, the former ruler of Toledo, who had been thrown from the throne by a revolution before the occupation of the city by the Castilians. In the same years Aragon also moved: Sancho Ramírez, fighting against the Muslims of Lérida, Tortosa, Huesca, with the help of the Count of Urgel, took possession of Barbastro (1065), conquered Graus (1083) and Monzón (1089), besieged Huesca, under whose walls he was mortally wounded. Finally, the count of Barcelona also took up arms: Ramón Berenguer I took some lands from the kingdom of Zaragoza and reached the Segre in Camarasa (1060) and in 1091 Berenguer Ramón II occupation of the city by the Castilians. In the same years Aragon also moved: Sancho Ramírez, fighting against the Muslims of Lérida, Tortosa, Huesca, with the help of the Count of Urgel, took possession of Barbastro (1065), conquered Graus (1083) and Monzón (1089), besieged Huesca, under whose walls he was mortally wounded. Finally, the count of Barcelona also took up arms: Ramón Berenguer I took some lands from the kingdom of Zaragoza and reached the Segre in Camarasa (1060) and in 1091 Berenguer Ramón II occupation of the city by the Castilians. In the same years Aragon also moved: Sancho Ramírez, fighting against the Muslims of Lérida, Tortosa, Huesca, with the help of the Count of Urgel, took possession of Barbastro (1065), conquered Graus (1083) and Monzón (1089), besieged Huesca, under whose walls he was mortally wounded. Finally, the count of Barcelona also took up arms: Ramón Berenguer I took some lands from the kingdom of Zaragoza and reached the Segre in Camarasa (1060) and in 1091 Berenguer Ramón IIel Fratricida(1076-97) conquered Tarragona. In this way it was also possible to resist the Almoravid offensive, which, indeed, at a later time, some sovereigns did not prevent them from progressing towards the south. Alfonso VI was defeated in Zalhaca (October 1086), but for several years he was able to keep most of his advanced positions, he returned to ally himself with the rulers of Granata, Seville, Badajoz, from the latter he obtained the sale of Santarém, Cintra, Lisbon (1093).

And if he was beaten at Uclés (1108), where his only son fell and where the Almoravids consolidated their power over almost all of Muslim Spain, and if on his death (1109), during the government of his daughter and heir Urraca (1109-26), the state was overwhelmed in very serious disputes; however, then the defense of the Leonese-Castilian monarchy was assumed directly and indirectly by Alfonso I of Aragon, husband of Urraca and fighting with her; Toledo still remained Christian, and the offensive was then resumed with ardor by his nephewex filiaof Alfonso VI, Alfonso VII (1126-57). At the same time, Peter I of Aragon defeated the troops of Saragossa in Alcoraz, rushed to the aid of Huesca and took possession of this city (1096), subjected Barbastro to his own dominion (1101); and his son Alfonso I, although distracted by the struggle he had to endure with his wife Urraca of Castile, won the ruler of Zaragoza in Valtierra, who fell in the battle; took Tudela (1114); after four years of siege he had Zaragoza, which in 1110 had fallen into the hands of the Almoravids (1118); in Cutanda he defeated the latter, rushed to regain the lost (1120); between 1120 and 1121 he occupied Magallón, Borja, Tarazona, Calatayud, Bubierca, Ariza, Daroca, Monreal del Campo; and took Mequinenza in the fight against the Muslims of Lérida and Fraga: a fight which, moreover, was not entirely lucky for him, because he was unable to overcome the opposition of the Count of Barcelona, ​​who desired Lérida for himself, and the resistance of Valenza de Murcia and Cordova, who intervened to defend their independence in the city. Finally, in the same years, Ramón Berenguer III with the help of the Count of Urgel conquered Balanguer, he initiated a crusade against the Muslims, which gave him the dominion of Valence for a short time; and, even if it was won by them (1124), nevertheless it was able to resist the incursions of the Almoravids, who came to threaten Barcelona. also in the same years, Ramón Berenguer III with the help of the count of Urgel conquered Balanguer, he initiated a crusade against the Muslims, which gave him the dominion of Valenza for a short time; and, even if it was won by them (1124), nevertheless it was able to resist the incursions of the Almoravids, who came to threaten Barcelona. also in the same years, Ramón Berenguer III with the help of the count of Urgel conquered Balanguer, he initiated a crusade against the Muslims, which gave him the dominion of Valenza for a short time; and, even if it was won by them (1124), nevertheless it was able to resist the incursions of the Almoravids, who came to threaten Barcelona.

Spain History - The First Christian States Part 4

Spain History – The First Christian States Part 3

Spain History – The First Christian States Part 3

Later, in the century. XI these states managed to overcome the Muslim reaction directed by ‛Abd ar-Raḥmān III and by al-Manṣūr, even if they were forced to recognize the supremacy of the caliph. Indeed, Sancho I of Navarre (905-25), won at Valdenjunquera together with Ordoño II (920) and pursued as far as Pamplona, ​​which was sacked and partly destroyed (924), managed to push on Nájera and Tudela. occupy Viguera, and with the help of León and Castile, perhaps, even to win just before dying. And then his state, strengthened with the annexation of Aragon – which Endregodo Galíndez, daughter of Count Galindo Aznáres, brought as a dowry to her husband, King García Sánchez (925-70) – during the reign of this sovereign and his mother and guardian, Queen Tota, he saw his troops fighting in Simancas alongside those of Ramiro II of León, he actively participated in the civil wars that broke out in León and shared the policy of Sancho I of León towards al-Manṣūr. At the same time, although at the death of Guifre I the unity of his state, divided between his sons, was broken and al-Manṣūr came to conquer Barcelona (985), nevertheless Borrell II, count of Barcelona, ​​Ausona and Gerona (died in 992), he managed to retake the city with his own strength – and then he refused to make an act of vassalage to the Capetians, who had put this condition to help him – and his son Ramón Borrell (992-1018) took part in the Christian incursion, which he reached as far as Cordova (1010). he actively participated in the civil wars that broke out in León and shared the policy of Sancho I of León towards al-Manṣūr. At the same time, although at the death of Guifre I the unity of his state, divided between his sons, was broken and al-Manṣūr came to conquer Barcelona (985), nevertheless Borrell II, count of Barcelona, ​​Ausona and Gerona (died in 992), he managed to retake the city with his own strength – and then he refused to make an act of vassalage to the Capetians, who had put this condition to help him – and his son Ramón Borrell (992-1018) took part in the Christian incursion, which he reached as far as Cordova (1010). he actively participated in the civil wars that broke out in León and shared the policy of Sancho I of León towards al-Manṣūr. At the same time, although at the death of Guifre I the unity of his state, divided between his sons, was broken and al-Manṣūr came to conquer Barcelona (985), nevertheless Borrell II, count of Barcelona, ​​Ausona and Gerona (died in 992), he managed to retake the city with his own strength – and then he refused to make an act of vassalage to the Capetians, who had put this condition to help him – and his son Ramón Borrell (992-1018) took part in the Christian incursion, which he reached as far as Cordova (1010).

According to, the formation of the great Christian monarchies. – A first grouping of these states occurred in the first half of the century. XI: it was made possible precisely by those old and new kinship of their sovereigns and by that commonality of interests, to which we have mentioned, and was facilitated by the particular conditions of Muslim Spain, which, on the other hand, was divided into the “kingdoms of Taifas “, and, torn by deep internal struggles, it could no longer control the progress of the Christian monarchies. Indeed, to the inherited possessions (Navarre and Aragon) Sancho III of Navarre el Mayor(about 1000-35) between 1015 and 1025 he added a large part of Sobrarbe and Ribagorza by right of succession or conquest; he also strengthened his authority over the Cantabria already occupied by his grandfather; as husband of the daughter of Sancho García of Castile, on the death without male descent of his brother-in-law García Sánchez (1028) he took possession of his county; exploiting the tragic end of Alfonso V el Nobleof León (999-1027), which fell during the siege of Viseo, and the weakness of his heir Bermudo III (1027-37), occupied the part between the Pisuerga and the Cea of ​​the kingdom of León. Finally, fearful of his power, other princes also had to recognize his sovereignty: it is certain that he assumed the titles of king of Pamplona, ​​Aragon, Sobrarbe, Ribagorza, Castile, Ávila, León, Asturias, Astorga, Pallás, even of Gascogne. and Barcelona. Now, undoubtedly, this unity lasted a few years, because, at his death, Sancho divided the state among his sons, and left Navarre with the city of Nájera, Guipúzcoa and Vizcaya to the eldest son García; Castile and the aforementioned part of the kingdom of León, all elevated to a kingdom, to Ferdinand; Sobrarbe and Ribagorza to the youngest son Gonzalo, and Aragon, again promoted to kingdom,el Magno(1035-65) divided his state among his sons and assigned Castile to Sancho II (1065-72), León to Alfonso VI (1065-1109), Galicia to García, the lordship of Zamora to Urraca, that of Toro to Elvira. However, the movement then started, despite some stops and some retreats, continued in the following years, through an intricate succession of complex disputes, in which no means were spared: not the fratricidal struggle, because García of Navarre died in the battle of Atapuerca, near Burgos, in 1054 fighting against his brother Ferdinando; not the alliance with Muslim princes, since, for example, García himself in his war against Ferdinand I made use of Mohammedans; Alfonso VI and García of Galicia appealed for aid to the rulers of Toledo and Seville respectively in their dispute with Sancho II, and García of the same previous ally in that against Alfonso VI. Fernando I as the husband of the sister of Bermudo III of León, was able to occupy the still independent part of this kingdom, when Bermudo fell in the battle of Támara (Palencia) in 1037, in a vain attempt to regain the territories of his state which were in the dominion of the brother in law; and the unity of his Leonese-Castilian monarchy was reconstituted by Alfonso VI, when Sancho II was killed at the siege of Zamora, who had already defeated his brothers and was about to submit to his authority all the dominions of his father, and when the fate of arms turned unfavorable to García of Galicia, who rushed in vain to uphold his rights. Furthermore, Ramiro I of Aragon (1035-1063) took possession of Sobrarbe and Ribagorza; his son Sancho Ramírez (1063-94) also became king of Navarre, when Sancho IV (1054-76), successor of García of Navarra (1035-54), was killed in Peñalén by his bastard brother; and the two crowns remained on the heads of the kings of Aragon Pedro I (1094-1104) and Alfonso Iel Batallador (1104-34).

