Friday, February 27, 2009

Carte du Dannemarc

Plan de Copenhague


Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban area with a population of 1,153,615 (2008). Copenhagen is situated on the Islands of Zealand and Amager.
First documented in the 11th century, Copenhagen became the capital of Denmark in the beginning of the 15th century and during the 17th century under the reign of Christian IV it became an important regional centre. With the completion of the transnational Oresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region with around 3.7 million inhabitants covering an area of 20,869 km² (177/km²). Within this region, Copenhagen and Malmö is in the process of growing into one common metropolitan area. Copenhagen is one of the most visited cities of the Nordic Countries, with over 1 million international tourists every year.
Copenhagen is a major regional center of culture, business, media, and science. In 2008 Copenhagen was ranked #4 by Financial Times-owned FDi magazine on their list of Top50 European Cities of the Future after London, Paris and Berlin. In the 2008 Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index, published by MasterCard, Copenhagen was ranked 14th in the world and 1st in Scandinavia. Life science, information technology and shipping are important sectors and research & development plays a major role in the city's economy. Its strategic location and excellent infrastructure with the largest airport in Scandinavia located 14 minutes by train from the city centre, has made it a regional hub and a popular location for regional headquarters[8] as well as conventions.
Copenhagen has repeatedly been recognized as one of the cities with the best quality of life. and in 2008 it was singled out as the Most Liveable City in the World by international lifestyle magazine Monocle on their Top 25 Most Liveable Cities 2008 list. It is also considered one of the world's most environmentally friendly cities with the water in the inner harbor being so clean that it can be used for swimming and 36 % of all citizens commuting to work by bicycle, every day bicycling a total 1.1 million km. Since the turn of the millennium Copenhagen has seen a strong urban and cultural development and has been described as a boom town. This is partly due to massive investments in cultural facilities as well as infrastructure and a new wave of succesful designers, chefs and architects.

Carte de l'Isle Amak


Denmark is a Scandinavian country in northern Europe and the senior member (with Greenland and the Faroe Islands) of the Kingdom of Denmark. It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries. The mainland is bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark is southwest of Sweden and south of Norway. Denmark borders both the Baltic and the North Sea. The country consists of a large peninsula, Jutland (Jylland) and many islands, most notably Zealand (Sjælland), Funen (Fyn), Vendsyssel-Thy, Lolland, Falster and Bornholm as well as hundreds of minor islands often referred to as the Danish Archipelago. Denmark has long controlled the approach to the Baltic Sea, and these waters are also known as the Danish straits.
Denmark is the second-most visited destination in Scandinavia, after Sweden, with 4.7 million visitors in 2007.
Denmark is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government. Denmark has a state-level government and local governments in 98 municipalities. Denmark has been a member of the European Union (formerly European Economic Community) since 1973, although it has not joined the Eurozone, a currency union among the European Union member states that have adopted the euro as their sole official currency. Denmark is a founding member of NATO.
Denmark, with a free market capitalist economy, and a large welfare state, ranks according to one measure as having the world's highest level of income equality. From 2006 to 2008, surveys ranked Denmark as "the happiest place in the world," based on standards of health, welfare, and education. The 2008 Global Peace Index survey ranks Denmark as the second most peaceful country in the world, after Iceland. Denmark was also ranked as the least corrupt country in the world in the 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index, sharing a top position with Sweden and New Zealand. In 2008, the capital and largest city, Copenhagen, was ranked the most livable city in the world by Monocle magazine. The national language, Danish, is close to Swedish and Norwegian, with which they share strong cultural and historical ties. 82.0% of the inhabitants of Denmark and 90.3% of the ethnic Danes are members of the Lutheran state church. About 9% of the population have foreign citizenship. A large portion of the foreign citizens are of Scandinavian ancestry, while the rest are of a variety of nationalities.

Denmark is the smallest country in Scandinavia. Denmark's northernmost point is Skagens point (the north beach of the Skaw) at 57° 45' 7" northern latitude, the southernmost is Gedser point (the southern tip of Falster) at 54° 33' 35" northern latitude, the westernmost point is Blåvandshuk at 8° 4' 22" eastern longitude, and the easternmost point is Østerskær at 15° 11' 55" eastern longitude. This is in the archipelago Ertholmene 18 kilometres northeast of Bornholm. The distance from east to west is 452 kilometres (281 mi), from north to south 368 kilometres (229 mi).

Denmark consists of the peninsula of Jutland (Jylland) and 443 named islands (1419 islands above 100 m² in total (2005)).[25] Of these, 72 are inhabited (2008),[26] with the largest being Zealand (Sjælland) and Funen (Fyn). The island of Bornholm is located somewhat east of the rest of the country, in the Baltic Sea. Many of the larger islands are connected by bridges; the Øresund Bridge connects Zealand with Sweden, the Great Belt Bridge connects Funen with Zealand, and the Little Belt Bridge connects Jutland with Funen. Ferries or small aircraft connect to the smaller islands. Main cities are the capital Copenhagen (on Zealand), Århus, Aalborg and Esbjerg (in Jutland) and Odense (on Funen).

The country is flat with little elevation; having an average height above sea level of only 31 metres (102 ft) and the highest natural point is Møllehøj, at 170.86 metres (560.56 ft). Other hills in the same area southwest of Århus are Yding Skovhøj at 170.77 metres (560.27 ft) and Ejer Bavnehøj at 170.35 metres (558.89 ft).[27][dead link] The area of inland water is: (eastern Denmark) 210 km² (81 sq mi); (western D.) 490 km² (189 sq mi).
Denmark is split into one peninsula and 443 named islands which results in a long coastline, 7,314 kilometres (4,544 mi).[28] A perfect circle enclosing the same area as Denmark would have a circumference of only 742 kilometres (461 mi). Another feature that shows the close connection between the land and ocean is that no location in Denmark is further from the coast than 52 kilometres (32.3 mi). The size of the land area of Denmark cannot be stated exactly since the ocean constantly erodes and adds material to the coastline, and because of human land reclamation projects (to counter erosion). On the southwest coast of Jutland, the tide is between 1 and 2 metres (3 to 6.5 ft), and the tideline moves outward and inward on a 10 kilometres (6 mi) stretch.

