Europe is the second-smallest continent, and yet its history, culture and economy are renowned throughout the world.
Any geography student or enthusiast that’s worth their salt should be able to tell France apart from Germany, Spain from Italy, and Norway from the rest of its Scandinavian siblings. It takes a fair bit of studying and memorizing, but you can easily learn to identify the countries in Europe. To test your mettle, you can try beating this European countries map quiz online.
The countries of this old and vaunted land have had their borders changed, replaced, and remade over the centuries before settling into their modern-day boundaries.
Empires have risen and expanded their territories far and wide, kingdoms have entered and broken into unions, and new nations can arise from out of nowhere – even now, history continues to sketch out the geopolitical landscape of Europe as time passes by.
The character of each European country is influenced by where they are located. People instantly recognize France for its verdant fields, able to produce ample supplies of grain, fruit, wine, and cheese – ingredients that also build up its world-famous cuisine. Likewise, Switzerland is admired for its tall, snowy mountains and the warmth of its culture winning out against the frigidly cold winters there.
It turns out that these same geographical and climactic features play a role in how a country is shaped. Landforms such as mountain ranges, rivers, forests, and lakes all act as natural barriers at which different countries may draw their borders.
Such barriers are usually chosen because of the ease of defending against an enemy advance at these locations. Mountains can also be excellent places in which to build mines, while rivers and streams can confer several life-saving advantages, including the irrigation of farmland and making trade easier across long distances.
Many countries in Europe have easily-recognizable borders. Here’s a little fun fact – due to its outline on a map, France is often lovingly referred to as the Hexagon, or L’hexagone, by its citizens. On the other side of the English Channel, the shape of the United Kingdom can also appear as a stout, large-nosed old man or a sitting rabbit.
Even more whimsically, Ireland has historically had a great love for potatoes. It seems fitting that the Emerald Isle itself resembles the shape of a fat potato.
The Scandinavian countries can be hard to identify, although that might not be the case for Denmark once you make the mental note that it looks like a tiny hat on Germany.
People occasionally like to have a good laugh about their country’s geography. After all, it affects how they live their lives in several ways – from the food they eat to how many layers of clothing they’d need to wear come winter.
This European countries map quiz online can be a handy way for you to remember where each country is situated and what they look like, and help you become better attuned to the lifestyles, cultures and habits of Europe’s nations.