Spain History - The First Christian States Part 3

Spain History – The First Christian States Part 2

Spain History – The First Christian States Part 2

The origins of the states that arose in the regions located along the Pyrenees are very uncertain: Navarre, Aragon, Sobrarbe, Ribagorza, Pallás, Urgel, Cerdaña, Catalan territories. As we said, in the central area the Muslims did not touch or at least did not permanently occupy the town located north of Alquézar (Sobrarbe), Roda (Ribagorza), Ager (Pallás), and perhaps the upper Urgel and the Cerdaña; territories of transit for the expeditions to Gaul were, on the one hand, Navarre, where it seems that Pamplona was the domain of Mūsà and then of ‛Oqba, and, on the other, the Catalan territories, between Lérida and Barcelona, ​​where the Arabs took possession of Barcelona around 718. Now, in these regions, for centuries, local autonomist tendencies existed: very marked especially in the Basque provinces, whose residents had been in constant struggle with the Gothic monarchy and in their incursions they had come down to the valley, towards Zaragoza; made more tenuous elsewhere by previous dominations, but ready to rise again. And these had to find nourishment in the changes brought about in the political situation of the country by the Arab invasion, and were strengthened both in the occupied territories closest to the Pyrenees, where even the Visigoths who became Muslims aspired to become independent from the emirs, as in the territories left free and abandoned to themselves. Then, in this territorial division and in the initial scarce differentiation between Christians and Muslims, to give spiritual depth and some political unity to the opposition of Christians against the Mohammedans and to the disputes that broke out within the emir’s northern dominions, intervened: religious propaganda promoted by monasteries, sanctuaries and bishoprics – such as San Salvador de Leyre (Navarra), San Juan de la Peña (Aragon), San Victorián (Sobrarbe), Ovarra and Roda (Ribagorza), Ager and Aláon (Pallás), the bishopric of Urgel – and the Carolingian conquest, which put Franks and Spaniards in direct contact, opened a new field of action to the former, began to give a precise direction to the political life of the latter, both Christians and Muslim neophytes of the plain, which, in order to become independent, began to navigate between Muslims and Catholics. It was then that the Christians of the Pyrenees most likely submitted to princes who came from overseas or recognized the supremacy of Toulouse. And in 778 the first expedition of Charlemagne, who, accepting the invitation of Zaragoza, Lérida and Barcelona, he passed the Pyrenees and conquered Pamplona, ​​Huesca and Gerona, but was defeated at Roncesvalles by the Basques; of 785 the second, which gave him possession of Gerona, the first nucleus of thatMarca Hispanica, which in 801 had Barcelona as its capital, then reconquered to Christianity. Thus, in the early years of the century. IX the border line between the Catholic world and the Muslim had at the extreme points, on the one hand, this “Marca”, which came to include the counties of Gerona, Ausona (Vich), Ampurias, Barcelona, ​​etc., and that in 817 together with the Septimania formed the marquisate of Gotia ; and, on the other hand, a state of Navarre, or rather Pamplona, ​​perhaps created as the Marca Hispanicaand ruled by elements from the regions beyond the Pyrenees, and perhaps also partly dominated by the Asturian kings and the counts of Castile. And in the central area this border passed through Uncastillo, Sarsamarcuello, Loarre, Alquézar, Roda, Ager, and limited the small states of Aragon, including the high valley of the river of the same name, Ribagorza, Pallás, Urgel, Cerdaña, perhaps Sobrarbe, generally counties belonging to the Duchy of Toulouse.

According to, the political events of these small states were closely linked to those of the Carolingian Empire. The weakening of central power in the Frankish state led, here as elsewhere, to a rupture of the previous relations of dependence; and now that the Muslim danger had subsided, the detachment was sharpened by the resurgence of the ancient passions of the individual regions, autonomous like the Basque provinces, opposed to a Frankish domination, like the Catalans, who at the time of the Visigoths had always been in arms against the Merovingians. Almost contemporary was the rise of organizations that soon became independent from the Frankish state and began to live a common life, together with the Asturian monarchy and the county of Castile: participating in the struggle against Muslims, intervening reciprocally in their own civil struggles, binding themselves with each other with close kinship ties between the princes. In the first half of the century. IX in Navarre there was an Iñigo Arista as king of Pamplona; and Count of Aragon, in Jaca, became an Aznar Galindo. In the second half of the same century also Ribagorza and Pallás, Ampurias and Roussillon had their own accounts; and became independent Guifreel Pilós (Vifredo el Velloso), Count of Barcelona, ​​Urgel, Cerdaña, Gerona, Besalú, Conflent, Ausona.

Spain History - The First Christian States Part 2

Spain History – The First Christian States Part 1

Spain History – The First Christian States Part 1

The state of which we have the most information and which, at least according to tradition, was the first to arise, is the Asturian, born in Oviedo’s Asturias and commonly regarded as a restoration of the Visigothic monarchy. Its first organizer and king would have been the Visigoth Pelayo, a noble already persecuted by Witiza and then protected by Rodrigo, who, sheltered in the mountains of Cangas de Onís, defeated the Muslim troops in Covadonga between 721 and 725, in a clash., without a doubt, of a short time – one of the many mountain ambushes that must have taken place in that alpine area at the time – but which legend transformed, like the winning hero, into a real symbol.

According to, the territorial expansions began with Alfonso I (739-57), when the Berbers abandoned the north of the peninsula and fell back on Coimbra and Coria: then Galicia, Liébana, Bardulia, perhaps the city of León, were occupied or conquered; daring raids were carried out in the surrounding territories; and only due to the impossibility of presiding over and populating it was the vast almost desert area which now separated the new Christian dominions from the Muslim ones not permanently occupied. Then, an arrest in the reconquest march led, on the one hand, to a series of civil wars between monarch and nobility and, on the other, the strengthening of the Arab state by ‛Abd ar-Raḥmān. However, the war was resumed with renewed ardor by Alfonso II the impossibility of garrisoning it and populating it, the vast, almost desert area that now separated the new Christian dominions from the Muslim ones was not permanently occupied. Then, an arrest in the reconquest march led, on the one hand, to a series of civil wars between monarch and nobility and, on the other, the strengthening of the Arab state by ‛Abd ar-Raḥmān. However, the war was resumed with renewed ardor by Alfonso II the impossibility of garrisoning it and populating it, the vast, almost desert area that now separated the new Christian dominions from the Muslim ones was not permanently occupied. Then, an arrest in the reconquest march led, on the one hand, to a series of civil wars between monarch and nobility and, on the other, the strengthening of the Arab state by ‛Abd ar-Raḥmān. However, the war was resumed with renewed ardor by Alfonso IIel Casto (791-842), who in his raids not only reached the Tagus, but also brought his court further south, in Oviedo; he was in relations with Charlemagne; with the help of Aquitaine he managed to curb the impetus of the Muslims who, if they came to occupy Oviedo, were unable or unwilling to keep their conquests and suffered various defeats, such as the disastrous one of Lutos (794); finally, in his expeditions he freed many Mozarabs, with whom he began the repopulation of the country, which was essential to advance the conquest. And later the resistance to Arab attacks, to which the Norman raids on the coasts were added, and the policy of repopulation continued during their reigns Ramiro I (842-50) and especially Ordoño I (850-66) and Alfonso III el Magno(866-910): because, if the Christian state was again shaken by dynastic struggles and by the revolt of the Galicians, who had risen against the Asturians, nevertheless its sovereigns were able to compensate for their weakness with that of the enemy, who too had become the prey of serious upheavals. Thus, the southern frontier, carried on the Duero, was defended with the construction of the fortresses of Zamora, Simancas, San Esteban de Gormaz and Osma, which formed a robust line; the eastern one was protected from the assaults of Mūsà of Zaragoza with a daring expedition that reached Albelda and led to the victory of Clavijo (860), and from Muslim raids, in general, with a series of castles, which then gave the region its name of Castile. Within these borders León (856), Astorga, Túy, Amaya (860), Oporto, Braga, Viseo, Lamego, perhaps Burgos (882-84); beyond, the zone of influence reached Coimbra, Salamanca, Toledo; the capital was carried further south, to León.

Then, to the vigorous Muslim counteroffensive led by ‛Abd ar-Raḥmān III, who in his raids came to take Burgos, Ordoño II (914-24), who in a raid plundered the territories of Mérida, opposed valid resistance, but was not always lucky, because, having won the caliph in San Esteban de Gormaz (917), he was defeated in the clash of Valdejunquera (920); and especially Ramiro II (931-51), who defeated the Muslims in the battle of Simancas (939), the first of European resonance, and was able to repopulate the region bathed by the Tormes. The situation changed in the following years. Already during the last days of the reign of Ramiro II the separatist revolt that broke out in the county of Castile under the direction of Fernán Gonzáles (circa 923-circa 970), the hero of Castilian legend and poetry, had assumed serious proportions, and supported by ‛ Abd ar-Raḥmàn III; and moreover it had allowed the latter to take possession of Medinaceli (Soria), the key to the state. During the reigns of Ordoño III (951-56), of Sancho Iel Craso (956-66), of Ordoño IV (958), the monarchy fell prey to dynastic and civil struggles, in which the Castilian count played a large part, who then became completely independent; and anarchy grew under Ramiro III (966-82) and Bermudo II el Gotoso(982-99), when, following the example of the Castilian one, the other counts also tried to become autonomous from the sovereign, the Normans renewed their attacks, and al-Manṣūr, called to his aid by Bermudo and became the true ruler of the state, to the attempts made by the monarch to free himself from his tyranny, he responded by putting the whole country to fire and sword and destroying Santiago de Compostela, which had risen around the tomb of the Apostle, already discovered at the time of Alfonso II and become the destination of ‘impressive pilgrimages. However, even in such tragic years the state managed to save itself from destruction, and thanks to ‛Abd ar-Raḥmān and al-Mansūr, who intervened in the disputes ensuring the triumph of this or that opponent, and limited themselves to making vassals the monarchs and reduce their dominions. Particularly characteristic is what happened to Sancho I, who had a doctor from ‛Abd ar-Raḥmān who took care of his health and was supported by him against the aspirations to the throne of Ordoño III; then it seems that he went to Cordoba together with the queen of Navarre, his grandmother.

