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Europe is one of the five inhabited traditional continents of the Earth. Physically and geologically, Europe is the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, west of Asia. Europe is bounded to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the Mediterranean Sea, and to the southeast by the waterways adjoining the Mediterranean to and including the Black Sea and the Caucasus Mountains. On the east, Europe is divided from Asia by the water divide of the Ural Mountains and by the Caspian Sea. Europe is the world's second-smallest continent in terms of area and third-largest continent after Asia and Africa in population.
Soignies is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Hainaut. The municipality is composed of the Town of Soignies and the villages of Casteau, Chaussee-Notre-Dame-Louvignies, Horrues, Neufvilles, Naast and Thieusies. The SHAPE, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, the military headquarters of NATO, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, has been based at Casteau. The spring of the Senne is near Soignies. After Soignies, the river passes through Brussels. Soignies is also well known for her blue limestone, Carrières du Hainaut and her glass industry, Durobor.
The history of the region starts in the second half of the 7th century, with the founding the abbeys, Madelgaire in Soignies and Waltrude in neighbouring Mons. A large forest covered the whole area, the remnants of which near Brussels are still called Foret de Soignes today. The collegiate church of Saint Vincent is one of the earliest specimens of Romanesque churches in Belgium. The choir dates from the beginning of the 11th century while the Gothic west tower dates from around 1250. The cemetery still has tombs of the 13th and 14th century. Near the church stands the Cloth Market, in French Halle aux Draps, dating from the 16th century.
Belgium derives its name from the Latin name of the most northern part of Gaul, Gallia Belgica, named after a group of mostly Celtic tribes, Belgae. Belgium was a founding member of the European Union, hosting its headquarters, as well as others like the NATO.

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