Northern Europe - Region facts
Northern Europe is a name of the northern part of the European continent. At different times this region has been defined differently but today it is generally seen to include:
The Nordic countries, i.e. Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
The Baltic states, i.e. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
The British Isles, i.e. the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands - although there is some debate about their position in this region
Other areas bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, e.g. north-eastern Russia, northern Poland, northern Germany, the Benelux
Before the 19th century, the term 'Nordic' or 'Northern' was commonly used to mean Northern Europe in a sense that included the Nordic countries, European Russia, the Baltic countries (at that time Livonia and Courland) and Greenland.
In earlier eras, when Europe was dominated by the Mediterranean region(ie, 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 a European Union context, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands are often seen as belonging to a Northern group.
Danevirke and the English Channel are often considered the dividing lines between the North and South of Europe, since everything below it was once ruled by the Franks under Charlemagne and everything above it was once ruled by the Kingdom of England under Canute the Great.