Phytogeographically, Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands) belongs to the Boreal Kingdom and is shared between the Arctic, Atlantic European and Central European provinces of the Circumboreal Region. According to the WWF, the territory of Denmark can be subdivided into two ecoregions: the Atlantic mixed forests and Baltic mixed forests. The Faroe Islands are covered by the Faroe Islands boreal grasslands, while Greenland hosts the ecoregions of Kalaallit Nunaat high arctic tundra and Kalaallit Nunaat low arctic tundra.

The climate is in the temperate zone. The winters are not particularly cold, with mean temperatures in January and February of 0.0 °C, and the summers are cool, with a mean temperature in August of 15.7 °C.[30] There is a lot of wind, which is stronger during the winter and weaker during the summer.[citation needed] Denmark has an average of 121 days per year with precipitation, on average receiving a total of 712 mm per year; autumn is the wettest season, and spring the driest.
Because of Denmark's northern location, the length of the day with sunlight varies greatly. There are short days during the winter with sunrise coming around 9:30 a.m. and sunset 4:30 p.m., as well as long summer days with sunrise at 3:30 a.m. and sunset at 10 p.m. The shortest and longest days of the year have traditionally been celebrated. The celebration for the shortest day corresponds roughly with Christmas (Danish: jul) and modern celebrations concentrate on Christmas Eve, 24 December. The Norse word jól is a plural, indicating that pre-Christian society celebrated a season with multiple feasts. Christianity introduced the celebration of Christmas, resulting in the use of the Norse name also for the Christian celebration. Efforts by the Catholic Church to replace this name with kristmesse were unsuccessful. The celebration for the longest day is Midsummer Day, which is known in Denmark as sankthansaften (St. John's evening). Celebrations of Midsummer have taken place since pre-Christian times.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Canal de la Zeelande


Amsterdam is the capital and largest city of the Netherlands, located in the province of North Holland in the west of the country. The city, which had a population of 747,290 on 1 January 2008, comprises the northern part of the Randstad, the 6th-largest metropolitan area in Europe, with a population of around 6.7 million.
Its name is derived from Amstel dam, indicative of the city's origin: a dam in the river Amstel where the Dam Square is today. Settled as a small fishing village in the late 12th century, Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world during the Dutch Golden Age, a result of its innovative developments in trade. During that time, the city was the leading centre for finance and diamonds. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the city expanded and many new neighbourhoods and suburbs were formed.
The city is the financial and cultural capital of the Netherlands. Many large Dutch institutions have their headquarters there, and 7 of the world's top 500 companies, including Philips and ING, are based in the city . The Amsterdam Stock Exchange, part of Euronext, is located in the city centre. Amsterdam's main attractions, including its historic canals, the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, its red-light district and its many cannabis coffee shops, draw 4.2 million tourists annually.

The Amsterdam canal system is the result of conscious city planning. In the early 17th century, when immigration was at a peak, a comprehensive plan was developed that was based on four concentric half-circles of canals with their ends emerging at the IJ bay. Known as the Grachtengordel, three of the canals are mostly for residential development: Those are the Herengracht (Gentleman's Canal), Keizersgracht (Emperor's Canal), and Prinsengracht (Prince's Canal’). The fourth and outermost canal, the Singelgracht (not to be confused with the older Singel), served purposes of defense and water management. The defensive purpose was established by moat and earthen dikes, with gates at transit points, but otherwise no masonry superstructures. Furthermore, the plan envisaged: Interconnecting canals along radii; creating a set of parallel canals in the Jordaan quarter, primarily for transportation purposes; converting the defensive purpose of the Singel to a residential and commercial purpose; constructing more than one hundred bridges.[citation needed]

Construction started in 1613 and proceeded from west to east, across the breadth of the lay–out, like a gigantic windshield wiper as the historian Geert Mak calls it—and not from the centre outwards as a popular myth has it. The canal constructions in the southern sector were accomplished by 1656. Subsequently, the construction of residential buildings commenced slowly. The eastern part of the concentric canal plan, covering the area between the Amstel river and the IJ bay, has never been implemented. In the following centuries, the land was used for parks, senior citizens' homes, theaters, other public facilities, and waterways without much planning.
Over the years, several canals have been filled in becoming streets or squares, such as the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal and the Spui.

Carte des Entrées de Texel et de Flie

Carte du Comte de Hollande


The Netherlands is a country that is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is a parliamentary democratic constitutional monarchy. The Netherlands is located in Northwestern Europe, and bordered by the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east. The capital is Amsterdam and the seat of government is The Hague.
The Netherlands is often called Holland, which is formally incorrect as North and South Holland are merely two of its twelve provinces (see terminology of "the Netherlands"). The word Dutch is used to refer to the people, the language, and anything appertaining to the Netherlands.
Being one of the first parliamentary democracies, the Netherlands was a modern country at the moment of its very foundation, and it has always been open to the world. Today, the country has an international outlook. Among other affiliations the country is a founding member of the European Union (EU), NATO, the OECD, and has signed the Kyoto protocol. With Belgium and Luxembourg it forms the Benelux economic union. The country is host to five international courts: the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Court and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. The former four are situated in The Hague as is the EU's criminal intelligence agency Europol. This has led to the city being dubbed "the world's legal capital."
The Netherlands is a geographically low-lying country, with about 27% of its area and 60% of its population located below sea level.[3][4] Significant areas have been gained through land reclamation and preserved through an elaborate system of polders and dikes. Much of the Netherlands is formed by the estuary of three important European rivers, which together with their distributaries form the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta. Most of the country is very flat, with the exception of foothills of the Ardennes in the far south–east and several low-hill ranges in the central parts created by ice-age glaciers.
The Netherlands is a densely populated country. It is known for its traditional windmills, tulips, cheese, clogs (wooden shoes), delftware and gouda pottery, for its bicycles, and in addition, traditional values and civil virtues such as its classic social tolerance. The country is more recently known for its rather modern, liberal policies toward drugs, prostitution, homosexuality, and euthanasia. It also has one of the most free market capitalist economies in the world, ranking 13th of 157 countries on one index.

