Europe covers a significant portion of the globe. Sometimes it's referred to as the 'Old world', in contrast to America which is known as the 'New World'. European culture, along with its patrimonial heritage, has been formed through its thousand year history and its mix of people from a diverse range of linguistic, religious and historic roots. Europe has also been at the heart of several major historical developments, such as great geographical discoveries, the Renaissance, the Age of Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution. With a collective population of 739 million people shared between 50 countries, it has now also been regrouped politically as the European Union, made up of 27 member states, many of whom share a common currency, the Euro. Rich in artistic history, Europe has also been the birthplace of many artists whose masterpieces are still visible today, particularly in Europe's big museums. Examples are the Italian genius Léonardo de Vinci and his Mona Lisa, the jewel of the Louvre Museum; or even Claude Monet and his impressionist works, many of which are featured in the Orsay Museum. As well as France, England and Belgium are also rich in tourist appeal. London, of course, being home to Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square, all known throughout the world, along with its famous medieval palace, the Tower of London. And Brugge, 'The Venice of the North', with its Gothic architecture, where one can drift along the most romantic canals in Europe.