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Culture of Europe

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Title: Culture of Europe  
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Culture of Europe

The culture of Europe is rooted in the art, architecture, music, literature, and philosophy that originated from the European cultural region.[1] European culture is largely rooted in what is often referred to as its "common cultural heritage".[2]


  • Elements 1
  • Art 2
  • Science 3
  • Philosophy 4
  • Religion 5
  • Cuisine 6
  • Clothing 7
  • Sport 8
  • Capitals of Culture 9
  • Symbols 10
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13


Due to the great number of perspectives which can be taken on the subject, it is impossible to form a single, all-embracing conception of European culture.[3] Nonetheless, there are core elements which are generally agreed upon as forming the cultural foundation of modern Europe.[4] One list of these elements given by K. Bochmann includes:[5]

Berting says that these points fit with "Europe's most positive realisations".[7] The concept of European culture is generally linked to the classical definition of the Western world. In this definition, Western culture is the set of literary, scientific, political, artistic and philosophical principles which set it apart from other civilizations. Much of this set of traditions and knowledge is collected in the Western canon.[8] The term has come to apply to countries whose history has been strongly marked by European immigration or settlement during the 18th and 19th centuries, such as the Americas, and Australasia, and is not restricted to Europe.

The Nobel Prize laureate in Literature Thomas Stearns Eliot in his 1948 book Notes Towards the Definition of Culture, credited the prominent Christian influence upon the European culture:[9]


Leonardo da Vinci. Among his works are the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, with their fame approached only by Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam.

The oldest known cave paintings are at the El Castillo cave (Spain), older than 40,800 years.[10] The history of Western painting represents a continuous, though disrupted, tradition from antiquity. Until the mid 19th century it was primarily concerned with representational and Classical modes of production, after which time more modern, abstract and conceptual forms gained favor. Developments in Western painting historically parallel those in Eastern painting, in general a few centuries later.

The earliest European sculpture to date portrays a female form, and has been estimated at dating from 35,000 years ago. See Classical sculpture, Ancient Greek sculpture, Gothic art, Renaissance, Mannerist, Baroque, Neoclassicism, Modernism, Postminimalism, found art, Postmodern art, Conceptual art.

The Beatles are the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed band in the history of music, with sales of over one billion units.[11][12][13][14]

Main festivals includes: Sanremo Music Festival, Coca-Cola Summer Festival (Italy), Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds Festivals, Isle of Wight Festival, T in the Park (UK), Fête de la Musique, Eurockéennes, Vieilles Charrues Festival, Hellfest (France), Wacken (Germany), Festival Internacional de Benicàssim, Primavera Sound (Spain), Exit Festival (Serbia), Sziget Festival (Hungary), Roskilde Festival (Denmark), Rock Werchter, Tomorrowland (Belgium) & Eurovision (music competition between European countries). Domino Recording Company, Bertelsmann Music Group, PolyGram, EMI, Universal Music Group (Subsidiary of French company Vivendi) are the largest European music companies.

Neolithic architecture : Born in the Levant, Neolithic architecture spread to Europe. The Mediterranean neolithic cultures of Malta worshiped in megalithic temples. In Europe, long houses built from wattle and daub were constructed. Elaborate tombs for the dead were also built. These tombs are particularly numerous in Ireland, where there are many thousand still in existence. Neolithic people built long barrows and chamber tombs for their dead and causewayed camps, henges flint mines and cursus monuments., Architecture of ancient Greece, Roman architecture, Medieval architecture, Renaissance architecture, Baroque architecture, Beaux-Arts architecture, Expressionist architecture, Stalinist architecture, Deconstructivism.

Europe has produced some of the most prominent or popular fiction and nonfiction writers of all time :

See Western art history, dance, drama, and circus arts.