The country is divided into two main parts by three large rivers, the Rhine (Rijn) and its main distributary Waal, as well as the Meuse (Maas). These rivers function as a natural barrier between earlier fiefdoms, and hence created traditionally a cultural divide, as is evident in some phonetic traits that are recognisable north and south of these "Large Rivers" (de Grote Rivieren). In addition to this, there was, until quite recently, a clear religious dominance of Catholics in the south and of Protestants in the north.
The south-western part of the Netherlands is actually a massive river delta of these rivers and two tributaries of the Scheldt (Westerschelde and Oosterschelde). Only one significant branch of the Rhine flows northeastwards, the IJssel river, discharging into the IJsselmeer, the former Zuiderzee ('southern sea'). This river also happens to form a linguistic divide. People to the east of this river speak Low Saxon dialects (except for the province of Friesland that has its own language).

In years past, the Dutch coastline has changed considerably as a result of human intervention and natural disasters. Most notable in terms of land loss is the 1134 storm, which created the archipelago of Zeeland in the south west. The St. Elizabeth flood of 1421 and the mismanagement in its aftermath destroyed a newly reclaimed polder, replacing it with the 72 square kilometres (28 sq mi) Biesbosch tidal floodplains in the south-centre. The most recent parts of Zeeland were flooded during the North Sea Flood of 1953 when 1,836 people were killed, after which the Delta Plan was executed.
The disasters were partially increased in severity through human influence. People had drained relatively high lying swampland to use it as farmland. This drainage caused the fertile peat to compress and the ground level to drop, locking the land users in a vicious circle whereby they would lower the water level to compensate for the drop in ground level, causing the underlying peat to compress even more. The problem remains unsolvable to this day. Also, up until the 19th century peat was mined, dried, and used for fuel, further adding to the problem.
To guard against floods, a series of defences against the water were contrived. In the first millennium AD, villages and farmhouses were built on man-made hills called terps. Later, these terps were connected by dykes. In the 12th century, local government agencies called "waterschappen" (English "water bodies") or "hoogheemraadschappen" ("high home councils") started to appear, whose job it was to maintain the water level and to protect a region from floods. (These agencies exist to this day, performing the same function.) As the ground level dropped, the dykes by necessity grew and merged into an integrated system. By the 13th century, windmills had come into use in order to pump water out of areas below sea level. The windmills were later used to drain lakes, creating the famous polders. In 1932, the Afsluitdijk (English "Closure Dyke") was completed, blocking the former Zuiderzee (Southern Sea) from the North Sea and thus creating the IJsselmeer (IJssel Lake). It became part of the larger Zuiderzee Works in which four polders totalling 2,500 km2 (965 mi2) were reclaimed from the sea.

After the 1953 disaster, the Delta project, a vast construction effort designed to end the threat from the sea once and for all, was launched in 1958 and largely completed in 2002. The official goal of the Delta project was to reduce the risk of flooding in the province of Zeeland to once per 10,000 years. (For the rest of the country, the protection-level is once per 4,000 years.) This was achieved by raising 3,000 kilometres (1,864 miles) of outer sea-dykes and 10,000 kilometres (6,200 miles) of inner, canal, and river dikes to "delta" height, and by closing off the sea estuaries of the Zeeland province. New risk assessments occasionally show problems requiring additional Delta project dyke reinforcements. The Delta project is one of the largest construction efforts in human history and is considered by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the seven wonders of the modern world.
Additionally, the Netherlands is one of the countries that may suffer most from climatic change. Not only is the rising sea a problem, but also erratic weather patterns may cause the rivers to overflow.

Carte de la Mer Baltique

Carte du Passage du Sond


Stockholm is the capital and largest city of Sweden, as well as the most populated city of the Nordic countries. It is the site of the national Swedish government, the parliament, and the official residence of the Swedish monarch. As of 2008, the Stockholm metropolitan area is home to around 21% of Sweden's population and contributes 35% of Sweden's gross domestic product. Stockholm is the most populous city both in Sweden with a population of 810,120 in the city, 1,3 million in the urban area and around 2 million in the metropolitan area.
Stockholm has been the cultural, media, political, and economic centre of Sweden since the 13th century. Its strategic location on fourteen islands on the south-central east coast of Sweden at the mouth of Lake Mälaren, by the Stockholm archipelago, has been historically important. Since the city is built on islands and known for its beauty, tourist interests have tried to popularize the appellation "Venice of the North". The city is known for its beauty, its buildings, its water and parks. According to Euromonitor, Stockholm is one of the most visited cities of the Nordic Countries in terms of international visitors, with over 1 million international tourists every year.

Stockholm is located on Sweden's south-central east coast, where Lake Mälaren meets the Baltic Sea. The central parts of the city consist of fourteen islands that are continuous with Stockholm archipelago. The geographical city centre is situated on the water, in the bay Riddarfjärden.
Over 30% of the city area is made up of waterways and another 30% is made up of parks and green spaces, giving Stockholm perhaps the freshest air and widest lungs of any European capital.
For details about the other municipalities usually considered part of Stockholm, see the municipality in question. North of Stockholm Municipality: Järfälla, Solna, Täby, Sollentuna, Lidingö, Upplands Väsby, Österåker, Sigtuna, Sundbyberg, Danderyd, Vallentuna, Ekerö, Upplands-Bro, Vaxholm, and Norrtälje. South of Stockholm: Huddinge, Nacka, Botkyrka, Haninge, Tyresö, Värmdö, Södertälje, Salem, Nykvarn and Nynäshamn.

