Crimea just a blip? Time lapse map video shows 1000 years of Europe's history in three minutes

Video shared by Twitter users bringing historical perspective to events unfolding in Ukraine

Adam Withnall
Wednesday 19 March 2014 10:38 GMT
The video shows the rise and fall of empires across Europe
The video shows the rise and fall of empires across Europe

An extraordinary time lapse video showing the changing borders of Europe over the course of the past 1,000 years has re-emerged as a hit among social media users in the wake of the ongoing Crimean crisis.

David Cameron warned yesterday that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of the Black Sea peninsula had “sent a chilling message across the continent of Europe”.

Perhaps looking to provide a bit of context to the newly-changed border – which has not been recognised by the wider international community – Twitter users have been sharing the map in their thousands.

Covering the years from 1,000 AD to around 2003, it was created using software from the Centennia Historical Atlas.

Following popular demand from viewers online, the video has had a year counter added at the bottom, though it fairly evidently fails at times to synchronise with major historical events.

The video shows the rise and fall of the Holy Roman, Ottoman and Golden Horde empires, the changing landscape of the British Isles and the until-recently patchwork nature of what is now Germany.

All taking place in just three minutes and 30 seconds (and set to the slightly jarring accompaniment of Hans Zimmer’s Inception score), it offers a timely reminder of the nature of European borders which, thanks to Mr Putin’s endeavours, remain in flux to this day.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in