Sir Alfred Hitchcock, often regarded the greatest British filmmaker of all time.[16]

German Expressionism, Italian neorealism, French New Wave, Polish Film School, New German Cinema, Portuguese Cinema Novo, Czechoslovak New Wave, Dogme 95, New French Extremity, and Romanian New Wave. The cinema of Europe has its own awards, the European Film Awards. Main festivals : Cannes Film Festival (France), Berlin International Film Festival (Germany). The Venice Film Festival (Italy) or Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica di Venezia, is the oldest film festival in the world.

Some of the most popular games of all time come from Europe: the Grand Theft Auto (series), Tomb Raider, The Witcher, Cossacks: European Wars, Colin McRae: Dirt, Far Cry 3, Asphalt (series), The Settlers, The Patrician, Need For Speed, Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, Brain Challenge, Rayman, Beyond Good & Evil, Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, Watch Dogs, Batman: Arkham City, Banjo-Kazooie (series), LittleBigPlanet, Block Breaker Deluxe, Crysis, Tetris, Assassin's Creed, Europa Universalis, Kinect Sports, Hysteria Project.


  • World Wide Web and home of the world's largest machine : the Large Hadron Collider. It is the world's largest particle physics laboratory, situated in the northwest suburbs of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border, established in 1954. In November 2010, the collisions obtained were able to generate the highest temperatures and densities ever produced in an experiment, creating a "mini-Big Bang" a million times hotter than the centre of the Sun.[19]
  • ESA : The European Space Agency's space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observations, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana and designing launch vehicles. The main European launch vehicle Ariane 5 is operated through Arianespace with ESA sharing in the costs of launching and further developing this launch vehicle. On 12 November 2014, ESA's Philae probe achieved the first-ever soft landing on a comet.

Europe has produced some of the greatest scientists, inventors and intellectuals in history. Germany; Frank Whittle, Alan Turing, Stephen Hawking, Tim Berners Lee, James Watt, Alexander Fleming, Alexander Graham Bell, John Logie Baird, James Clerk Maxwell, Adam Smith, John Maynard Keynes. Russia: Dmitri Mendeleev, Ivan Pavlov, Ilya Mechnikov, Nikolai Lobachevsky, Mikhail Lomonosov, Lev Landau, Aleksandr Butlerov, Alexander Stepanovich Popov, Igor Sikorsky, Sergey Korolyov. Finland; Artturi Ilmari Virtanen, Ragnar Granit, Johan Gadolin, Pekka Pyykkö, Gustav Elfving, Arvo Ylppö, Linus Torvalds, Anders Chydenius, Elias Lönnrot, Herman Spöring, Jr.. France; Pierre Abelard, Michel de Montaigne, Louis Pasteur, Antoine Lavoisier, Henri Becquerel, René Descartes, Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot, Pierre de Fermat, Blaise Pascal, the Montgolfier brothers, Denis Diderot, Jean le Rond d'Alembert, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, Léon Foucault, Auguste and Louis Lumière, Pierre Curie, Marie Curie, Jacques Lacan, Luc Montagnier, Albert Jacquard. Italy; Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo Galilei, Evangelista Torricelli, Niccolò Machiavelli, Alessandro Volta, Guglielmo Marconi, Enrico Fermi. Poland; Nicolaus Copernicus, Maria Skłodowska-Curie, Ignacy Łukasiewicz, Rudolf Weigl. Greece: Archimedes, Euclid, Ptolemy. Hungary: Ottó Bláthy, Ányos Jedlik, John von Neumann, Leó Szilárd, Edward Teller. Austria: Ludwig Boltzmann, Sigmund Freud, Kurt Gödel. Ireland; Lord Kelvin, Robert Boyle, William Rowan Hamilton. Spain; Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Isaac Peral, Leonardo Torres Quevedo. Sweden; Alfred Nobel, Anders Celsius. Denmark; Niels Bohr. Serbia; Nikola Tesla, Mihajlo Pupin, Milutin Milanković, Miomir Vukobratović. Switzerland; Carl Jung. The Netherlands; Christiaan Huygens, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, C. H. D. Buys Ballot, Hendrik Lorentz, Jan Oort.