Stockholm has a humid continental climate according to the Köppen climate classification. Due to the city's high northerly latitude, daylight varies widely from more than 18 hours around midsummer, to only around 6 hours in late December. Despite its location, Stockholm has relatively mild temperatures and much warmer and sunnier weather throughout the year than other places at similar latitude, or even somewhat further south, mainly because of the influence of Gulf Stream. The city enjoys 1,981 hours of sunshine annually.
Summers are pleasantly warm with average daytime high temperatures of 20 - 23°C (68 - 74°F) and lows of around 15°C (59°F), but there are periods of heat waves and many days with temperatures above 25°C+ (77°F+) during the summer. Winters are cold with average temperatures ranging from -3 to 1°C (27 - 33°F), and rarely drop below −10 °C (14 °F). Spring and autumn are generally chilly to mild.
Annual precipitation is 539 mm (21.2 inches) with 164 wet days and light to moderate rainfall throughout the year. Snow mainly occurs from December through March, but recently winters tends to be virtually free of snow.

Plan de Stockolm


The Kingdom of Sweden is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden has land borders with Norway to the west and Finland to the northeast, and it is connected to Denmark by the Öresund Bridge in the south.
At 450,000 km² (174,000 sq mi), Sweden is the third largest country in the European Union. With a total population of over 9.2 million Sweden has a low population density of 20 people per km² (52 per square mile), but is much higher in southern half of the country. About 85% of the population live in urban areas.[7] Sweden's capital is Stockholm, which is also the largest city in the country (population of 1.3 million in the urban area and with 2 million in the metropolitan area). The second and third largest cities are Gothenburg and Malmö.
Sweden is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government and a highly developed economy. It ranks first in the world in The Economist's Democracy Index and 7th in the United Nation's Human Development Index. Sweden has been a member of the European Union since 1 January 1995.
Sweden emerged as an independent and unified country during the Middle Ages. It received a modern centralized administration beginning with King Gustav Vasa in the 16th century. In the 17th century the country expanded its territories to form the Swedish empire. Most of the conquered territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were lost during the 18th and 19th centuries. The eastern half of Sweden, present-day Finland, was lost to Russia in 1809. The last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814, when Sweden by military means forced Norway into a personal union with Sweden, a union which lasted until 1905.
Since 1814, Sweden has been at peace, adopting a non-aligned foreign policy in peacetime and neutrality in wartime.

Situated in Northern Europe, Sweden lies west of the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Bothnia, providing a long coastline, and forms the eastern part of the Scandinavian Peninsula. To the west is the Scandinavian mountain chain (Skanderna), a range that separates Sweden from Norway.
Sweden is surrounded by Norway (west), Finland (northeast), the Skagerrak, Kattegat and Öresund straits (southwest) and the Baltic Sea (east). It has maritime borders with Denmark, Germany, Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, and it is also linked to Denmark (southwest) by the Öresund Bridge. At 449,964 km2 (173,732 sq mi), Sweden is the 55th largest country in the world. It is the 5th largest in Europe, and the largest in Northern Europe. The land area is slightly larger than the U.S. state of California, or equal to Uzbekistan with a population in 2008 of over 9.2 million people.

The lowest elevation in Sweden is in the bay of Lake Hammarsjön, near Kristianstad at -2.41 m (−7.91 ft) below sea level. The highest point is Kebnekaise at 2,111 m (6,926 ft) above sea level.
Sweden has 25 provinces or landskap (landscapes), based on culture, geography and history; Bohuslän, Blekinge, Dalarna, Dalsland, Gotland, Gästrikland, Halland, Hälsingland, Härjedalen, Jämtland, Lapland, Medelpad, Norrbotten, Närke, Skåne, Småland, Södermanland, Uppland, Värmland, Västmanland, Västerbotten, Västergötland, Ångermanland, Öland and Östergötland. While these provinces serve no political or administrative purpose, they play an important role for people's self-identification. The provinces are usually grouped together in three large lands, parts, the northern Norrland, the central Svealand and southern Götaland. The sparsely populated Norrland encompasses almost 60% of the country.
About 15% of Sweden lies north of the Arctic Circle. Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, with increasing forest coverage northward. The highest population density is in the Öresund region in southern Sweden, and in the valley of lake Mälaren near to Stockholm. Gotland and Öland are Sweden's largest islands; Vänern and Vättern are Sweden's largest lakes. The lake Vänern is the largest lake in Northern Europe and the third largest in all Europe, after Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega in Russia.

Most of Sweden has a temperate climate, despite its northern latitude, with four distinct seasons and mild temperatures throughout the year. The country can be divided into three types of climate; the southernmost part has an oceanic climate, the central part has a humid continental climate and the northernmost part has a subarctic climate. However, Sweden is much warmer and drier than other places at the similar latitude, and even somewhat further south, mainly because of the Gulf Stream. For example, central and southern Sweden has much warmer winters than many parts of Russia, Canada, and the northern United States. Because of its high northern latitude, the length of daylight varies greatly. North of the Arctic Circle, the sun never sets for part of each summer, and for part of the winter the sun never rises. The capital of Stockholm's daylight lasts for more than 18 hours in late June, but only around 6 hours in late December. Most of Sweden has between 1,600 to 2,000 hours of sunshine annually.
Temperatures vary greatly from north to south. Southern and central parts of the country have warm summers and cold winters, with average high temperatures of 20 to 25°C (68–77°F)[42] and lows of 12 to 15°C (53–59°F) in the summer, and average temperatures of −4 to 2°C (25–36°F) in the winter,[44] while the northern part of the country has shorter, cooler summers and longer, colder and snowier winters, with temperatures that often drop below freezing from September through May. Occasional heatwaves can occur a few times each year, and temperatures above 25°C (77°F) occur on many days during the summer, sometimes even in the north. It is possible during summertime for northern Sweden to have warmer weather then the middle or south of the country. Northern Sweden can experience warm, sunny weather with high pressure and temperatures in the range 25-30°C while some cities, such as Stockholm, Malmoe/Malmö and Göteborg have low pressure with temperatures in the range 15-20° with rain. Northern Scandinavia occasionally experiences high temperatures, with the record for the north being 37°C in a village called Norrbotten in Lappland, the northernmost province of Sweden. The highest temperature ever recorded in Sweden was 38°C (100.4°F) in Målilla in 1947, while the coldest temperature ever recorded was −52.6°C (−63.7°F) in Vuoggatjålme in 1966.

