Europa was a beautiful Phoenician princess who, according to Greek mythology, Zeus saw gathering flowers and immediately fell in love with. Zeus transformed himself into a white bull and carried Europa away to the island of Crete. He then revealed his true identity and Europa became the first queen of Crete. By Zeus, she mothered Trojan war contemporaries Minos, Rhadamanthus, and Sarpedon. Zeus later re-created the shape of the white bull in the stars which is now known as the constellation Taurus.
Europa is also the spelling of Europe in all Germanic languages (except English), and in all Slavic languages which use the latin alphabet, as well as Greek and Latin. Thus, for instance, its appearance on postage stamps commemorating a "United Europe" first issued in 1956.