European philosophy is a predominant strand of philosophy globally, and is central to philosophical enquiry in America and most other parts of the world which have fallen under its influence.

The Greek schools of philosophy in antiquity provide the basis of philosophical discourse that extends to today. Christian thought had a huge influence on many fields of European philosophy (as European philosophy has been on Christian thought too), sometimes as a reaction.

Perhaps one of the most important single philosophical periods since the classical era were the Renaissance, the Age of Reason and the Age of Enlightenment. There are many disputes as to its value and even its timescale. What is indisputable is that the tenets of reason and rational discourse owe much to René Descartes, John Locke and others working at the time.

Other important European philosophical strands include: Analytic philosophy, Anarchism, Christian Democracy, Communism, Conservatism, Constructionism, Deconstructionism, Empiricism, Epicureanism, Existentialism, Fascism, Humanism, Idealism, Internationalism, Liberalism, Logical positivism, Marxism, Materialism, Monarchism, Nationalism, Perspectivism, Platonism, Positivism, Postmodernism, Protestantism, Rationalism, Relativism, Republicanism, Romanticism, Scepticism, Scholasticism, Social Democracy, Socialism, Stoicism, Structuralism, Thomism, Utilitarianism, Spenglerism.


Religions in Europe.

Indo-European religions were: Uralic mythologies, Celtic polytheism, Germanic paganism, Ancient Greek religion, Etruscan religion, and Slavic mythology.

The Eurobarometer Poll 2005[20] found that, on average, 52% of the citizens of EU member states state that they "believe in God", 27% believe there is some sort of spirit or life force while 18% do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force. 3% declined to answer. According to new polls about Religiosity in the European Union in 2012 by Eurobarometer, Christianity is the largest religion in the European Union accounting 72% of EU citizens. Non believer/Agnostic account 16%, Atheist account's 7%, and Muslim 2%.[21]

Christianity has been the dominant religion shaping European culture for at least the last 1700 years.[22][23][24][25][26] Modern philosophical thought has very much been influenced by Christian philosophers such as St Thomas Aquinas and Erasmus. And throughout most of its history, Europe has been nearly equivalent to Christian culture,[27] The Christian culture was the predominant force in western civilization, guiding the course of philosophy, art, and science.[28][29] The notion of "Europe" and the "Western World" has been intimately connected with the concept of "Christianity and Christendom" many even attribute Christianity for being the link that created a unified European identity.[30]

The most popular religions of Europe are the following (by dominant religion):

There are significant Catholic minorities in the Netherlands,[47] southern Germany,[48] Switzerland, the Czech Republic,[49] western and central Belarus, western Ukraine,[50] Hungarian-speaking Romania, Albania, parts of Russia, the Latgale region of Latvia, The Netherlands, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, England (UK), Scotland (UK),[51] and Wales (UK),[52] and indeed small minorities in most of the other European countries.


The cuisines of Western countries are diverse by themselves, although there are common characteristics that distinguishes Western cooking from cuisines of Asian countries and others. Compared with traditional cooking of Asian countries, for example, meat is more prominent and substantial in serving-size. Steak in particular is a common dish across the West. Similarly to some Asian cuisines, Western cuisines also put substantial emphasis on sauces as condiments, seasonings, or accompaniments (in part due to the difficulty of seasonings penetrating the often larger pieces of meat used in Western cooking). Many dairy products are utilized in the cooking process, except in nouvelle cuisine. Wheat-flour bread has long been the most common sources of starch in this cuisine, along with pasta, dumplings and pastries, although the potato has become a major starch plant in the diet of Europeans and their diaspora since the European colonization of the Americas.


The earliest definite examples of needles originate from the Solutrean culture, which existed in France and Spain from 19,000 BC to 15,000 BC. The earliest dyed flax fibers have been found in a cave the Republic of Georgia and date back to 36,000 BP. See Clothing in ancient Rome, 1100–1200 in fashion, 1200–1300 in fashion, 1300–1400 in fashion, 1400–1500 in fashion, 1500–1550 in fashion, 1550–1600 in fashion, 1600–1650 in fashion, 1650–1700 in fashion, Textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution.


