Eastern Europe Eastern Europe Most of Eastern Europe has been undergoing a

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					               Eastern Europe

-Most of Eastern Europe has been undergoing a political and
cultural renaissance since the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall. After
decades of Soviet dominance, the region is recovering from the
collapse of an inefficient economy and the resulting environmental
damage, including the accident at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant
• Albania is one of the only majority Muslim nations in
• In Albania, nodding the head means no and shaking
the head means yes.

                                     •The Strait of Otranto
                                     separates Albania
                                     from the heel of Italy.
 -Belarus means “White Russia”

  -The population took a toll
during WWII losing more than 2
        million people.
                           -In 1986 nuclear disaster
                            Chernobyl , in Ukraine,
                         contaminated 1/3 of Belarus
                            leaving 25% of the land
                          uninhabitable to this day.
 -There are 3 ethnic groups, Serbs,
 Croats, and Bosniaks.
-Bosnia takes it name from the Bosna River
that runs through it. Herzegovina from the
herceg (duke) who ruled the southern region
until the 15th century Turkish conquest.

       -The presidency rotates among 3 members, one Serb,
       one Croat, and one Bosniak. Each is directly elected
       for a 4 year term.
-There are more then
4,000 mapped caves in

-Bulgarians have a
tradition of gratitude
toward Russians, who in
1878 helped end 500
years of Ottoman rule.

-Bulgaria is one of the largest
producers of rose oil, one of the key
components of almost all perfumes.
                                 -The necktie
                                 was invented
                                 in Croatia and
                                 is locally
                                 known as

       -Croatian young people can
       vote at the age of 16 if they
       have a job but must wait until
       18 if they are unemployed.

-Dalmatian dogs come from
the Dalmatia coast.
-In 1993 the Czechs and Slovaks
decided to separate (the Velvet
Divorce) forming the countries
of the Czech Republic and the
Slovak Republic.
-The Czech Republic is almost entirely
surrounded by mountains (except to the
south, toward Austria and Slovakia),
marking the border with Germany and

       •A Czech, the chemist Otto
       Wichterle, invented the soft
       contact lenses in 1959
                             -Hungary is one of the oldest
                             countries in Europe, founded
                             way back in the year 896

-Hungarian language is also known as
Magyar and is the direct descendent of
the language spoken by the Huns, who
gave the country its name.

 -The noiseless match, Rubik's cube, holography,
 ballpoint pen, theory of the hydrogen bomb, BASIC
 programming language and the krypton electric
 bulb were invented by Hungarians only.
                                 -In the 1990s poor economic policies,
                                 international sanctions, limited access to
                                 trade and finance, and ethnic conflict
                                 severely damaged Kosovo's economy, and it
                                 now has one of the poorest economies in
                                  -Kosovo became a nation when
                                  its parliament declared
                                  independence from Serbia on
                                  February 17, 2008.
-It is a geographical basin, situated at an altitude of about
500 meters, surrounded by mountains, and divided by a
central north/south ridge into two sub regions of roughly
equal size and population.
-On 1 May 2004, Latvia became a member of the European
                                    -From 1939-1989 the
                                    proportion of ethnic
                                    Latvians in Latvia dropped
                                    from 73 to 52 percent—due
                                    to heavy Russian
                                    immigration and Latvian
                                    emigration. Since
                                    independence in 1991,
                                    Latvian ethnicity has
                                    started to rebound and now
                                    constitutes 59 percent of
                                    the population—Russians
                                    are 29 percent.

  -Latvia, along with the neighboring
  countries Estonia and Lithuania is
  known as the Baltic States.
                                          -Lithuania is spread
                                          over an area of
                                          approximately 65,300
                                          sq km (25,212 sq
                                          miles) and is about the
                                          same size as West

                                    -Lithuania was the last
                                    country in Europe to be
                                    converted to Christianity.

-Juozapinė Hill is the highest point in
   Lithuania with an elevation of only
   292.7 meters (957 feet).
-65% of the
population are                             -There are more
Estonians and                              than 1,500 islands,
28% are                                    1,000 lakes (5 per
Russians.                                  cent of the Estonian
                                           territory), 7,000
                                           rivers and streams
                                           in Estonia, bogs and
                                           wooded swamplands
 -Estonians have one of the biggest        of different types
 collections of folk songs in the world,   cover over one fifth
 with written records of about 133,000     of the country.
 folk songs.
-Lake Ohrid is one of the world's oldest lakes.

                        Home to
                        the Great
                        and the

   -Over the years, official country borders have
   been redrawn. At the beginning of the
   twentieth century "Macedonia" was divided
   between Bulgaria (Pirin Macedonia), Greece
   (Aegean Macedonia) and Serbia (Vardar
                                 -Most of Moldova was
                                 part of Romania before
                                 World War II, and two-
At the end of                    thirds of Moldovans
1991 the USSR                    speak Romanian
was dissolved and
Moldova became

-One of the poorest nations in
Europe, Moldova became the
first former Soviet state to
elect a Communist as its
president in 2001.
                             -It is about the
declared its                 size of
independence on
                             with a
June 3, 2006
                             population of

                  -The country got its
                  name (literally, “black
                  mountain”) from the
                  dark, mountain forests
                  that cover the land
-Buffered by the Baltic Sea in the north and
the Carpathian Mountains in the south,
Poland enjoys no such natural protection to
the east and west.

   -It was the first
   Eastern European
   country to
   overthrow                          -The Polish alphabet consists of
   communist rule.                    32 letters. Here they are:
-Popularly known as "Dracula's Castle,"
Bran Castle is spectacularly situated in the
Transylvanian Alps. Vlad Tepes (the
Impaler), brutal inspiration for the Dracula
legend, probably never stayed here.

         -The Carpathian Mountains and the Transylvanian Alps
         divide the country into three physical and historical regions:
         Wallachia in the south, Moldavia in the northeast, and
         Transylvania in the country's center.
                                               -After the
                                               European part
                                               of Russia,
                                               Ukraine is the
                                               largest country
                                               in Europe.

-Ukraine suffered the world's worst recorded nuclear
accident. On the morning of April 26, 1986, reactor No. 4 at
the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant, 80 miles north of Kiev,
exploded, sending radioactive contaminants three miles up
into the atmosphere and out over parts of Europe, Asia, and
North America.

                -Ukraine declared independence from the
                Soviet Union in August 1991.
                               -3rd largest island in
                               the Mediterranean.

                                -Cyprus is a divided
                                country. A UN
                                buffer zone (known
                                as the Green Line)
                                separates the self-
                                declared Republic
                                of Northern Cyprus
                                and the Greek
                                controlled South

-Archaeological evidence suggests that people
first lived on the island of Cyprus 10,000 years
  -The official name of Greece
  is the Hellenic Republic

-80% landscape of Greece
comprises of mountains. Only one
half of the country is covered by
forests, the other half is barren.

                            -There are about 3000 islands in
                            Greece. However, only a few
                            hundred of them are inhabited
                                -The Azure Window, a natural
                                megalithic archway over the
                                sea in Gozo.

                                  -For many
                                  Malta has
                                  been a
                                  series of
                                  Europe and

-Malta has no natural resources, lakes or rivers.

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