Spain History - The First Christian States Part 1

Svalbard Travel: Arctic Adventures North of the Arctic Circle

Svalbard Travel: Arctic Adventures North of the Arctic Circle

Endless expanses, lonely silence and untouched nature as far as the eye can see. Welcome to Svalbard! In the far north of Europe, surrounded by icy and stormy northern seas, lies the Norwegian archipelago of Spitsbergen. There are few people living there, because Svalbard is mainly a destination for researchers or adventurers – people like you who like to travel .

Glaciers, fjords and polar bears

When you travel to the Arctic, you think of walruses and especially polar bears, but also of memorable landscapes, massive glaciers and great fjords. While you need a bit of luck to actually spot a polar bear, in Svalbard you can look forward to beautiful encounters with whales, reindeer, arctic foxes and a very selective bird world – all species that live in the icy climes of northern Europe. Our Spitsbergen trips are designed for nature lovers and adventurers: people who like to observe animals and enjoy unique natural spectacles.

Travel information in brief

Travel time

The climate is arctic and cool to cold all year round. The coast is only free of snow for about six weeks in summer. In June the days are usually sunny and temperatures usually fluctuate between -5 ° C and + 5 ° C. After booking, we will send you a detailed packing list and further information about the trip so that you know which equipment you should take with you.

Currency / money

In Norway, the Norwegian krone (NOK) is the unit of currency. One Norwegian krone is equal to 100 Øre. International credit cards are accepted almost everywhere. At the ATMs you can usually withdraw cash with an EC card and PIN number. We recommend that you withdraw cash in euros, US dollars or Danish kroner.


No special vaccinations are required. Nevertheless, we recommend checking the three standard vaccinations polio, diphtheria and tetanus. On a trip to Svalbard there can be rough seas. You should therefore bring seasickness tablets with you. On our trips so far, there was no case of severe seasickness, the sea was often as smooth as a mirror.

Visa / entry

An identity card is sufficient for German citizens to enter Norway and is valid for at least six months upon departure.

On the trail of polar bears and arctic foxes

Svalbard is one of the last untouched areas on earth. The archipelago in the far north of Europe belongs to Norway and is considered to be one of the northernmost inhabited areas on earth. Although Svalbard has a few and permanent residents, the islands are primarily determined by the Arctic flora and fauna. We would like to show you exactly this world on nature trips to Svalbard.

On land you can watch reindeer, polar bears and arctic foxes in Svalbard – an unforgettable experience to see the large land mammals in the wild! Since we live on a ship on our Svalbard trip and explore the country in this way, we will also see the many marine mammals that are in the arctic seas.

In the recent past there have been increasing voices that it would be better to leave the animals alone and not travel to Svalbard anymore. In our opinion, this is the wrong approach. Without nature travelers, Svalbard would be left to the interests of the coal and oil industries. The protection of whales and other animals is our top priority. If we see a polar bear from the ship, we do not disembark, but observe the animal from a distance and therefore do not approach it. If there is no polar bear in sight, a team of guides and crew goes ashore to check the safety of the guests. Only when the area has been carefully controlled, the travelers are allowed to go ashore. Safety is a top priority.

Svalbard Travel

Attractions in Jökulsárlón, Iceland

Attractions in Jökulsárlón, Iceland

Jökulsarlon, Iceland: Jökulsarlon glacier lagoon

Iceland is famous for its breathtaking landscapes and many natural attractions. Anyone traveling in the south-east of the island state should definitely make a trip to the Jökulsarlon glacier lagoon in the south-west of the country. This is located directly on Ringstrasse 1, one of the most important transport links in the region.

The 18 square kilometer glacial lake, which was only formed about 80 years ago and continues to expand, is the deepest lake in Iceland with a depth of 248 meters. The lagoon also has direct access to the Atlantic Ocean via the Jökulsá River, which is crossed by a large bridge. The Jökulsarlon is mainly fed by the meltwater from the Vatnajökull. The largest glacier in Europe towers over the entire lagoon and can be seen from afar. The glacier lagoon attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the world every year, especially in summer. Extensive boat tours are also offered here.

Breathtaking landscape: floating icebergs and glacier canyons

Countless floating icebergs on the huge lake offer an extremely spectacular sight. Guided hikes and tours over the glacier are also very popular. If you want to explore the lagoon extensively, you should take at least one day. Numerous rare birds have also settled in the lagoon in recent years. With a little luck you can even see seals in their natural habitat here. Due to its breathtaking view, the Jökulsarlon glacier lagoon is often used as a backdrop for films. Among other things, the famous James Bond films “In the face of death” and “Die another day” were filmed here.

Attractions in Jökulsárlón, Iceland

Sightseeing in Sweden

Sightseeing in Sweden


The Hanseatic city on Gotland

Many cruise ships that start in northern Germany and are about to cross the Baltic Sea (e.g. on the trip to St. Petersburg or the Baltic States) stop in the southern Swedish city of Visby. Visby has around 23,000 inhabitants and is located on the west coast of the island of Gotland. Visby can also be reached by ferry from mainland Sweden. Visby is worthwhile for a day or more! The medieval old town is very well preserved and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In earlier centuries Visby was a Hanseatic city and an important trading base between northern Germany, Scandinavia and Russia.

The old town and the Gotland Museum

The impressive medieval city wall of Visby (built 1250-1288) is three and a half kilometers long, and 27 watchtowers of the original 29 have been preserved (that’s a record!). If you stroll through the alleys of the old town, you will find numerous pretty photo motifs: There is the powder tower from the 12th century, the church “St. Karin” and the cathedral church “Sankta Maria”. The church “St. Karin” was destroyed in a war between Swedes and Danes in the 16th century and has been a romantic ruin ever since. The cathedral was built in the 12th century in Romanesque style and has a beautiful baroque interior. In the Gotland Museum, visitors can learn about the history of the island, which was inhabited since prehistoric times.

Shopping and trips

Handicrafts (ceramics), lambskins and sweets are popular souvenirs from Visby. There is a large selection in the pretty little shops in the old town! Perhaps there is still time for a stroll through the parks of Visby, the “Almedalen” and the botanical garden. And in the amusement park “Kneippbyn” – located just outside Visby – visitors can take a trip back in time to their childhood: there you can visit the “Villa Kunterbunt”, which appears in the film adaptations of the “Pippi Longstocking” novels. Hikes along the west coast of Gotland lead to fishing villages, secluded cliffs and beautiful sandy beaches.

Göta Canal

The outstanding marvel of Sweden

The Göta Canal meanders through Västergötland and Östergötland and was built 200 years ago. The canal is the largest construction project in Sweden. In the years of its construction, nearly 60,000 people worked literally digging the 87 km stretch with a spade and shovel. The leader of this gigantic project was the engineer Baltzar von Platen, who had recognized the importance of a transport route for goods traffic from the Baltic Sea to the Kattegat. While the Göta Canal played a decisive role in this function in the 19th century, the structure later lost its importance due to strong competition from rail and truck traffic.

The blue ribbon of Sweden

Nowadays the canal is one of the most famous Swedish tourist attractions. The waterway, the guest harbors, museums and sights attract three million tourists every year.
For a hundred years, three steamships have been cruising leisurely across the country by water. If you are looking for relaxation and tranquility and at the same time want to see a lot of Sweden’s beautiful nature, you can take part in multi-day cruises between Stockholm and Gothenburg. Day trips are also possible with other ships, but these should be booked in advance. In the summer months there are also many recreational boats that can also be rented on the canal.

58 locks

The Göta Canal leads through deep forests, pretty towns and yellow fields. The height differences determined by the landscape are overcome by locks. They are what make the Göta Canal so fascinating and are popular excursion destinations for visitors. Tourists can experience the fascinating spectacle of the lock in the cozy restaurants and cafés directly at the locks. The Berg lock staircase with its seven locks is particularly impressive. Here the Göta Canal overcomes almost 20 meters in altitude with the help of seven locks. The lock staircase is also interesting for those visitors who just want to watch the hustle and bustle on the canal and around the locks and have a cozy coffee. There is also an ice bar, a pretty café and a mini golf course.

Gripsholm Castle

A major attraction in Sweden

Mariefred is located west of Stockholm and is a town with narrow streets, neat wooden houses and an idyllic atmosphere. Visitors will find cozy cafés, galleries and many small shops here. The location on Mälaren, Sweden’s third largest lake, is also very beautiful. The most famous sight of the city is Gripsholm Castle, which is clearly visible on the banks of the Mälaren. The castle is known to German-speaking visitors through Kurt Tucholsky’s romance novel of the same name from 1931, which has also been filmed several times. But even without the world-famous writer and his story from the 30s, the beautiful complex meets all the requirements to be considered one of the most impressive sights in Northern Europe: an idyllic location, bright red and shimmering brick walls, four huge round towers and an exciting story. Gripsholm is still used by the Swedish royal family today. In 2001 King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia celebrated their silver wedding anniversary there.

