Cardiff - the Welsh Capital

Cardiff is the capital city of Wales. It lies on the southeast coast of Wales on the Bristol Channel. Although Cardiff is not a metropolis (its current population is only about 300,000), it is an important administrative, commercial, cultural and industrial centre and port.

Cardiff has been the official capital of Wales since 1955. There has been a community here for hundreds of years, but it began to grow quickly and to become prosperous during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This was the period when the coal, iron and steel industries were developing in South Wales, and Cardiff became major industrial town and an important port. Today it is an attractive and interesting place to live in, with good communications, plenty of parks and a varied population which includes nearly 10,000 university and college students. Cardiff is a city of contrasts. The famous Cardiff Castle dating back to Roman times, stands alongside a modern shopping centre with many fashionable shops, excellent restaurants and hotels. The Castle, built in 1090, is the greatest tourist attraction.

Cardiff is also known for its beautiful parks covering hundreds of acres in the city. The major commercial buildings are found around Cathays Park. Cardiff has also one of the world's great Civil Centres including the Law Courts; the University College; the National Museum of Wales with an astonishing range of exhibits in natural science, archeology, botany, zoology and art; and the Welsh Industrial and Maritime Museum housing a collection of boats and railway vehicles. If you like music, there is the famous national concert hall, St David's Hall, or the New Theatre, which is the home of the Welsh Opera Company.

Visitors to Cardiff may also admire Llandaff Cathedral built in the late Gothic style, and the richly decorated building of City Hall.

Although Cardiff is not so exciting as London, it is still an attractive and interesting place to see.

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