Cardiff watches over its bay
The Welsh capital has transformed its old dockyards into the political, economic and cultural heart of the country.
In 2005 Cardiff celebrated a double event: its centennial year and 50th anniversary as capital of Wales. Cardiff had to wait until 1905 for city status to be officially granted by King Edward VII but its origins date back to Roman times as the castle holding court in the city centre reminds visitors. The castle gave its Celtic name to the city as Caerdydd comes from caer or castle. Cardiff is the anglicised version.
Commerce and know-how
It was not until the 19th Century and the discovery of coal in the Rhondda valley that the capital of Glamorgan became a major port, the most important for coalmining at the beginning of the 20th Century. This bustling past left a few legacies, imposing municipal buildings, the Welsh National Museum, and the University among others. Cardiff University is one of the United Kingdom’s highest ranked, and the pride of Cardiff as its huge student intake allows the city to claim the title of Europe’s youngest capital.
Cardiff bay - a new British tourist attraction
The UK’s 15th agglomeration, administered by Cardiff County Council since 1996, has rediscovered its energy and prestige over the last few years in the development of Cardiff bay. A barrage helped transform the dock yards into a business and cultural centre. And the Welsh National Assembly was installed there in 1999, not far from the Wales Millennium Centre, a rendez-vous for lovers of ballet, opera and theatre. For rugby lovers the Millennium Stadium has already become a temple.