Exciting tours, portraits and a prison tower

There is a state portrait collection in the castle, for which the National Museum in Stockholm is responsible. The imposing collection includes almost 4,500 paintings from the late 15th century to the present day. More portraits of famous Swedes are added every year. For example, there are portraits of Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA with an Allen key, and of Benny Andersson, the famous ABBA singer. The works from the 19th to the 21st century hang on the third floor of the mighty castle.

During the summer months, visitors have the opportunity to explore Gripsholm Castle on their own. If you want, you can of course also take part in a guided tour, which is offered all year round in German. Particularly noteworthy are the guided tours through the creepy prison tower. In the summer there are sometimes interesting guided tours for children.
A large selection of books, postcards, toys and souvenirs can be found in the castle’s boutique. More exclusive items such as glass, textiles, porcelain and other items based on models from the royal art collection are also offered here.

Gripsholm Castle

Attractions in Northern Ireland

Attractions in Northern Ireland

Take a study tour of Northern Ireland! Visit the capital Belfast and the other important cities and their sights, but also the national parks, monuments and the beautiful natural landscapes of Northern Ireland! The main attractions are the Queen University from Belfast, the City Hall, the castle on Cave Hill or the Ulster Museum in Belfast; the Anglican Cathedral of St. Columban as well as the medieval old town of Derry and other attractions that Northern Ireland has to offer. Get to know Northern Ireland on a tour!

Morne Mountains

The Morne Mountains are a mountain range in Northern Ireland south of Belfast. The visitor will find a fascinating mountain panorama there.
The Morne Mountains are a mountain range made up of granite. They are also called the Mountains of Morne and are located about 50 kilometers south of Northern Ireland’s capital Belfast, more precisely in County Down between Newcastle and Newry.
The mountains on Morne are always worth a trip. They offer visitors fascinating mountain landscapes in which gentle slopes alternate with peaks that are difficult to climb. The Morne Mountains are also a suitable destination for a study trip.


There are a total of 28 peaks in the Morne Mountains, all of which are worth seeing. They accommodate, among other things, the Slieve Donard. This mountain reaches a height of 849 meters above sea level, making it the highest point in Northern Ireland. Climbing Slieve Donard is not easy, but the visitor is compensated with a wonderful view of Murlough Bay. In addition, the view extends to the city of Newcastle.
The Morne Mountains are also an excellent area for long walks. The Slieve Corragh, the Slieve Binnian, the Butter Mountain and the Slieve Lamagan are particularly suitable for exploring. The best way to appreciate the size of the Morne Mountains is to take a look at the Ben Crom Reservoir and the Silent Valley.

Morne Mountains Recreation Area

The Morne Mountains are a popular Northern Irish recreation area and invite tourists to various leisure activities. These include, above all, hiking, mountaineering and cycling on a mountain bike.
Another attraction worth seeing is the Morne Wall. This is a 35-kilometer dry stone wall that surrounds the headwaters and reservoirs in the region. The wall, built between 1904 and 1922, is also used by hikers to mark the way. The Morne Wall leads over most of the peaks of the Mountains of Morne. Experienced hikers can walk through the dry stone wall within a day.

Giant’s Causeway

The Giant’s Causeway is one of Northern Ireland’s most visited attractions. The fascinating basalt columns, many of which have the shape of a hexagon, impress visitors from all over the world.

Origin of the natural monument

Around 60 million years ago, these pillars were formed as a result of volcanic activity on the earth’s crust. Lava was thrown to the surface in liquid form. This natural wonder can be proven not only at the Giant’s Causeway on the coast of the Northern Irish Counties Antrim, but also as far as the Inner Hebrides. Formations similar to those found on the Giant’s Causeway can be found on the Hebridean island of Staffa. The cooling lava developed into the extraordinary basalt columns in both places.

Unique stone formations

On a trip to this unique place you can marvel at the approximately 40,000 basalt columns. These are hexagonal and have an average width of 30 cm. The pillars rise several meters high. Some of the copies have 4, 5, 7 or even 8 pages. Some of these pillars have special names such as Horse Shoe or Giant’s Organ. The most impressive collection of columns is the so-called amphitheater, where the columns rise up to 25 meters in height and look like seats.

The legends

The Giant’s Causeway, which by the way means something like “The Giant’s Dam”, has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. There are numerous legends surrounding this natural monument. A giant named Finn McCool is portrayed as the builder of the Giant’s Causeway. He is said to have created the natural monument so that he could reach the Scottish island of Staffa. According to legend, this is where his lady of the heart lived.

The visitor center

For study trips, it is advisable to visit the visitor center directly on the Giant’s Causeway. In this modern building with a grass roof, interesting facts about the Giant’s Causeway and the region are presented in several exhibition rooms. The many legends of the giant Finn McCool are also brought to life.

Dark Hedges

Dark Hedges Northern Ireland

The most beautiful avenue in Ireland

Anyone who has ever traveled through Ireland knows that the island has a lot to offer, both culturally and scenically. A particularly fascinating sight can be found in Northern Ireland. Near the small town of Ballymoney, in County Antrim, travelers will find a unique sight. An avenue, lined with ancient beeches, the gnarled branches of the trees are intertwined at a lofty height above the street. These are the Dark Hedges, one of Northern Ireland’s most popular attractions.

Made by human hands

This fairytale avenue was created by human hands. The road that lines it leads to an old mansion, the Gracehill Estate. Its owners planted numerous beeches along the driveway in the 18th century. In doing so, they laid the foundation for the avenue’s beauty and fame today.

A masterpiece of nature

Dark hedges; in German this is called “dark hedges”. And with their intertwined branches, the ancient beech trees actually look like gigantic dark hedges. It is precisely this imposing sight that attracts large numbers of tourists and study trip participants year after year. The Dark Hedges are not just an avenue. Although it was created by humans, it is ultimately a masterpiece of nature. With their imposing and at the same time mysterious nature, the Dark Hedges fit all too well into the rough but picturesque landscape of Ireland, which is shaped by wind and weather. During a walk through the avenue you can not only enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the majestic trees. It also seems as if you can listen to the stories of the ancient beech trees as soon as the wind blows through them. The attraction has become very well known in recent years thanks to the film and television industry. Again and again, the Dark Hedges with their mysterious charm are used as a filming location. The successful series Game of Thrones brought the avenue to worldwide fame.

Macedonia – study trips and round trips

Macedonia – the land of Alexander the Great! This country has something to offer for everyone. The landscapes range from mountain chains and floodplains to tectonic lakes such as Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa. Lake Ohrid is very deep and rich in fossils. Both lakes and the surrounding national park have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Skopje, the city on the Vardar River and the capital at the same time, has many attractions to offer: the University of Sv. Kiril i Metodij, the East Manian stone bridge to the old town, the statue of Mother Theresa, the Mustapha-Pasha Mosque, the Great Bazaar, Kale Castle, various theaters, museums and other cultural institutions. But don’t forget the cities of Kumanovo; Bitola with the landmark Saat Kula (clock tower), the central shopping street of Sirok Sokak or Korzo; the city of Tetovo with the remains of the East Manian rule in the form of the Colorful Mosque or the Macedonian ski resort Sar Planina, and last but not least one of the largest cities in Macedonia from the Polog region, Gostivar. A round trip through Macedonia is guaranteed to be worth it!

Attractions in Northern Ireland

Hungary Modern Arts

Hungary Modern Arts

Classicism and 19th century

At the beginning of the 19th century the cathedrals of Esztergom and Eger as well as numerous churches were rebuilt. In Budapest, buildings of classicism (National Museum 1837–47, by Mihály Janos Pollack, * 1773, † 1855), neo-Renaissance (opera 1875–84, by Miklós Ybl, * 1814, † 1891) and neo-Gothic (parliament 1884–1904, by I. Steindl).

The attempt of a typical “Magyar” architecture were the buildings Ö. Lechners, the Kunstgewerbemuseum (1893–96) and the Post Office Savings Bank (around 1900) built in the Art Nouveau style.

Ferenczy represented the classicist sculpture, M. Izsó the national romanticism.

Well-known painters of the 19th century were Miklós Barabás (* 1810, † 1898), the v. a. Portraits of freedom fighters were created by Károly Markó (* 1822, † 1891), who went public in particular with landscape paintings, and Gyula Benczúr (* 1844, † 1920), whose portraits, genre and historical representations attracted attention. National pictorial themes were designed by B. Székely von Ádámos and Viktor Madarász (* 1830, † 1917) in the manner of the Viennese and Munich history painters (meaning the wall paintings in the stairwell of the National Museum and the Vígadó [casino] in Budapest, 1864, by Lotz Károly, * 1833, † 1904, and Than Mór, * 1828, † 1899) and partly socially critical by M. Munkácsy.

In the field of applied arts, the founding of the Herend porcelain factory after taking over a stoneware factory in 1839 was of great importance.

Modern and present

At the turn of the 20th century, open-air painting became influential. Leading master of the painting colony »Szolnok«, whose members under direct observation of nature v. a. Painting landscapes and genre pictures was A. Fényes. The artists’ colony in Baia Mare (Nagybánya in Hungarian), which emerged in 1896 and was founded in 1902, also devoted itself to outdoor painting (including P. Szinyei Merse, K. Ferenczy and, in the second generation, István Szönyi [* 1894, † 1960], István Csók [* 1865, † 1961], Bernáth Aurél [* 1895, † 1982]).

In 1908 the Association of Hungarian Impressionists and Naturalists (»MIÉNK«) was formed, in which, among other things. Pál Szinyei Merse , K. Ferenczy and J. Rippl-Rónai were active. The latter, at the same time the most important representative of post-impressionism, belonged to the Nabis.

