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___ Political Map of Balkan Peninsula, parts of the Mediterranean Sea, and the Black Sea Region

Map shows the Balkans in Southeastern Europe, an ancient region and since the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991-92 the site of 10 nations plus the European portion of Turkey.

The Balkan peninsula lies east of Italy, separated from it by the Adriatic Sea. The Balkans are bordered by parts of the Mediterranean Sea, the Adriatic and the Ionian Sea in the west and by the Aegean Sea in the south. The Sea of Marmara, south of the peninsula, connects the Mediterranean with the Black Sea.

Geographically (by convention), the Balkan Peninsula is separated from Central Europe in north by the Danube and Sava Rivers. This excludes some portions of Serbia and some of Montenegro and much of Romania, but historically and politically they are considered to be Balkan states; the other eight nations are Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, continental Greece, and European Turkey.

With an area of about half a million square kilometers (193,000 sq mi) the Balkans are about the size of Spain.

The landscape of the Balkan Peninsula is pretty mountainous with deep basins and steep valleys, river gorges, and large caves. There are three major mountain ranges, the Dinaric Alps along the coast of the Adriatic Sea, the Pindus mountain range in northern Greece and southern Albania, and the Balkan Mountains in Bulgaria, from which the region takes its name. Smaller ranges are the Rila, Pirin and Rhodope Mountains.

The climate of the region ranges from Mediterranean at the Adriatic and Aegean coasts to humid subtropical and oceanic at the Black Sea coast, characterized by mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. In the interior the climate is humid continental. In the northern parts and on the mountains, winters can be frosty and snowy.

The Balkans is at the crossroads of two continents, Europe and Asia, and of two major religions Christianity and Islam. It is a melting pot of European and Asian civilizations, a boiling mix of cultures, races, languages, and religions, and considered to be the stage of constant wars, civil wars, conquests, revolts, and lawlessness. Nationalism, religious tensions and age-old rivalry for territory and supremacy have often created a climate of mistrust and hostility.

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More about the Balkan Peninsula:

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Political Maps of Countries on the Balkan Peninsula:
Albania Map, Bulgaria Map, Croatia Map, Greece Map, Macedonia Map, Montenegro Map, Romania Map, Serbia Map, Slovenia Map, Turkey Map

Searchable Maps of Countries on the Balkan Peninsula:
Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey

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