In school we’re all taught the basics of European history. You know a little something about Europe’s wars, and princes, and landmarks, and art, but if you’re looking to impress your friends or family, tuck a couple of these fascinating little known facts about Europe away … they’re sure to turn some heads when you have the opportunity to share them!
Europe Facts for Kids – Secret Trivia Your Kids Will Love
Big Ben, Little Penny:
While the origin of the name “Big Ben” for London’s famous clock tower is uncertain, all kids love the idea that this grand clock has such a memorable name. Did you know that the clock’s time is adjusted every year with an old British penny? If the clock is running fast a penny is added to the pendulum to slow the clock ever so slightly … if the clock is running slow a penny is removed. It’s just common cents!
Why Does the Leaning Tower of Pisa Lean:
The “Leaning Tower of Pisa” is a famous landmark which is popular with kids because it’s so unusual to see a large structure tilting in such a way. Your kids might be impressed if you know that the city of Pisa earned its name from a Greek Word meaning “marshy land.” A big heavy tower on soft land … it’s no wonder it leans!
Europe Facts for Adults – Quirky Facts Best Saved for a Cocktail Party
IKEA is for Lovers:
A 12-page New Yorker profile of everybody’s go-to furniture manufacturer, IKEA, revealed that IKEA beds are great for baby-making. According to the 2011 article 1 out of every 10 Europeans was conceived in an IKEA bed.
A Throne with a View:
If you’re the sort of person who always needs to know where the nearest toilet is, you may be interested to learn that the highest toilet in Europe is located on Mont Blanc at an elevation of over 13,780 feet.
If you’re in a panic about the spread of the dangerous Zika virus, you’ll be relieved to learn that Iceland does not have a single mosquito. You’ve found your safe-haven: it’s Europe!
European Food Facts – You May Not Believe It, But It’s True
Sweden is “Lovin’ It”:
Did you know that Sweden has more McDonald’s per-capita than any other country in Europe? That’s 225 sets of Golden Arches! Germany has the most total McDonald’s franchises in Europe … a whopping 1,478.
Can you guess the one place which sells more chocolate than any other location on Earth? If you guessed the airport in Brussels you’re right!
It turns out the Croissant was actually invented in Austria. Maybe we can say the French perfected it?
Facts about European History, Geography & More – Quirky Trivia Sure to Turn Some Heads!
Your Town is Named What?
The longest town name in Europe is Lanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogo and it’s located in Wales. It’s probably safe to assume that the people who live there don’t get a lot of junk mail.
Make Friends, Not War:
You may know about Liechtenstein, a very small European country, but did you know that during this nation’s last military campaign in 1866, 80 soldiers set out, but the regiment actually returned with 81 men? They made a friend in Italy.
Thanks a Lot, Zeus:
Did you know that Europe is named after the Phoenician princess Europa who was seduced by the Greek God Zeus, disguised as a bull? Legend has it that Europa climbed on his back and Zeus whisked her off to the island of Crete. No bull!
The Pyramids Were a Breeze:
Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia Church is taking longer to build than it took to construct the ancient pyramids. Construction began on the church in 1882 and you guessed it … work isn’t done on the beautiful structure yet!
A Rainforest in Europe?
You probably didn’t know it, but Perucica in Bosnia is one of the last rainforests in Europe. There’s a lot to discover if you take a drive from Europe’s popular cities!