From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Northern Europe is the northern part of the European continent. Over time this region has been defined variously, but today it is generally seen to include:
- The Nordic countries, including Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, as well as Åland, Svalbard, the Faroe Islands and occasionally Karelia and Kola Peninsula
- The Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands (see also Western Europe)
- Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania
- Areas bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, e.g. north-western Russia, northern Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and northern Germany.
Historically, when Europe was dominated by the Mediterranean region (i.e. the Roman Empire), everything not near this sea was termed Northern Europe, including Germany, the Low Countries, and Austria. This meaning is still used today in some contexts, such as in discussions of the Northern Renaissance. In medieval times, the term (Ultima) Thule was used to mean a mythical place in the extreme northern reaches of the continent.
- Baltic region
- Baltic States
- British Isles
- Central Europe
- Eastern Europe
- Germanic languages
- Nordic Countries
- Southern Europe
- Western Europe