Csontváry was the founder of a visionary-expressive painting. The artist group »Nyolcak« (1909–14), whose most important representative was B. Czóbel , adhered to the teachings of P. Cézanne and those of the Fauves.

Important sculptors of Cubism was J. Csáky. Outstanding representatives of constructivism come from the circle of artists around L. Kassák, among others. S. Bortnyik (his best-known student was V. Vasarély), as well as L. Moholy Nagy, who taught at the Bauhaus.

The principles of the Bauhaus also had an impact on the activities of the »Cirpac« group of architects (founded by Farkas Ferenc Molnár, * 1897, † 1945) in the 1920s.

The artistic tendencies between the two world wars show, among other things. the works of G. Derkovits, which are dedicated to social issues, furthermore the lyrical-pantheistic landscape paintings by J. Egry and the deeply dramatic surrealistic visions of Lajos Vajda (* 1908, † 1941).

The sculpture of the era was under the influence of A. Maillol: Ferenc Medgyessy (* 1881, † 1958) and Béni Ferenczy (* 1890, † 1967). The group »Európai Iskola« (1945–49) united surrealist and abstract tendencies. In the early 1960s, an artist group was formed around T. Csernus, based on strongly realistic movements including Pop Art (L. Lakner). The paintings and graphics by B. Kondor and the works of the sculptor Erzsébet Schaár are very individual.

Around 1965, the avant-garde, oriented towards international trends, developed a broad spectrum of artistic activities between the opposing poles of constructivist-serial art (A. Péter Türk, * 1943, † 2015) and actionism (M. Erdély; Tamás Szentjóby, * 1944). In addition to representatives of the avant-garde such as Endre Bálint (* 1914, † 1986), Ilona Keserü (* 1933) or István Nádler (* 1938) and the transavant-garde such as I. Bak or Ákos Birkás (* 1941), which further developed the different lines of the rich tradition of modern Hungarian art, tendencies of contemporary Western art were increasingly taken up in the 1980s and 1990s.

The painting shows a variety of individual styles. Tamás Soós (* 1955) and Zoltan Sebestyén (* 1954) continue the gestural and coloristic tradition. Artists as diverse as András Koncz (* 1953), Károly Kelemen (* 1948), László Fehér (* 1953), Sándor Pinczehelyi (* 1946), István Mazzag (* 1958), Áron Gábor (* 1954) and István Ef Zámbó (* 1950), whose works range from realistic images to postmodern quotations.

According to bridgat, the sculptures claim international rank, among other things. by Attila Mata (* 1953), Ildikó Várnagy (* 1944), László Fe Lugossy (* 1947), György Cseszlai (* 1957), Lajos Klicsu (* 1957), El Kazovszkij (* 1948) and Klára Borbás (* 1955); the limit for room installation exceed Géza Samu (* 1947), Imre Bukta (* 1952), János Szirtes (* 1954) and Janos Sugar (* 1958).

Within modern contemporary architecture, among others, Imre Makovecz (* 1935, † 2011; House of Culture in Sárospatak [Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén district], 1981; Church of Paks, 1990), István Janáky (office building in Budapest, 1993) and Gábor Turáni, who dealt with modern Hungarian architecture of the 1930s and, more recently, Mária Siklósi (National Theater in Budapest, 2002).

Hungary Modern Arts

France Contemporary Literature

France Contemporary Literature

The taste for historical reconstructions is the basis of the works of M. Gallo (b. 1932), author of a biography of Napoleon (Napoléon), divided into four volumes published separately between 1997 and 1998. The Egyptologist Ch. Jacq (b.1947), graduated in archeology at the Sorbonne, is the author of interesting essays (L’Egypte des Grands Pharaons, 1981) and novels set in Ancient Egypt, including L’affaire Toutankhamon (1992), the 5 volumes of Ramsès (1993-96), Le Pharaon noir(1997) and Néfer le silencieux (2000). The erotic-sentimental vein counts among the main authors S. Filippini (b. 1950), who in Un Amour de Paul (2000) follows in the footsteps traced by Pasolini in Teorema, A. Jardin (b.1965), author of Autobiographie d’un amour (1999) in which sentimental triangles and marital crises are described, and E. Fontenaille (b.1960) who in his novels privileges the use of the Freudian imaginary. Among the most interesting authors are A. Boudard (1925-2000), M. Desbiolles (b.1959), who published the novel Anchise (1999), and C. Angot (b.1959), the latter perhaps the more provocative contemporary writer, as can be seen from L’inceste (1999), story of the author’s short homosexual relationship with a mature woman and her incestuous relationship with her father. The cynical and pessimist M. Houellbecq (b.1958) is undoubtedly one of the most innovative writers of the late nineties, even if his novels aroused heated controversy due to the erotic component, often morbid (Le sens du combat, 1996; Interventions, 1998).

Since the mid-eighties there has been the revival of the polar, or the detective genre, to which many writers have used as a springboard. This original development of the genre, inaugurated by J.-P. Manchette (1942-95) had notable representatives in J. Vautrin (b.1933) and FH Fajardie (b.1947). The fiction is linked here to the real setting (the poor suburbs, the large metropolises asphyxiated by traffic) and often draws inspiration from the news, all described with a look full of humanity towards the characters. We still remember JC Izzo (1945-2000), who published a trilogy whose protagonist is the detective Fabio Montale (Total Khéops, 1995; Chourmo, 1996; Solea, 2000), and Léo Malet. An original synthesis was represented by D. Pennac (b.1944) and his quadrilogy centered on the character of Benjamin Malaussène (from Au Bonheur des ogres to Monsieur Malaussène) which met with worldwide success, thus bringing back a forgotten district of Paris (Belleville) and the taste for a story full of humor in a colorful language. Other examples can be found in D. Daeninckx (b.1949), T. Benacquista (La comedia des ratés, 1991), S. Quadruppani (b.1952Rue de la cloche, 1992), D’Ormesson (b.1925) and Ph. Sollers (b. 1936) and D. Picouly (b. 1948), author of the historical novel L’enfant leopard (1999). P. Labro (b. 1936) distinguished himself as a crime film director in the seventies and eighties and later as a novelist. In his works, mainly in the autobiography Quinze anz, un début à Paris (1994) and in Manuella (1999), the difficult transition from childhood to adolescence is narrated, with considerable attention to the often painful psychological implications that this phase entails. Beyond the noir genre, the following deserve mention: J. Echenoz (b. 1947), winner of the 1999 Goncourt prize with the novel Je m’en vais (1999); N. Avril (b. 1939); A. Ernaux (b. 1940), who made his debut in the seventies but found success with the trilogy La place (1982), Une femme (1988) and Passion simple (1992); Ch. Clerc (b. 1942); JM Laclavetine (b.1954), author of the novel Première ligne(1999) set in the publishing world. It should also be noted the success that, since 1994, the works of M. Houellebecq (b. 1958) have enjoyed internationally. Metropolitan reality in all its facets is investigated by JM Gourio in the twelve volumes of Nouvelles bréves de comptoir (1987-2000), stories inspired by real conversations heard by the author in Parisian bars and bistros, written in a colloquial, unadorned language. and devoid of affectation, the same used by P. Djian (b. 1949) in Vers chez les blancs (2000). Autobiographical research is the line that unites the work of J. Roubaud (b.1932), with Le grand incendie de Londres (1989) and La boucle (1993), and H. Guibert (1955-92), who also renounces the subtitle of the definition of “novel”: in the works À l’ami qui ne m’a pas sauvé la vie (1990) and L’homme au chapeau rouge (1992) of the novel the interpretation keys remained, but not the narrative ones; the effect is that of a terrifying and often cruel truth, like reality. By French adoption I am M. Benabou (b.1939), born in Morocco to parents of Jewish origin, A. Maalouf (b.1949), whose historical novels convey a deep sense of tolerance and respect for every culture and tradition., and T. Ben Jelloun (b.1944), which, in addition to describing the loneliness and marginalization of North Africans in France, tackles the problem of racism, establishing connections with the end of the colonial empires.

The problems of immigrants and the difficult living conditions in the suburbs of large cities are also investigated by the sociologist A. Villechaise-Dupont (b. 1971) in the long essay Les gens des grands ensembles (2000). As far as poetry is concerned, new trends emerged that ignored the consecrated masters of the avant-garde such as R. Char (1907-88), P. Emmanuel (1916-84) and Y. Bonnefois (b.1923): to the surviving scholars of the vein lyric thus joined the large group of researchers gathered around the aforementioned magazine Tel Quel and to Change, dedicated to exercises of exasperated expressive tension. Of the next generation, the critic and poet JM Maulpoix (b. 1952) stressed that there is no dominant ideology, program or expressive model in poetry. Poets wish to experience the infinite possibilities offered by the word: their verses refuse to bend to any type of metric scheme, often merging into prose – as happens in the compositions of G. Macé (n.1946) – or abandoning themselves to typical musical suggestions. of the works of M. Messagier (b. 1949). Contempt for sentimentality and the search for beauty in everyday objects are the dominant characteristics of the poetry of F. De Cornière (b. 1950), G. Noiret (b. 1948) and JL Giovannoni (b. 1950). A cold, objective description, almost scientific reality characterized certain French poetry; the best proofs have been given by the aforementioned J. Roubaud, with Quelque chose noir (1986), a work marked by a strong and constant presence of death, the echoes of which are also found in Proses du fils (1993) by Y. Charnet (b.1962): in some tragic situations, poetry becomes the only way to get to a story of oneself. Finally we remember C. Prigent (b. 1945), founder of the literary magazine TXT together with JL Steinmetz (b. 1940); Prigent argues the importance of the poet’s total dedication to his art and the need for renewal through writing. As for the second half of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first one remember M. Duras, A.Blondin, J. d’Ormesson, the Nobel laureate C. Simon, M. Tournier, P. Quignard and D. Pennac, author of extraordinary commercial success.