On average, most of Sweden receives between 500 and 800 mm (20 and 31 in) of precipitation each year, making it considerably drier than the global average. The southwestern part of the country receives more precipitation, between 1000 and 1200 mm (39 and 47 in), and some mountain areas in the north are estimated to receive up to 2000 mm (79 in). Snowfall mainly occurs from December through March in Southern Sweden, from November through April in central Sweden, and from October through May in Northern Sweden. Despite its northernly locations, southern and central Sweden tends to be virtually free of snow.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Suecia & Norwegia

Carte de Spits Berg

Carte de la Norvège, Suède et Laponie


The Kingdom of Norway, is a constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe that occupies the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The majority of the country shares a border to the east with Sweden; its northernmost region is bordered by Finland to the south and Russia to the east. The United Kingdom and the Faroe Islands lie to its west across the North Sea, and Denmark lies south of its southern tip across the Skagerrak Strait. Norway's extensive coastline, facing the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea, is home to its famous fjords.
In the 1920s, Norway annexed Jan Mayen and was given the sovereignty over the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard under the Spitsbergen Treaty. The polar territories of Bouvet Island, Peter I Island and Queen Maud Land are external dependencies, but not parts of Norway. Norwegian claim for a sector of Antarctic mainland called Queen Maud Land is not recognised by the international community.
Since World War II Norway has experienced rapid economic growth, and is now amongst the wealthiest countries in the world. Norway is the world's fourth largest oil exporter and the petroleum industry accounts for around a quarter of GDP.
Norway also has rich resources of gas fields, hydropower, fish, forests, and minerals. Norway was the second largest exporter of seafood. Other main industries include food processing, shipbuilding, metals, chemicals, mining, fishing and pulp and paper products. Norway has a Scandinavian welfare model and the largest capital reserve per capita of any nation.
Norway was ranked highest of all countries in human development from 2001 to 2006, and shares first place with Iceland from 2007 to 2008. It was also rated the most peaceful country in the world in a 2007 survey by Global Peace Index. It is a founding member of NATO.

Archaeological findings indicate that Norway was inhabited at least since early in the 6th millennium BC. Most historians agree that the core of the populations colonizing Scandinavia came from the present-day Germany. In the first centuries AD, Norway consisted of a number of petty kingdoms. According to tradition, Harald Fairhair unified them into one, in 872 AD after the Battle of Hafrsfjord in Stavanger, thus becoming the first king of a united Norway.

The Viking age, 8-11th centuries AD, was characterized by expansion and emigration. Many Norwegians left the country to live in Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and parts of Britain and Ireland. The modern-day Irish cities of Limerick, Dublin, and Waterford were founded by Norwegian settlers. Norse traditions were slowly replaced by Christianity in the 10th and 11th centuries. This is largely attributed to the missionary kings Olav Tryggvasson and St. Olav. Haakon the Good was Norway's first Christian king, in the mid tenth century, though his attempt to introduce the religion was rejected.

Norway comprises the western part of Scandinavia in Northern Europe. The rugged coastline, broken by huge fjords and thousands of islands, stretches over 2,500 km as the crow flies and over 83,000 km including the fjords and islands. Norway shares a 2,542 km land border with Sweden, Finland, and a short border line to Russia at the east. To the west and south, Norway is bordered by the Norwegian Sea, the North Sea, and Skagerak. The Barents Sea washes on Norway's northern coasts.
At 385,252 km² (including Svalbard and Jan Mayen), Norway is slightly larger than Germany, but, unlike Germany, much of the country is dominated by mountainous or high terrain, with a great variety of natural features caused by prehistoric glaciers and varied topography. The most noticeable of these are the fjords: deep grooves cut into the land flooded by the sea following the end of the Ice Age. The longest is Sognefjorden. Norway also contains many glaciers and waterfalls.
The land is mostly made of hard granite and gneiss rock, but slate, sandstone and limestone are also common, and the lowest elevations contain marine deposits. Due to the Gulf Stream and prevailing westerlies, Norway experiences warmer temperatures and more precipitation than expected at such northern latitudes, especially along the coast. The mainland experiences four distinct seasons, with colder winters and less precipitation inland. The northernmost part has a mostly maritime Subarctic climate, while Svalbard has an Arctic tundra climate. The southern and western parts of Norway experiences more precipitation, and have milder winters than the southeastern part. The lowlands around the capital Oslo has the warmest and sunniest summers, but also cold weather and snow in wintertime (especially inland). Average temperatures have risen the last decades, decreasing the amount of days with snow cover in the lowlands.
Due to Norway's high latitude, there are large seasonal variations in daylight. From late May to late July, the sun never completely descends beneath the horizon in areas north of the Arctic Circle (hence Norway's description as the "Land of the Midnight Sun") and the rest of the country experiences up to 20 hours of daylight per day. Conversely, from late November to late January, the sun never rises above the horizon in the north, and daylight hours are very short in the rest of the country. Throughout Norway, one will find stunning and dramatic scenery and landscape. The west coast of southern Norway and the coast of North Norway are among the most impressive coastlines anywhere in the world.
The 2008 Environmental Performance Index put Norway in second place, after Switzerland, based on the environmental performance of the country's policies.