Europe's influence on sport is enormous. Indeed, it is difficult to think of a modern sport, apart from basketball and related sports, that does not have its origins in Europe. European sports include:

In addition, Europe has numerous national or regional sports which do not command a large international following outside of emigrant groups. These include:

Some sporting organisations hold European Championships.

Some sport competitions feature a European team gathering athletes from different European countries. These teams use the European flag as an emblem. The most famous of these competitions is the Ryder Cup in golf .

Capitals of Culture

Each year since 1985 one or more cities across Europe are chosen as European Capital of Culture. Here are the past and future capitals:

  • 1985: Athens
  • 1986: Florence
  • 1987: Amsterdam
  • 1988: Berlin
  • 1989: Paris
  • 1990: Glasgow
  • 1991: Dublin
  • 1992: Madrid
  • 1993: Antwerp
  • 1994: Lisbon
  • 1995: Luxembourg
  • 1996: Copenhagen
  • 1997: Thessaloniki
  • 1998: Stockholm
  • 1999: Weimar
  • 2000: Avignon, Bergen, Bologna, Brussels, Helsinki, Kraków, Prague, Reykjavík, Santiago de Compostela
  • 2001: Rotterdam, Porto
  • 2002: Bruges, Salamanca
  • 2003: Graz
  • 2004: Genoa, Lille
  • 2005: Cork
  • 2006: Patras
  • 2007: Sibiu, Luxembourg, Greater Region
  • 2008: Liverpool, Stavanger
  • 2009: Vilnius Linz
  • 2010: Essen (representing the Ruhr), Istanbul, Pécs
  • 2011: Turku, Tallinn
  • 2012: Guimarães, Maribor
  • 2013 Marseille, Košice
  • 2014: Umeå, Riga [4]
  • 2015: Mons, Plzeň
  • 2016: San Sebastián, Wrocław[5]
  • 2017: Aarhus,[6] Paphos
  • 2018: Malta, Netherlands
  • 2019: Italy, Bulgaria