France Contemporary Literature

Current Emigration to Denmark

Current Emigration to Denmark


Area: 42,921 km²
Residents: 5,748,769 (2018)
Population density: 134 E / km²
Form of Government: Parliamentary hereditary monarchy
System of Government: Parliamentary democracy
Neighboring countries: Sweden, Germany
Capital: Copenhagen National
Language: Danish
81.5% Protestant,
3% Muslim,
0, 6% Catholics,
0.26% Jehovah’s Witnesses
Currency: Danish krone (DKK)
1 Danish krone = 100 ore
Exchange rates:
1 EUR = 7.44 DKK
1 DKK = 0.13 EUR
1 CHF = 6.85 DKK
1 DKK = 0.15 CHF
(rate from 13.07.2021)
Telephone area code: +45
Time zone: UTC +1

In 2020, 1,479 Germans officially emigrated to Denmark and 785 came back to their homeland. Within the 10 years from 2010 to 2019, 12,708 Germans officially emigrated to Denmark and 8,445 moved back to Germany. This landed this coastal country on the remarkable 6th place on the satisfaction list of all emigration destinations. In 2020 there were officially 26,135 Germans living in Denmark, most of them on the border with Germany.

In 2017, 11.5% of the population was born abroad. Most come from Scandinavian countries, followed by immigrants from Turkey and Eastern Europe. The official language is Danish. German is recognized as the only minority language. Dialects such as Sønderjysk and Bornholmsk are spoken in some parts of the country. English is the most important foreign language in Denmark, but French still has some influence. About 90% of the students learn German as a second foreign language at least temporarily.

Denmark is divided into the following five regions with a total of 98 municipalities: Nordjylland (Northern Jutland and the islands of Vendsyssel-Thy, Mors and Læsø), Midtjylland (central part of Jutland), Syddanmark (south of Jutland and the island of Funen), Hovedstaden (northeast Zealand with the capital Copenhagen and the island Bornholm) and Sjælland (large part of the island Sjælland and the islands Lolland, Falster and Møn).

The economic upswing and reforms on the labor market have led to a sharp decline in unemployment since the mid-1990s. The country is climatically very balanced; not too hot summers, but mild winters due to the influence of the Gulf Stream. Due to the islands and the rugged bays, Denmark has a relatively long coastline of 7,314 km.

Work – job offer

Perhaps things are not going as well as one is used to in the Danish labor market, the job satisfaction rate, but it is among the highest in Europe. Denmark’s labor market combines flexibility with social security for all workers. Everyday work is characterized by flat hierarchies, teamwork and relaxed, friendly cooperation.

All Danish employers are legally obliged to provide you with an employment contract. You are entitled to a contract if you have been employed for at least one month and more than eight hours a week.

Denmark has one of the highest wages in the EU. However, these are reduced to a moderate level by high taxes. In many cases it is easy to get a job because there are no bureaucratic hurdles and you do not need a work permit. It should be noted, however, that not all German training courses are recognized here. Before starting work, you should apply for a tax card (e-tax card) from the responsible tax authority. If you do not do this, the employer pays a tax of 60%.

Everyone who works in Denmark pays income tax. To ensure this, it is necessary to apply for an electronic tax card from the Danish Customs and Tax Administration (SKAT). Without this tax card, the employer will automatically deduct 55 percent tax from your salary. You can find more detailed information on applying for the tax card at

As an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, the step into self-employment is made easy. To do this, you need to register your company with the Danish Commerce and Companies Agency. You can do this online at (this page only exists in Danish).

There is a particular need for skilled workers in the catering, agriculture and healthcare sectors. Craftsmen, construction workers and engineers are also wanted. The employment office or the central office for job placement and the European Employment Services (Eures) can help with the job search.

If you pay into Denmark’s unemployment fund yourself, you can also take advantage of Denmark’s extensive unemployment insurance, as the following graphic shows (unfortunately only in English at the moment). If you click on the graphic, you will find more information in English on the website.

As in Germany, there is a statutory health insurance requirement in Denmark if you have a job. In comparison to Germany, however, Denmark only has state health insurance. To take advantage of this, you should register with the residents’ registration office as soon as possible and apply for a health insurance card. Since the exhibition can take some time, you should cover yourself with a foreign health insurance for the transition period.

Homeschooling, homeschooling, free learning

An increasingly popular alternative to normal school attendance is homeschooling (home tuition or home tuition) or free learning (unschooling). In Denmark, home schooling is legally controlled by the school as an alternative to the compulsory public school system. Inspections are mandatory every year unless specific arrangements have been made.

One possibility to be examined is to have the children taught at home in German by the Wilhelm von Humboldt Online Private School. This means that children can be taught according to the German curriculum by teachers who are accredited in Germany and thus be prepared for the secondary school leaving certificate and the Abitur – information HERE.

Current Emigration to Denmark

Europe Environment

Europe Environment

The continent’s long anthropic history has left an unmistakable mark on the European environmental balance. Although there are several natural parks which, since the beginning of the 21st century, have aimed to preserve increasingly precarious natural habitats, only at the northern extremities (Scandinavian Peninsula) and eastern (the great Russian plain) are there totally uncontaminated environments. Deforestation threatened Europe before any other area in the world due to early industrialization and, to this day, there are areas, such as Ireland, where the original forest has almost disappeared. On the other hand, starting from the end of the twentieth century, the growing political and cultural sensitivity to environmental issues has produced a reversal of the trend; hence greater attention to the protection of what has remained after centuries of intense exploitation and attempts to protect and repopulate some regions of the continent with native species. This increased sensitivity to environmental issues was one of the secondary effects of the EU enlargement process, which also works to “harmonize” the environmental policies of the member countries. Process, to be honest, characterized by continuous setbacks due above all to the difficulty of reconciling particular interests (those detectable on a national scale, relating to the impact of global decisions on within the individual States) with collective interests (the European dimension of the measures) as well as those of the short and long term (investments in technologies that will bring results only in the long distance in the face of costs and commitments to be incurred by implementing policies with a strong impact on the present). An example of this is the Copenhagen Summit (2009), during which the world was able to observe with how little strength and cohesion the Union manages to make its voice heard in international fora and how difficult it is to identify common positions to support. with conviction. Despite this the Union is able to make its voice heard in international fora and how difficult it is to identify common positions to be supported with conviction. See COUNTRYAAH.COM for more information about Western Europe.

Despite this the Union is able to make its voice heard in international fora and how difficult it is to identify common positions to be supported with conviction. Despite this the green economy it presents itself as a real challenge for the development models of the Old Continent, both from a purely economic point of view and, above all, from the environmental side. In December 2008, the EU approved the so-called “20-20-20 Strategy”, which is a package of policies designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and total energy consumption by 20% by 2020, as well as, by the same date, produce at least 20% of the energy from renewable sources. Since the seventies of the twentieth century, particular attention has been paid to the protection of river waters. The illustrative case is that of the Thames, a literally “dead” river already at the end of the nineteenth century which, thanks to the repopulation process it has undergone, has seen the return of previously disappeared species, such as seals and dolphins. The many kilometers of coastline that border the continent and the overlooking marine environments have also deserved renewed attention. There are over 120 protected areas, of which 50 approx. they are completely marine. Among the various initiatives, the establishment of a “sanctuary” in the sea between Italy, France and the Principality of Monaco, made possible thanks to an agreement between the three states, has taken on particular importance. In this wide arm of the sea there are therefore new and severe rules that prohibit the hunting of cetaceans such as the France and the Principality of Monaco, made possible thanks to an agreement between the three states. In this wide arm of the sea there are therefore new and severe rules that prohibit the hunting of cetaceans such as the France and the Principality of Monaco, made possible thanks to an agreement between the three states. In this wide arm of the sea there are therefore new and severe rules that prohibit the hunting of cetaceans such as the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) or the sperm whale (Physeter catodon). Nonetheless, uncontrolled fishing to which some species are subjected, such as bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus), endangered. Precisely on this species, for several years, the governments of the Mediterranean countries, although called to take clear positions, have maintained ambiguous attitudes that attract them harsh criticism from environmentalists. Despite the transformations taking place in the European economy and the ever lower weight assumed by manufacturing processes in the chemical and steel sectors, the continent continues to pay for the high rate of industrialization, no less than the consumerism adopted as a habit by now in almost everyone. the countries that make it up. Hence two of the main unresolved issues on the European agenda in terms of environmental protection: air quality (seriously compromised in some areas such as, for example, the Po Valley in Italy) and waste disposal.

Europe Environment

EU Economy and Currency

EU Economy and Currency

The economy

In January 2002, the single currency, the euro, definitively replaced the franc, the D-mark, the lira and a number of other national currencies. Not all EU countries could or did not want to abandon such a large part of the sovereignty of the nation state. Sweden, Denmark and the United Kingdom chose not to participate. Six more EU countries are outside the euro because they do not yet meet all the economic conditions. The entry requirements are a low central government debt, balanced central government finances, low inflation, a balanced exchange rate and low interest rates.

The countries that do not participate in monetary cooperation do not participate when the euro zone finance ministers meet to discuss economic coordination once a month. They enter the discussions the next day, when the EU as a whole holds a meeting of finance ministers.

However, according to COUNTRYAAH.COM, all EU countries are part of the EU’s economic union. This has a less mandatory character for non-euro countries, but still establishes a relatively strict framework for all. The euro crisis of 2009 led EU countries to tighten the requirements for good housekeeping.

The economic year for an EU country now looks like this:
In late autumn, the European Commission will present an annual growth report with proposals for priorities for the EU countries’ economic policies. It is discussed by all finance ministers who are expected to start from this when they then lay down national budgets.

At the same time, the Commission publishes the macroeconomic imbalances it has found in the countries that risk developing into a “bubble” and making the economy unstable. The European Commission may choose to initiate a closer examination if a risk to stability is perceived as urgent.