Cartes du Golphe de Bothnie

Carte des Environs de Tornea


Finland is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of northern Europe. It borders Sweden on the west, Russia on the east, and Norway on the north, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland. The capital city is Helsinki.

Around 5.3 million people reside in Finland, with the majority concentrated in the southern part of the country. It is the eighth largest country in Europe in terms of area and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union. The native language for most of the population is Finnish, a member of the Finno-Ugric language family most closely related to Estonian, and is one of only four official EU languages not of Indo-European origin. The other official language of Finland, Swedish, is the mother tongue of 5.5 percent of the population. Finland is a democratic, parliamentary republic with a mostly Helsinki-based central government and local governments in 348 municipalities. A total of a million residents live in Greater Helsinki (including Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa) and a third of the country's GDP is produced there. Other major cities include Tampere, Turku, Oulu and Lahti.
Finland was historically a part of Sweden and from 1809 an autonomous Grand Duchy within the Russian Empire. Finland's declaration of independence from Russia in 1917 was followed by a civil war, wars against the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, and a period of official neutrality during the Cold War. Finland joined the United Nations in 1955 and the European Union in 1995 and participates in the Eurozone. Finland has been ranked the second most stable country in the world, in a survey based on social, economic, political, and military indicators.
Finland has good results in many international comparisons of national performance such as the share of high-technology manufacturing, public education, health care, the rate of gross domestic product growth, and the protection of civil liberties.

Finland is a country of thousands of lakes and islands – 187,888 lakes (larger than 500 m²) and 179,584 islands.[23] One of these lakes, Saimaa, is the fourth largest in Europe. The Finnish landscape is mostly flat with few hills, and its highest point, the Halti at 1,324 metres, is found in the extreme north of Lapland at the border between Finland and Norway.
The landscape is covered mostly (seventy-five percent of land area) by coniferous taiga forests and fens, with little arable land. The most common type of rock is granite. It is a ubiquitous part of the scenery, visible wherever there is no soil cover. Moraine or till is the most common type of soil, covered by a thin layer of humus of biological origin. Podzol profile development is seen in most forest soils except where drainage is poor. Gleysols and peat bogs occupy poorly drained areas. The greater part of the islands are found in the southwest in the Archipelago Sea, part of the archipelago of the Åland Islands, and along the southern coast in the Gulf of Finland.
Finland is one of the few countries in the world whose surface area is still growing. Owing to the post-glacial rebound that has been taking place since the last ice age, the surface area of the country is growing by about 7 square kilometres (2.7 square miles) a year.
The distance from the most Southern point – Hanko – to the most northern point of Finland – Nuorgam – is 1,445 kilometres (898 miles) (driving distance), which would take approximately 18.5 hours to drive. This is very similar to Great Britain (Land's End to John o' Groats – 1,404 kilometres (872 miles) and 16.5 h).

The Finnish climate is suitable for grain farming in the southernmost regions, but not further north.
Finland has a humid and cool semicontinental climate. The climate type in southern Finland is a northern temperate climate. Winters of southern Finland (average temperature of day is below 0) are usually 4-5 months long, and the snow covers the land about 4 months of every year, and in the southern coast, it can melt many times during winter, and then come again. The coldest winter days of southern Finland are usually -20 C, and the warmest days of July and early August can be 25-30 C. Summers in the southern Finland last 4 months (from the mid of May to mid of September). In Northern Finland, particularly in the Province of Lapland, a subarctic climate dominates, characterized by cold, occasionally severe, winters and relatively warm summers. Winters in north Finland are nearly 7 months long, and snow covers the land almost 6-7 months every year. Summers in the north are quite short, only 2-3 months. The highest temperatures on the warmest summer days of July, are rarely above 20-25 degrees in northern Finland. The main factor influencing Finland's climate is the country's geographical position between the 60th and 70th northern parallels in the Eurasian continent's coastal zone, which shows characteristics of both a maritime and a continental climate, depending on the direction of air flow. Finland is near enough to the Atlantic Ocean to be continuously warmed by the Gulf Stream, which explains the unusually warm climate considering the absolute latitude.
A quarter of Finland's territory lies above the Arctic Circle and the midnight sun can be experienced – for more days, the farther north one travels. At Finland's northernmost point, the sun does not set for 73 consecutive days during summer, and does not rise at all for 51 days during winter.


Iceland Ortelius


Iceland is an island country located in the North Atlantic Ocean between mainland Europe and Greenland. It has a population of about 320,000 and a total area of 103,000 km².Its capital and largest city is Reykjavík.
Located on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Iceland is volcanically and geologically active on a large scale; this defines the landscape. The interior mainly consists of a plateau characterized by sand fields, mountains and glaciers, while many big glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. Warmed by the Gulf Stream, Iceland has a temperate climate relative to its latitude and provides a habitable environment and nature.
According to tradition recorded in Landnámabók, the settlement of Iceland began in 874 when the Norwegian chieftain Ingólfur Arnarson became the first permanent Norwegian settler on the island. Others had visited the island earlier and stayed over winter. Over the next centuries, people of Nordic and Celtic origin settled in Iceland. Until the twentieth century, the Icelandic population relied on fisheries and agriculture, and was from 1262 to 1918 a part of the Norwegian and later the Danish monarchies. In the twentieth century, Iceland's economy and welfare system developed quickly. In recent decades, Iceland has implemented free trade in the European Economic Area and diversified from fishing to new economic fields in services, finance, and various industries.
Today, Iceland has some of the world's highest levels of economic and civil freedoms. In 2007, Iceland was ranked as the most developed country in the world by the United Nations' Human Development Index. It was also the fourth most productive country per capita, and one of the most egalitarian, as rated by the Gini coefficient. Icelanders have a rich culture and heritage, such as cuisine and poetry, and the medieval Icelandic Sagas are internationally renowned. Iceland is a member of the UN, NATO, EFTA, EEA and OECD. Iceland's membership of EFTA—a European trade bloc—means that it is not currently a member of the European Union. In addition to these organisations, Iceland is the sole partner of the Faroe Islands signatury to the Hoyvík Agreement.
Iceland has been hit especially hard by the current world financial crisis. The nation's ongoing economic crisis has caused significant unrest in recent months and made Iceland the first western country to borrow from the International Monetary Fund since 1976. Iceland's newly established minority cabinet is headed by the world's first openly gay head of government of the modern era.