See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Cf. Berting (2006:51).
  3. ^ Cederman (2001:2) remarks: "Given the absence of an explicit legal definition and the plethora of competing identities, it is indeed hard to avoid the conclusion that Europe is an essentially contested concept." Cf. also Davies (1996:15); Berting (2006:51).
  4. ^ Cf. Jordan-Bychkov (2008:13), Davies (1996:15), Berting (2006:51-56).
  5. ^ K. Bochmann (1990) L'idée d'Europe jusqu'au XXè siècle, quoted in Berting (2006:52). Cf. Davies (1996:15): "No two lists of the main constituents of European civilization would ever coincide. But many items have always featured prominently: from the roots of the Christian world in Greece, Rome and Judaism to modern phenomena such as the Enlightenment, modernization, romanticism, nationalism, liberalism, imperialism, totalitarianism."
  6. ^ a b c d e Berting 2006, p. 52
  7. ^ Berting 2006, p. 51
  8. ^ Duran (1995:81)
  9. ^ Selected T.S. Eliot on Tradition, Poetry, Faith, and Culture
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Paul At Fifty: Paul McCartney Time Magazine'.' Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  13. ^ Most Successful Group The Guinness Book of Records 1999, p.230. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  14. ^ 100 Greatest Artists Of All Time: The Beatles (No.1) Rolling Stone'.' Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ December 28, 1895.
  18. ^ Cahiers du cinéma, n°hors-série, Paris, April 2000, p. 32 (cf. also , 2011, p. 10.Histoire des communications).
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ The question asked was "Do you consider yourself to be...?" With a card showing: Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Other Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu, Atheist, and Non-believer/Agnostic. Space was given for Other (SPONTANEOUS) and DK. Jewish, Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu did not reach the 1% threshold.
  22. ^ Religions in Global Society - Page 146, Peter Beyer - 2006
  23. ^ Cambridge University Historical Series, An Essay on Western Civilization in Its Economic Aspects, p.40: Hebraism, like Hellenism, has been an all-important factor in the development of Western Civilization; Judaism, as the precursor of Christianity, has indirectly had had much to do with shaping the ideals and morality of western nations since the christian era.
  24. ^ Caltron J.H Hayas, Christianity and Western Civilization (1953),Stanford University Press, p.2: That certain distinctive features of our Western civilization — the civilization of western Europe and of America— have been shaped chiefly by Judaeo - Graeco - Christianity, Catholic and Protestant.
  25. ^ Horst Hutter, University of New York, Shaping the Future: Nietzsche's New Regime of the Soul And Its Ascetic Practices (2004), p.111:three mighty founders of Western culture, namely Socrates, Jesus, and Plato.
  26. ^ Fred Reinhard Dallmayr, Dialogue Among Civilizations: Some Exemplary Voices (2004), p.22: Western civilization is also sometimes described as "Christian" or "Judaeo- Christian" civilization.
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ Global Christianity.
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ a b Discrimination in the European Union in 2012 - T98 and T99.
  35. ^
  36. ^ EVS Luxembourg 2008 CEPS/INSTEAD
  37. ^ a b
  38. ^
  39. ^ Ipsos MORI, Views on globalisation and faith, 5 July 2011
  40. ^
  41. ^ Kirchenaustritte gingen 2012 um elf Prozent zurück
  42. ^ a b 2011 Hungary Census Report
  43. ^ Census 2002 "population by religions"
  44. ^
  45. ^
  46. ^ Department of Statistics to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. . 2013-03-15.
  47. ^
  48. ^
  49. ^
  50. ^ Piotr Eberhardt. Ethnic groups and population changes in twentieth-century Central-Eastern Europe: history, data, analysis. M.E. Sharpe, 2003. pp.92–93. ISBN 978-0-7656-0665-5
  51. ^
  52. ^
  53. ^
  54. ^ Religion and denominations in the Republic of Belarus by the Commissioner on Religions and Nationalities of the Republic of Belarus from November 2011
  55. ^
  56. ^
  57. ^ 2011 census, p. 5.
  58. ^ [1].
  59. ^ 2002 Census Results. p. 132
  60. ^
  61. ^ The newest polls show about 20% Greek citizens being irreligious which is much more than 1%. Ultimately, the statistics are disputed until the results of the new census.
  62. ^
  63. ^
  64. ^ 2011 Census Religion Statistics (final results) (Romanian)
  65. ^ Pew
  66. ^ Book 3 Page 13
  67. ^ "What religious group do you belong to?". Sociology poll by Razumkov Centre about the religious situation in Ukraine (2006)
  68. ^
  69. ^
  70. ^ name="svenskakyrkan 2013">Svenska kyrkan i siffror Svenska kyrkan
  71. ^ Religious affiliation of the population, share of population, % 1950–2013 Statistics Finland
  72. ^
  73. ^
  74. ^
  75. ^ Church membership 1990–2014 Kirkeministeriet (Danish)
  76. ^ Donk, W.B.H.J. van de; Jonkers, A.P.; Kronjee, G.J.; Plum, R.J.J.M. (2006). Geloven in het publieke domein, verkenningen van een dubbele transformatie, WRR, Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam
  77. ^ [2]. Zensus 2011 - Page 10.
  78. ^
  79. ^ Islam in Europe states 3.2% Muslims in European Union, but non-European Union countries harbour even more Muslims so percents go to about 5.2%.
  80. ^
  81. ^ Alice Bertha Gomme, Traditional Games of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Volume 2, 1898
  82. ^ History of Rounders

External links

  • - online European culture magazine (EU London Office)
  •, The European Library, gateway to Europe's national libraries
  • European Digital Library
  •, EU Culture Portal (archived)
  • Cultural areas of Europe
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