Continental climate evolution of Central Europe has been reconstructed quantitatively for the last 45 million years providing inferred data on mean annual temperature and precipitation, and winter and summer temperatures. Although some regional effects occur, the European Cenozoic continental climate record correlates well with the global oxygen isotope record from marine environments. During the last 45 million years, continental cooling is especially pronounced for inferred winter temperatures but hardly observable from summer temperatures. Correspondingly, Cenozoic cooling in Central Europe is directly associated with an increase of seasonality. In contrast, inferred Cenozoic mean annual precipitation remained relatively stable, indicating the importance of latent heat transport throughout the Cenozoic. Moreover, our data support the concept that changes in atmospheric CO2 concentrations, although linked to climate changes, were not the major driving force of Cenozoic cooling.