European Culture

The culture of Europe is defined by, amongst other things, its art and architecture, music, literature and philosophy.


Main article: European art
Main article: Western painting

The oldest known cave paintings are at the El Castillo cave (Spain), older than 40,800 years.[1] 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.

Main article: Sculpture

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.

Main festivals includes: Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds Festivals, Isle of Wight Festival (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). 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.

Main article: European cinema

Antoine Lumière realized, on 28 December 1895, the first projection, with the Cinematograph, in Paris.[8] Philippe Binant realized, on 2 February 2000, the first digital cinema projection in Europe, with the DLP CINEMA technology developed by Texas Instruments, in Paris.[9] In 1897, Georges Méliès established the first cinema studio on a rooftop property in Montreuil, near Paris. Some notable European film movements include 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, 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.


Main article: History of science
  • CERN (/ˈsɜrn/; French: [sɛʀn]) : The European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the birthplace of the 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.[10]
  • 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.

Europe has produced some of the greatest scientists, inventors and intellectuals in history. Germany; Albert Einstein, Johannes Kepler, Johannes Gutenberg, Gottfried Leibniz, Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, Max Planck, Karl Benz. United Kingdom; Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Robert Hooke, Michael Faraday, James Joule, Edward Jenner, John Dalton, George Stephenson, Florence Nightingale, George Cayley, Frank Whittle, Alan Turing, Stephen Hawking, Tim Berners Lee, James Watt, Alexander Fleming, Alexander Graham Bell, John Logie Baird, James Clerk Maxwell, Adam Smith. Russia: Dmitri Mendeleev, Ivan Pavlov, Ilya Mechnikov, Nikolai Lobachevsky, Mikhail Lomonosov, Lev Landau, Aleksandr Butlerov, Alexander Stepanovich Popov, Igor Sikorsky, Sergey Korolyov. 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, Leó Szilárd, Edward Teller, Ányos Jedlik. Austria: Sigmund Freud, Ludwig Boltzmann. 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.


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.


Main article: Religion in Europe

The Eurobarometer Poll 2005[11] 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.

Christianity has been the dominant religion shaping European culture for at least the last 1700 years. 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,[12] The Christian culture was the predominant force in western civilization, guiding the course of philosophy, art, and science.[13][14]

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

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

  • PEW Research Centre

Other religions have long existed in Europe, but do not consist of a majority of the population of any country:


Main article: European cuisine

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 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.


Main article: Sport in Europe

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 years:

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

Present year

2013 Marseille[3] (Marseille 2013)
Košice (Košice 2013)
Future years
2014: Umeå, Riga [4]
2015: Mons, Plzeň
2016: San Sebastián, Wrocław[5]
2017: Aarhus,[6] Paphos
2018:  Malta,  Netherlands
2019:  Italy,  Bulgaria


See also


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)

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