In March, the European Commission will deliver country reports with detailed analysis and forecasts of the economy and potential problem areas.
In April, all EU countries must submit an annual economic plan (“convergence program” for non-euro countries such as Sweden, “stability program” for others) and their national budget bill.

In May, the European Commission will issue tailor – made recommendations to each country with proposals for action. These will be discussed and hammered out by the finance ministers in July.
For the euro countries, monitoring is tougher and a country that does not follow the recommended measures is warned and risks fines.

In October, eurozone countries will have to submit their drafts of next year’s national budget bills. Also these nail polish by the European Commission and can end in recommendations for action. The country being criticized must convince a qualified majority of finance ministers to go against the Commission in order to avoid making corrections.

A rule for national budgets is that expenditure must not increase faster than the country’s medium-term growth, if it is not possible to show income that can match expenditure. Countries with budget deficits should aim to strengthen their structural budget balance annually by 0.5% of GDP.

Euro countries must by law introduce automatic correction if their country’s structural deficit exceeds 0.5% of GDP. The idea is that the EU can allow a little more flexibility if a country has a stable structural basis.

Since the introduction of the euro, the country with a large national budget deficit (3% of GDP) has been closely monitored by the European Commission. The country has short deadlines to solve the problem (normally three months). Following the euro crisis, a similar process was introduced to monitor government borrowing. It strikes if borrowing exceeds 60 percent of GDP.

In general, euro area countries must submit to calls for action to correct a risky situation, while non-euro area countries are not obliged to do so.
Figures, assessments and warnings are always published. The markets usually drive up interest rates for a country that is in a bad situation and this extra pressure is considered a welcome extra help to be able to achieve a strict economic discipline in the EU.


The euro got off to a solid start and, after a few years of a stable exchange rate and low inflation, had established itself as one of the world’s most desirable currencies. But in the wake of the global financial crisis that erupted in full force in 2008, cracks were revealed in the economies of several European countries.

At the beginning of 2008, all euro area countries respected the rule of not having a government budget deficit larger than 3% of GDP. In the summer of 2010, all euro area countries exceeded that limit, as did most other EU countries.

Added to this was the discovery that the euro country Greece had been lying about its economic situation for several years in order to join the eurozone. There was a tumult in the markets and other euro countries were forced to lend money urgently. As a counterclaim, Greece was placed close enough under compulsory administration. The loans that kept the country under wraps were paid out in installments, only after crisis measures had been voted through the Greek parliament.

Ireland then had to ask for support since its government had promised to cover the losses of all Irish banks, which quickly resulted in large gaps in the treasury. After that, it was Portugal’s turn to turn to colleagues for emergency loans.

In the affected countries, people demonstrated against forced cuts and austerity measures. German, Finnish and Dutch voters instead received angry protests against having to help other countries when times were already difficult. It was clear that the relative independence in economic affairs that the euro countries had maintained, despite the single currency, had become unsustainable. When one crashed, the others were dragged along.

EU Economy

Climate in the Azores

Climate in the Azores

When is the best time to travel to the Azores?

The best time to travel to the Azores is from June to October. July and August are the sunniest and warmest months of the year and are therefore particularly suitable for a vacation in the Azores. In addition, the least rain falls in these two months.

The climate of the Azores is subject to minor fluctuations. That is why the Portuguese islands are an attractive travel destination all year round . However, the months of June to October are best for a vacation in the Azores. During this period, temperatures averaging 22 to 26 degrees Celsius prevail during the day. The sun shines at least 5 to 8 hours a day. These months are also the best time to travel to the Azores for beach holidays, as the water temperatures are a pleasant 20 to 23 degrees Celsius.

Below you will find out when is the best time to travel to various activities in the Azores. I’ll tell you which islands belong to the Azores and which climate awaits you. You will also receive other important information about the beautiful islands of the Azores archipelago. So you are well prepared for your Azores vacation!

What is the climate like in the Azores?

According to NEXTICLE, the Azores are influenced by the oceanic-subtropical climate . This means that the summers are pleasantly warm without major heat waves and the winters are not too cold. Precipitation can be expected all year round, but it rains less in summer than in winter. The weather in the Azores is often unpredictable. You have to be prepared for pronounced weather changes within a day and for a cloudy sky. The humidity is high all year round. Therefore, it can sometimes be quite humid in summer. Also pack warm clothes to wear, as it is often very windy in the Azores. As a representative for the climate in the Azores, I am providing you with the climate table for Horta on Faial.

This shows that no major fluctuations are to be expected throughout the year. The warmest months are July, August and September. Here the values ​​are between 25 and 26 degrees Celsius. The coldest month is February with temperatures of 11 to 17 degrees, closely followed by January and March. August brings the most sun with 8 hours of sunshine per day. With 3 days per month, the sun is least visible between November and February. The rainiest months are from October to January. On the other hand, it is the driest with 6 rainy days in June and July. The water temperature is due to the warm Gulf Stream enjoyable. The lowest temperature of the Atlantic reaches from February to April with 17 degrees Celsius. The months June to October are most pleasant for swimming. During this time, the temperatures are between 20 degrees in June and November and 23 degrees Celsius in September.

Climate table for Horta

Jan Feb March Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature in ° C 17 17 17 18 20 22 25 26 25 22 19 18
Min. Temperature in ° C 12 11 12 13 14 16 18 19 19 16 15 13
Hours of sunshine per day 3 3 4 5 6 6 7 8 6 5 3 3
Water temperature in ° C 18 17 17 17 18 20 21 22 23 22 20 19
Rainy days per month 13 13 12 9 9 6 6 7 10 12 14 13
Precipitation in mm 112 99 80 62 56 48 35 53 90 106 115 114


Every single one of the Azores islands is worth a trip. They are not only different in size and number of inhabitants – São Miguel has over 138,000 inhabitants, on Corvo, in contrast, only 460 people – but also offer activities for different tastes . Divers, hikers, beach holidaymakers and nature lovers feel equally at home in the Azores. The islands are well developed for tourism. However, not many holidaymakers have discovered the Azores archipelago as a travel destination for themselves. Therefore, you can enjoy a relaxing time in the Azores without mass tourism.

What is the climate like in the Azores

In the Azores it is pleasantly warm all year round . Be warned, however: the islands’ weather is inconsistent. Sunshine and rain can alternate several times a day. So pack something warm to wear and a rain jacket. The best time to travel to the Azores is from June to October. During this period you can expect the highest temperatures and the least rain. You now have all the important information about the Azores archipelago. Are you as excited as I am? Then book your Azores vacation and pack your bags. You will spend an unforgettable time there, because the Azores Islands, which belong to Portugal, are definitely worth a trip!

Stockholm Travel Guide

Stockholm Travel Guide

Maritime Stockholm is a classic of nearby destinations. Stockholm is a large and international city with excellent shopping and a diverse cultural life. Located on the shores of the Baltic Sea, Stockholm is a city that is familiar to many Finnish tourists. Good connections and a similar culture make traveling easy.


Stockholm is an archipelago city

The Swedish capital, Stockholm, is located on the eastern edge of the country on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Stockholm is literally an archipelago city, as it is built on 14 islands connected by 56 bridges. In front of the city opens the Stockholm archipelago of about 24,000 islands.

Stockholm offers a wide range of contrasts. Tourists can walk through the city’s fine area of ​​Östermalm to Södermalm’s weekend street market, and continue their journey towards the tourist-filled old town.

The histories of Sweden and Finland are closely intertwined, as the current neighboring countries have been one and the same state for centuries. Stockholm’s cultural life has always had a huge impact on Finnish culture, and Finnish tourists have remained loyal to the neighboring capital.

Today, more than 700 years old, Stockholm is the largest city in the Nordic countries and is especially known for its design, shopping and nightlife. Stockholm’s most famous places to visit and attractions include the Old Town, Skansen, the Vasa Museum and Junibacken.

Stockholm holiday

Shopping is one of the most popular activities on a Stockholm holiday.

Stockholm’s climate

The climate in Stockholm is similar to that in the coastal cities of Finland. Winters are relatively mild and summers warm. The coldest time in Stockholm is in January – February, when the average temperature is a couple of degrees. The warmest is in June, July and August, when daytime temperatures rise to over 20 degrees.

Many trips are made to Stockholm from Finland, especially in summer, but the city is still a year-round tourist destination. For example, the atmospheric Christmas market attracts Finnish travelers for Christmas shopping.

Take a city break to Stockholm

Stockholm is primarily a city holiday destination, but the city also offers plenty of activities for tourists who need it. In addition to great shopping, interesting museums and a wide range of restaurants, you can climb the rooftops of Stockholm, paddle in the archipelago in front of the city and explore the city’s parks, not forgetting the great sea jogging or cycling routes.

From a Finnish point of view, Stockholm is by no means particularly affordable, but it is also not an expensive city destination. Popular tourist seasons, such as summer and school holidays, are reflected in the price level of hotels in Stockholm, which is also affected by currency fluctuations between the Swedish krona and the euro.

Travel safely and speak Swedish

Stockholm is a safe travel destination, and Finnish tourists do not experience major cultural differences in the city due to the cultural similarity between the countries. However, you should be careful about Stockholm taxis, as the city’s taxis are known for their stick sticks, which can put tourists at an outrageous price for a taxi ride.

Swedish is, of course, spoken in the Swedish capital, but if the second native language is not so fluent that you dare to use it, English will also work well in the city. If you spend a lot of time outside the city center or in places where there aren’t a lot of tourists, it’s worth a few Swedish phrases to recall before your trip.



Stockholm’s Old Town is one of the city’s most popular places to visit.

Flights and trips to Stockholm

Finland has good connections to Stockholm. The most popular and well-established way to move to the neighboring capital is to hop on a ship. In addition to scheduled trips, shipping companies also offer a lot of package tours to Stockholm.

