Northern Europe

northern region of the European continent

Northern Europe is a loosely defined geographical and cultural region in Europe. Narrower definitions may describe Northern Europe as being roughly north of the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, which is about 54°N, or may be based on other geographical factors such as climate and ecology. A broader definition would include the area of Europe north of the Alps (but excluding Eastern Europe). Historically, when Europe was dominated by the Roman Empire, the parts of Europe that were not near the Mediterranean region were deemed Northern European, including southern Germany, all of the Low Countries, and Austria. This meaning is still used today in some contexts, for example, discussions of the Northern Renaissance. During the Early Middle Ages, the Roman Catholic Church expanded into Northern Europe and spread Christianity among the Germanic peoples. Christianity reached the Vikings and other Scandinavians in later centuries. The Latin alphabet gradually replaced the runic alphabet in Scandinavia and England as the influence of Catholic Christianity spread northward from Rome, leading to English, German, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, and Icelandic. During the Protestant Reformation, which began in Northern Europe according to some looser definitions of the region, Protestantism was embraced in Northern Europe to an extent unseen in other parts of Europe such as Southern Europe and Eastern Europe, and the vast majority of Northern European countries, by any definition, are mostly Protestant historically.
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