Culture of Spain <ul><li>The culture of Spain is a European culture based on a variety of influences. These include the pre-Roman cultures, mainly the celts and the Iberians cultures; but mainly in the period of Roman influences. In the areas of language and religion, the Ancient Romans left a lasting legacy. The subsequent course of Spanish history also added elements to the country's cultural development. The Visigothic Kingdom left a sense of a united Christian Hispania that was going to be welded in the Reconquista. Muslim influences were strong during the period of 711 AD to the 15th century, especially with loan words. The Spanish language, derives directly from Vulgar Latin, and has minor influences from pre-roman languages like barro -mud-, gothic guerra -war-, Arabic and basque Other minorities includes the Jewish population in some cities, but after the defeat of the Muslims during the Christian "Reconquista" (Reconquest) period between 1000 and 1492, Spain became an almost entirely Roman Catholic country. In addition, the history of the nation and its Mediterranean and Atlantic environment have played a significant role in shaping its culture. By the end of the 19th and 20th , the Spaniards made expressions of cultural diversity easier than it had been for the last seven centuries. This occurred at the same period that Spain became increasingly drawn into a diverse international culture. Spain has the second highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world, with a total of 42. </li></ul>
Culture of Romania <ul><li>Romania has a unique culture, which is the product of its geography and of its distinct historical evolution. Like Romanians themselves, it is defined as the meeting point of three regions: Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Balkans, but cannot be truly included in any of them. The Romanian identity formed on a substratum of mixed Roman and quite possibly Dacian elements, with numerous other influences. </li></ul><ul><li>During late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, the major influences came from the Slavic peoples who migrated and settled in near Romania; from medieval Greeks, and the Byzantine Empire; from a long domination by the Ottoman Empire, ] from the Hungarians; and from the Germans living in Transylvania. Modern Romanian culture emerged and developed over roughly the last 250 years under a strong influence from Western Europe, particularly French,and German culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Romania's history has been full of rebounds: the culturally productive epochs were those of stability, when the people proved quite an impressive resourcefulness in making up for less propitious periods and were able to rejoin the mainstream of European culture. This stands true for the years after the Phanariote-Ottoman period, at the beginning of the 19th century, when Romamians had a favourable historical context and chose the Western way of life, mainly French model, which they pursued steadily and at a very fast pace. From the end of the 18th century, the sons of the upper classes started having their education in Paris, and French became (and was until the communist years) a genuine second language of culture for Romanians. The modeling role of France especially in the fields of political ideas, administration and law, as well as in literature was paralleled, from the mid-19th century down to World War I, by German culture. That was true especially in Moldavia, whose many intellectuals studied in Berlin. In Transylvania and the Banat, the Habsburg rule and the presence of the ethnic German population (the Transylvanian Saxons and the Banat Swabians), in the local communities, triggered constant relationships with the German world not only at a cultural level but in daily life as well. The influence of the German space was felt especially in the humanities (philosophy, logics, philology, history) and technical sciences. </li></ul>
Culture of Turkey <ul><li>The culture of Turkey combines a largely diverse and heterogeneous set of elements that are derived from the Ottoman, European, Middle Eastern and Central Asian traditions. This rich diversity is mostly owed to Turkey's former status as a multiethnic empire which, de facto until the loss of Libya to the Kingdom of Italy in 1912 (and de jure until the official loss of Egypt and Sudan to the British Empire in 1914, as a consequence of the Ottoman government's decision to join the First World War on the side of the Central Powers) spanned three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa. The present-day Republic of Turkey, which succeeded the Ottoman State in 1923, is still a transcontinental country that spans Europe and Asia. </li></ul><ul><li>The nation was modernized primarily by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk starting from 1923. As he transformed a religion-driven former Ottoman Empire into a modern nation-state with a strong separation of state and religion, a corresponding increase in the methods of artistic expression arose. During the first years of the republic, the government invested a large amount of resources into fine arts such as paintings, sculpture and architecture. This was done as both a process of modernization and of creating a cultural identity. Because of the different historical factors defining the Turkish identity, the culture of Turkey combines clear efforts to be "modern" and Western, with a desire to maintain traditional religious and historical values. </li></ul>
Culture of Poland <ul><li>The culture of Poland is closely connected with its intricate 1000 year history Its unique character developed as a result of its geography at the confluence of Western and Eastern Europe. With origins in the culture of the Proto-Slavs, over time Polish culture has been profoundly influenced by its interweaving ties with the Germanic, Latinate and Byzantine worlds as well as in continual dialog with the many other ethnic groups and minorities living in Poland. The people of Poland have traditionally been seen as hospitable to artists from abroad and eager to follow cultural and artistic trends popular in other countries. In the 19th and 20th centuries the Polish focus on cultural advancement often took precedence over political and economic activity. These factors have contributed to the versatile nature of Polish art, with all its complex nuances </li></ul>
Culture of Italy <ul><li>From the 1st century BC (antiquity) until at least the 16th century, Italy was the central place of Western culture, fulcrum or origin of universal phenomena such as the Roman Empire, the Roman Catholic Church, Humanism and the Renaissance. [ During this time, Italy produced some of the greatest painters, sculptors, poets, musicians, mathematicians and architects in history. Italian painters, sculptors, composers, and architects also dominated the Baroque art movement that began near the end of the Renaissance and ended in the 18th century. Both the internal and external facets of Western Civilization were born on the Italian peninsula, whether one looks at the history of the Christian faith, civil institutions (such as the Senate), philosophy, law, [ art, science, or social customs and culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Italy did not exist as a political state until its unification in 1861.Due to this comparatively late unification, and the historical autonomy of the regions that comprise the Italian peninsula, many traditions and customs that are now recognized as distinctly Italian can be identified by their regions of origin. Despite the political and social isolation of these regions, Italy's contributions to the cultural and historical heritage of Europe remain immense. Famous elements of Italian culture are its opera and music, its iconic gastronomy and food, which are commonly regarded as amongst the most popular in the world [ (with famous dishes such as pasta, pizza, lasagna, focaccia, espresso and Italian gelato ), its cinema (with classic films such as 8½ , Bicycle Thieves ) Cinema Paradiso , La Dolce Vita , Life is Beautiful , The Good, the Bad and the Ugly etc.), its collections of priceless works of art and its fashion (Milan is regarded as one of the fashion capitals of the world). [ </li></ul><ul><li>Italy is home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites (44) to date. The precepts of the Roman Catholic Church, the spirit of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, are factors which greatly shaped Italy's architecture, culture and art. </li></ul>
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