Cardiff City Hall - Photo: Philip Halling CCL
The capital of Wales since
1955 – and home to the National Assembly of
Wales - this splendid city is a shopper’s
paradise, replete with Victorian and Edwardian
arcades as well as an intriguing blend of old
and new architecture.
Lying on the banks of the rivers Taff, Rhymney and Ely where they join the mighty Bristol Channel, Cardiff has been an important port for centuries and has a galaxy of attractions that include museums, art galleries, public buildings, theatres and sporting stadia.
The Romans recognised the
area’s strategic significance and built a fort
here while the Normans erected Cardiff Castle
on the same site in the 11th
century. Its fabulous interior was remodelled
by William Burges and eventually gifted to the
city in 1947.
Cardiff’s modern history began during the Industrial Revolution when the aristocratic Bute family created vast docks to export coal mined in the Welsh valleys. They became inordinately rich and turned Cardiff into one of the world’s most important ports.
Abernodwydd farmhouse at the Welsh Folk Museum
Photo: Colin Smith CCL
Since then the waterfront
has undergone a radical transformation to
become one of the city’s most important
Stone-built Llandaff Cathedral lies beyond Cardiff city centre and dates from the Norman period. It had to be partly rebuilt following the Second World War.
On the outskirts of Cardiff at St Fagan’s – a village of thatched cottages - is the imaginative Welsh Folk Museum, which charts the history of Wales through a series of splendid historic buildings.