Forecasters warned Friday that the big freeze would tighten its grip over the weekend.
A total of 223 people have died from the cold weather in the last seven days according to an AFP tally.
People have been found dead on the streets in some countries, while thousands are trapped in mountain villages in Serbia. In Italy, even Rome was dusted in snow.
Canals in Venice, where temperatures fell as low as minus 5 Celsius, started freezing.
In Serbia, teams of workers plowed through snowdrifts to get food, supplies and aid to thousands of residents of mountain villages cut off by the weather.
“To help a woman who needed to reach a hospital we were breaking through two-metre (six-foot) snow drifts, which lasted for two and a half hours,” said Vedran Taskovic, a rescuer in the southeastern town of Vranje
During Europe’s “Little Ice Age”, Venice canals regularly froze over.
“There are some famous pictures of a 1927 freeze-up,” says reader Caroline Snyder. “And according to the Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Sun by Kenneth R. Lang, during Europe’s “Little Ice Age”, Venice’s canals regularly froze over. Famed historian Will Durant wrote that the winter of 1708-1709 was one of Europe’s worst in centuries and froze the laguna solid.
“As other commentators have said, the eastern US has been incredibly mild for the past few weeks. Here in central West Virginia, we hit 66 F or 18C. The normal average January high for this area is 34 F.. 1 C! I expect we will get slammed by an end-of season whopper like 1993.”
Thanks to Caroline Snyder for this link