A geologically young land, Iceland is located on both the Iceland hotspot and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which runs right through it. This combined location means that geologically the island is extremely active, having many volcanoes, notably Hekla, Eldgjá, Herðubreið and Eldfell. Iceland is one of two places on Earth where a mid-ocean ridge rises above sea level, making it an easily accessible site to study the geology of such a ridge. The volcanic eruption of Laki in 1783–1784 caused a famine that killed nearly a quarter of the island's population; the eruption caused dust clouds and haze to appear over most of Europe and parts of Asia and Africa for several months after the eruption.

There are also many geysers in Iceland, including Geysir, from which the English word is derived, as well as the famous Strokkur which erupts every 5-10 minutes. After a phase of inactivity, Geysir started erupting again after a series of earthquakes in the year 2000.
With this widespread availability of geothermal power, and because many rivers and waterfalls are harnessed for hydroelectricity, most residents have inexpensive hot water and home heat. The island itself is composed primarily of basalt, a low-silica lava associated with effusive volcanism like Hawaii. But Iceland has various kinds of volcanoes, many of which produce more evolved lavas such as rhyolite and andesite.
Iceland controls Surtsey, one of the youngest islands in the world. Named after Surtr, it rose above the ocean in a series of volcanic eruptions between 8 November 1963 and 5 June 1968. Only scientists researching the growth of new life are allowed to visit the island.

The climate of Iceland's coast is subpolar oceanic. The warm North Atlantic Current ensures generally higher annual temperatures than in most places of similar latitude in the world. Regions in the world with similar climate include the Aleutian Islands, Alaska Peninsula and Tierra del Fuego although these regions are closer to the equator. Despite its proximity to the Arctic, the island's coasts remain ice-free through the winter. Ice incursions are rare, the last having occurred on the north coast in 1969.
There are some variations in the climate between different parts of the island. Very generally speaking, the south coast is warmer, wetter and windier than the north. Low-lying inland areas in the north are the most arid. Snowfall in winter is more common in the north than the south. The Central Highlands are the coldest part of the country.
The highest air temperature recorded was 30.5 °C (86.9 °F) on 22 June 1939 at Teigarhorn on the south-eastern coast. The lowest was -38 °C (-36.4 °F) on 22 January 1918 at Grímsstaðir and Möðrudalur in the northeast hinterland. The temperature records for Reykjavík are 26.2 °C (79.2 °F) on 30 July 2008, and -24.5 °C (-12.1 °F) on 21 January 1918.

Carte de l'Islande

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The climate of the Russian Federation formed under the influence of several determining factors. The enormous size of the country and the remoteness of many areas from the sea result in the dominance of the humid continental and subarctic climate, which is prevalent in European and Asian Russia except for the tundra and the extreme southeast. Mountains in the south obstructing the flow of warm air masses from the Indian Ocean and the plain of the west and north makes the country open to Arctic and Atlantic influences.
Throughout much of the territory there are only two distinct seasons — winter and summer; spring and autumn are usually brief periods of change between extremely low temperatures and extremely high. The coldest month is January (on the shores of the sea—February), the warmest usually is July. Great ranges of temperature are typical. In winter, temperatures get colder both from south to north and from west to east. Summers can be quite hot and humid, even in Siberia. A small part of Black Sea coast around Sochi has a subtropical climate. The continental interiors are the driest areas.

Carte de la Mer Blanche

The Russian Federation stretches across a large extent of the north of the super-continent of Eurasia. Because of its size, Russia displays both monotony and diversity. As with its topography, its climates, vegetation, and soils span vast distances. From north to south the East European Plain is clad sequentially in tundra, coniferous forest (taiga), mixed and broad-leaf forests, grassland (steppe), and semi-desert (fringing the Caspian Sea) as the changes in vegetation reflect the changes in climate. Siberia supports a similar sequence but is taiga. The country contains 23 World Heritage Sites and 40 UNESCO Biosphere reserves.

The two widest separated points in Russia are about 8,000 km (5,000 mi) apart along a geodesic line. These points are: the boundary with Poland on a 60 km long (40-mi long) spit of land separating the Gulf of Gdańsk from the Vistula Lagoon; and the farthest southeast of the Kuril Islands, a few miles off Hokkaidō Island, Japan. The points which are furthest separated in longitude are 6,600 km (4,100 mi) apart along a geodesic. These points are: in the West, the same spit; in the East, the Big Diomede Island (Ostrov Ratmanova). The Russian Federation spans 11 time zone

Russia has the world's largest forest reserves and is known as "the lungs of Europe",[20] second only to the Amazon Rainforest in the amount of carbon dioxide it absorbs. It provides a huge amount of oxygen for not just Europe, but the world. With access to three of the world's oceans — the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific — Russian fishing fleets are a major contributor to the world's fish supply. The Caspian is the source of what is considered the finest caviar in the world.
Most of Russia consists of vast stretches of plains that are predominantly steppe to the south and heavily forested to the north, with tundra along the northern coast. Mountain ranges are found along the southern borders, such as the Caucasus (containing Mount Elbrus, Russia's and Europe's highest point at 5,642 m / 18,511 ft) and the Altai, and in the eastern parts, such as the Verkhoyansk Range or the volcanoes on Kamchatka. The Ural Mountains, rich in mineral resources, form a north-south range that divides Europe and Asia. Russia possesses 10% of the world's arable land