Shipping companies operating in Stockholm include Viking Line and Tallink Silja . Cruise and itinerary prices to Stockholm vary widely, as trips cost around € 30-150, depending on the time and cabin class.

You can also get to Stockholm from Finland by plane. The nearest airport to Stockholm is Bromma Airport, located about ten kilometers from the city. However, most of the flights land at Arlanda, Sweden’s largest and busiest airport, located about 40 kilometers from Stockholm. From the airport, you can reach central Stockholm by bus, Arlanda Express or flat-rate taxi.

Flights to Stockholm are operated by Finnair , SAS and Norwegian . Flights to Stockholm cost around € 30-120. Cheap flights to Stockholm can be conveniently found, for example, with the help of Rantapallo flight search.

Hotels and accommodation in Stockholm

There are hundreds of hotels and other accommodation services in Stockholm. In addition to hotels, you can also live in a hostel, rental apartment or campsite in the Stockholm area. Many of the hotels are located in the city center in the Norrmalm and Södermalm areas.

Stockholm hotels are generally high quality. A hotel night in Stockholm costs on average around 80-100 euros. Many hotels offer discounted rates on weekends, and on weekdays also on weekdays.

If you need slightly cheaper accommodation solutions in Stockholm, hostels, hostels and camping sites are affordable accommodation.

Getting around Stockholm

It is easy to get around Stockholm on foot or by rented bicycle. Many of the city’s attractions are within walking distance.

For slightly longer journeys, you can get around Stockholm by bus, metro and local train. Located right in the city center, Stockholm Central Station is the city’s metro, bus and local train hub.

A one-time ticket for a public transport costs about four euros. In addition to single tickets, the traveler can purchase travel cards that include multiple trips or travel dates. More information on train and bus timetables and ticket prices can be found on Storstockholms Lokaltrafik’s website .

If you plan to travel a lot on Stockholm’s public transport, you may want to get a travel card, which is available for either a day, 72 hours or a week. A valid 24-hour travel card goes unlimitedly to all SL’s means of transport and costs about 12 euros.

In the Stockholm area, taxi prices are at the same level as in Finland.

Sweden Travel Information

Sweden Travel Information


When you think of Sweden, you immediately think of red painted wooden houses, picturesque lakes and large forests. As a holiday destination with a great variety of nature experiences, the most densely populated country in Scandinavia is an exciting travel destination. According to countryaah, Sweden is a country located in northern Europe.



It rarely gets full, because 10 million people live on the 447,000 square kilometers. On the following pages we have put together a range of useful information about your trip to Sweden. Find out in advance to be well prepared.


Since Sweden is a member of the EU, travelers generally do not need any further identification documents. However, it is advisable to carry an identity card or passport with you for customs controls. You can find out more under the heading Getting to Sweden.


The national language is Swedish, which is one of the North Germanic languages ​​and is closely related to Danish and Norwegian. In addition, English is spoken at a good level by a large part of the population. Read more about this in the section on the Swedish language.


In Sweden you pay with Swedish krona, in Swedish krona (plural kronor, abbreviated SEK or kr), which is divided into 100 ore. International credit cards are generally accepted everywhere. In addition, cash machines are available for collection in front of banks. Cashless payment is very common in Sweden, so that even the smallest amounts can be paid by credit card. You can find out how and when it is best to shop in the section Shopping in Sweden.


Summers in Sweden are short but often warm and sunny; the best travel time is from May to September. In the south of the country, the night lasts a few hours in summer, while beyond the Arctic Circle the sun never sets. Late summer and autumn are considered the wettest seasons.

In the south of the country, the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream ensure mild temperatures despite the northern location. Malmö has an average of 0 degrees throughout winter. Except in the extreme southwest, snow falls regularly. In the east the winters are colder, so in Stockholm the mean temperature is below freezing from December to February. Lapland and the regions beyond the Arctic Circle have polar climates. The winters are very cold with average temperatures of minus 12 to minus 14 degrees. Lower temperatures are reached again and again. In Haparanda at the northern end of the Gulf of Bothnia, permafrost prevails from November to April. Read more about the climate and the best time to travel to Sweden.


Short for SE by abbreviationfinder, Sweden offers a wide range of events throughout the year. It is best to plan your next visit after the interesting event. We have put together a selection of our event highlights in Sweden for you.


When you think of Sweden, you immediately think of red painted wooden houses, picturesque lakes and large forests. As a holiday destination with a great variety of nature experiences, the most densely populated country in Scandinavia is an exciting travel destination. It never gets full, because 9 million people live on the 447,000 square kilometers.


From the wider archipelago in the south to the Sami areas in Lapland, it is worth getting to know many facets of Sweden. In addition, pulsating metropolises such as Stockholm and Malmö offer the amenities of the big city, such as diverse shopping opportunities in connection with major sights.

Sweden is also ideal for active travelers. Numerous hiking trails and nature parks invite you to go on long tours to be active in the fresh air. In addition, crystal clear rivers and a widely branched water system offer canoeists the best conditions. Those who like things a little quieter look for delicious berries and mushrooms in the woods. And if you fancy a little more company, there are plenty of opportunities in Sweden’s cities to spend the day in museums, galleries and shops.

In the winter months you can also be active in the fresh air. Well-groomed trails invite you to cross-country skiing, in the north of the country there are lifts for downhill skiing. Snowshoe hikes and snowmobile safaris are also enjoying increasing popularity.

Sweden can look back on a varied history and has now become a model for many other countries, especially because of its neutral position in international conflicts and its appreciation of equality. You will get to know the down-to-earth attitude inherent in many Swedes on your trip to Sweden. Find out more about your trip to Sweden in our practical tips for Sweden section.


Montenegro Travel Destinations

Montenegro Travel Destinations

Montenegro is still a low-cost destination, suitable for many types of travelers. There is plenty to do for active holidaymakers, beach lions, city tourists and motorists alike. Montenegro’s most popular destinations are the coastal towns of Kotor and Budva, as well as the Durmitor National Park near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. The capital Podgorica is not yet significantly popular with tourists, but it also offers interesting things to see if you want to get around Montenegro in depth.

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Situated on the Bay of Kotor, Kotor is a popular city destination.

Short for MNE by abbreviationfinder, Montenegro is a country located in Southern Europe according to countryaah.

Cheap accommodation in Montenegro

For the time being, the price level in Montenegro is clearly lower than in Finland, and it is also reflected in accommodation prices. However, tourism is on the rise and as coastal areas prepare to attract five-star holidaymakers with their new hotels, prices may also hurt closer to other Mediterranean destinations.

In addition to hotels, tourists can stay in Montenegro in inns and hostels, but the popular home culture culture in the Balkans can also be great in Montenegro.

The cheapest way to find a good place to stay is to book a room or even an entire apartment from a local for the duration of your stay. It is possible to book the apartment in advance through accommodation services such as Airbnb, but outside the most popular tourist seasons, the reservation can also be left without worries on site.

Hop on the bus or car

The best way to get around Montenegro is by car or bus. There is also a train network in the country, but the trains are quite slow and the network is not very comprehensive. That is why most tourists prefer to use a bus, for example.

Renting a car is also a viable option if your driving experience is sufficient. The mountain roads are quite narrow as well as winding. Montenegrins put their rally driving skills to the test at least as enthusiastically as Finns on sandy forest roads. However, main roads have been commendably developed in recent years and the use of bypasses and speed limits are monitored. Still, the driving style requires the flexibility typical of the Mediterranean region.

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Montenegro has many atmospheric port cities.

Beautiful Kotor is a tourist favorite

The Bay of Kotor, located in the southwest corner of Montenegro and bordering Croatia, is considered one of the most beautiful natural harbors in Europe. The bay consists of several small bays that connect to each other and to the sea through only one narrow canal. The Bay of Kotor is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its unique nature and nuanced culture. A decent espresso within the walls of the car-free city of Kotor, known for its architecture, comes to mind as a wonderful experience.

Kotor is a historic attraction on the Montenegrin coast and is one of the best-preserved old towns in the region. Medieval architecture is strong in the cityscape of Kotor, and traditional delicacies from different corners of the country – from cheeses and smoked ham to fruit and seafood – are sold daily in the town square.

Historic Budva represents the coastal idyll

One of the most popular beach resorts in Montenegro is Budva, known for its idyllic small old town. The architecture and food culture of the coastal towns show the influence of the Venetian era, and the vegetation is typical of the Mediterranean – palms, eucalyptus, cypresses and mimosa trees thrive on the coast.

Located in the middle of the coast, the Budva Riviera attracts the majority of tourists heading to Montenegro for a beach holiday every year. Historic villages bring depth to the holiday atmosphere, but the area also offers a vibrant nightlife for those who want it.

Durmitor National Park attracts visitors

Durmitor National Park in northern Montenegro impresses with its stunning mountain scenery and diverse activities. Exploring the national park is best done with your own car, and there are also numerous hiking trails for active travelers of all levels.

Hiking is one of the best ways to explore Montenegro’s stunning mountain scenery, and especially in the northern part of the country, the peaks attract enthusiastic climbers. An additional touch to the hiking trip is staying in a mountain cottage with the locals.

Climbing to over 2,000 meters for the first time is a breathtaking experience, and access to the top catches the breath. Around the sky, right at your fingertips and at the same time so infinitely far away. On flowery slopes, only herds of sheep walk in the rhythm of the clouds.


Beautiful beaches are only part of the reason for the growing interest of tourists.

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The best beach resorts

  1. Bar
  2. Ulcinj
  3. Kotor
  4. Budva

The finest experiences

  1. Drive around the Bay of Kotor
  2. Swim in the clear Adriatic Sea
  3. Hike in Durmitor National Park
  4. Visit the old town of Budva