Russia has an extensive coastline of over 37,000 kilometers (23,000 mi) along the Arctic and Pacific Oceans, as well as the Baltic Sea, Sea of Azov, Black and Caspian seas. The Barents Sea, White Sea, Kara Sea, Laptev Sea, East Siberian Sea, Chukchi Sea, Bering Sea, Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan are linked to Russia. Major islands and archipelagos include Novaya Zemlya, the Franz Josef Land, the Severnaya Zemlya, the New Siberian Islands, Wrangel Island, the Kuril Islands and Sakhalin. The Diomede Islands (one controlled by Russia, the other by the United States) are just three kilometers (1.9 mi) apart, and Kunashir Island is about twenty kilometers (12 mi) from Hokkaidō.
Russia has thousands of rivers and inland bodies of water, providing it with one of the world's largest surface water resources. The largest and most prominent of Russia's bodies of fresh water is Lake Baikal, the world's deepest, purest, most ancient and most capacious freshwater lake. Lake Baikal alone contains over one fifth of the world's fresh surface water. Other major lakes include Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega, two largest lakes in Europe. Of Russia's 100,000 rivers, The Volga is the most famous—not only because it is the longest river in Europe but also because of its major role in Russian history. Russia has a wide natural resource base unmatched by any other country, including major deposits of petroleum, natural gas, coal, timber and mineral resources.

Plan de Kroonstad


Russia is a transcontinental country extending over much of northern Eurasia. It is a semi-presidential republic comprising 83 federal subjects. Russia shares land borders with the following countries (counterclockwise from northwest to southeast): Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania (via Kaliningrad Oblast), Poland (via Kaliningrad Oblast), Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and Democratic People's Republic of Korea. At 17,075,400 square kilometres (6,592,800 sq mi), Russia is the largest country in the world, covering more than an eighth of the Earth’s land area; with 142 million people, it is the ninth largest by population. It extends across the whole of northern Asia and 40% of Europe, spanning 11 time zones and incorporating a great range of environments and landforms. Russia has the world's greatest reserves of mineral and energy resources, and is considered an energy superpower. It has the world's largest forest reserves and its lakes contain approximately one-quarter of the world's unfrozen fresh water.
The nation's history began with that of the East Slavs. The Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a noble Viking warrior class and their descendants, the first East Slavic state, Kievan Rus', arose in the 9th century and adopted Christianity from the Byzantine Empire in 988, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Kievan Rus' ultimately disintegrated and the lands were divided into many small feudal states. The most powerful successor state to Kievan Rus' was Moscow, which served as the main force in the Russian reunification process and independence struggle against the Golden Horde. Moscow gradually reunified the surrounding Russian principalities and came to dominate the cultural and political legacy of Kievan Rus'. By the 18th century, the nation had greatly expanded through conquest, annexation and exploration to become the Russian Empire, which was the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland eastward to the Pacific Ocean and Alaska.
Russia established worldwide power and influence from the times of the Russian Empire to being the largest and leading constituent of the Soviet Union, the world's first and largest constitutionally socialist state and a recognized superpower. The nation can boast a long tradition of excellence in every aspect of the arts and sciences. The Russian Federation was founded following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, but is recognized as the continuing legal personality of the Soviet Union. It has one of the world's fastest growing major economies and has the world's eleventh largest GDP by nominal GDP or seventh largest by purchasing power parity with the eighth largest military budget. It is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the world's largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.Russia is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, a member of the G8, APEC and the SCO, and is a leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Carte du Golphe de Finlande

St Petersdburg

Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. The city's other names were Petrograd ( 1914–1924) and Leningrad ( 1924–1991). It is often called just Petersburg and is informally known as Piter .
Founded by Tsar Peter I of Russia on 27 May, 1703, it was the capital of the Russian Empire for more than two hundred years (1713–1728, 1732–1918). Saint Petersburg ceased being the capital in 1918 after the Russian Revolution of 1917. It is Russia's second largest and Europe's third largest city after Moscow and London. The city has 4.6 million inhabitants, and over 6 million people live in its vicinity. Saint Petersburg is a major European cultural center, and an important Russian port on the Baltic Sea.
Saint Petersburg is often described as the most Western city of Russia. Among cities of the world with over one million people, Saint Petersburg is the northernmost. The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Russia's political and cultural center for 200 years, the city is sometimes referred to in Russia as the northern capital. A large number of foreign consulates, international corporations, banks and other businesses are located in Saint Petersburg.

Plan de la Ville et Port de St Petersbourg

La Moscovie Européenne

La Moscovie

Du XIIIe au XVIe siècle, l’une de ces principautés, la Moscovie (dont la capitale est Moscou), dirigée par des princes habiles, annexe progressivement toutes les autres pour devenir la Russie (d’où le titre de Tsar de toutes les Russies porté par le souverain de l’empire russe). Le prince Dimitri Donskoï vainc une première fois les Mongols à la bataille de Koulikovo (1380). Monté sur le trône en 1462, Ivan III, qu’un voyageur vénitien décrit comme un « homme de haute taille, penché en avant et beau », libère la Moscovie du joug des Mongols dont l’empire est désormais fragmenté en plusieurs khanats, puis absorbe les principales principautés russes encore indépendantes dont Novgorod. La Moscovie doit également combattre sur sa frontière nord-est le grand-duché de Lituanie. À la fin du règne d’Ivan III le territoire de la Moscovie a quadruplé. Ivan IV dit « le Terrible », premier prince à se faire désigner sous le titre de tsar, parachève ces conquêtes en s’emparant des principaux khanats mongols mais il perd l’accès à la mer Baltique face à une coalition de l’Empire suédois avec la Pologne et la Lituanie. Désormais l’expansion de la Russie vers l’est n’a plus d’obstacle sérieux. La colonisation par les paysans russes du vaste bassin de la Volga et de l’Oural prend son essor. Des paysans et fugitifs, les cosaques, s’installent sur les marges et s’organisent en « armée » tout en jouant les rôles de pionniers et de garde-frontières.

Carte de la Moscovie Européenne