Portal:Wales

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Croeso i Borth Cymru!

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Wales (Welsh: Cymru, pronounced [ˈkəmrɨ] ( )) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km2 (8,023 sq mi). Wales has over 1,200 km (750 mi) of coastline and is largely mountainous, with its highest peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), its highest summit. The country lies within the north temperate zone and has a changeable, maritime climate.

Wales was an agricultural society for most of its early history, the country's terrain meaning that pastoral farming was the primary source of its wealth. In the 18th century, the introduction of the slate and metallurgical industries at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution began to transform the country into an industrial nation. The exploitation of the South Wales coalfield in the Victorian era caused a rapid expansion of the Welsh population. Two-thirds of Wales' inhabitants now live in South Wales, mainly in and around the capital city, Cardiff (Caerdydd), in the cities of Swansea (Abertawe) and Newport (Casnewydd), and in the nearby valleys. Today, with the country's traditional heavy industries either gone or in decline, Wales' economy depends on the public sector, light and service industries, and tourism.

From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the "land of song", attributable in part to the revival of the eisteddfod tradition. Although football has traditionally been the more popular sport in North Wales, rugby union is seen as a symbol of Welsh identity and an expression of national consciousness. Wales is officially bilingual, with the Welsh and English languages having equal status. The Welsh language is an important element of Welsh culture, and is spoken by over 580,000 people, more than 20% of the population. Following annexation by England in the 16th century, English law has been the legal system of Wales and England; the National Assembly for Wales, created in 1999 following a referendum, holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters.

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HMS Cardiff in Portsmouth, circa 2005
HMS Cardiff (D108) is a Type 42 destroyer, the third ship of the Royal Navy to be named in honour of the Welsh capital city of Cardiff. She was built by Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria and launched on 22 February 1974. During her career, Cardiff served in the Falklands War, where she shot down the last enemy aircraft of the conflict and accepted the surrender of a 700-strong Argentine garrison at the settlement of Port Howard. During the 1991 Gulf War, Cardiff was part of the British contribution to the Coalition, and her Lynx helicopter sank two Iraqi minesweepers. Later participating in the build-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq as part of the Royal Navy's Armilla Patrol, Cardiff thwarted attempts to smuggle oil out of the country, but was not involved with the actual invasion. Cardiff was decommissioned in July 2005, having earned two battle honours for service in the Falklands and Gulf wars. She is currently moored in Portsmouth Harbour, next to sister ship HMS Newcastle. Former servicemen have petitioned for her preservation as a museum ship and local tourist attraction at Cardiff, but her fate remains undecided.

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Did you know...?

  • ... that Welsh boxer Barry Jones lost his WBO Super featherweight title through events caused by an anomaly in a brain scan?
  • ... that Arthur Cheetham's film of children playing on the beach at Rhyl is recognised as the first film of the Cinema of Wales?
  • ... that the churchyard of St Caian's Church, Tregaian, contains the grave of a man who died in 1581 aged 105 with over 40 children and 300 living descendants?
  • ... that after a fox took shelter in the ruins of Capel Lligwy, in Anglesey, a vault was discovered containing "a large mass of human bones, several feet in depth"?

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Owain Lawgoch, (English: "Owain of the Red Hand", French: "Yvain de Galles"), full name Owain ap Thomas ap Rhodri (c. 1330 - July 1378), was a Welsh soldier who served in Spain, France, Alsace and Switzerland. He led a Free Company fighting for the French against the English in the Hundred Years' War. As the last politically active descendant of Llywelyn the Great in the male line, he was a claimant to the title of Prince of Gwynedd and of Wales. Following the death of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd in 1282, Gwynedd along with the remainder of Wales came under the rule of the king of England. Llywelyn's daughter Gwenllian ferch Llywelyn was committed to a nunnery at Sempringham, while the sons of his brother Dafydd ap Gruffydd were kept in Bristol castle until their deaths. Another of Llywelyn's brothers, Rhodri ap Gruffydd, spent much of his life in England. By his second wife, Katherine, he had a son, Thomas, the father of Owain. Rhodri was content to end his life as a country gentleman in England, and though his son Thomas ap Rhodri used the four lions of Gwynedd on his seal he made no attempt to win his inheritance.

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This island is made mainly of coal and surrounded by fish. Only an organizing genius could produce a shortage of coal and fish at the same time.
Aneurin Bevan, speech at Blackpool, 24 May 1945.

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Featured articles: King Arthur · Asser · William Cragh · John Dee · Rhys ap Gruffydd · Tom Pryce · Sasha (DJ) · Slate industry in Wales · Talyllyn Railway · Wales national rugby union team · Alfred Russel Wallace

Featured lists: List of alumni of Jesus College, Oxford: Clergy · List of alumni of Jesus College, Oxford: Law and government · List of alumni of Jesus College, Oxford: Mathematics, medicine and science · List of alumni of Jesus College, Oxford · Friends of Friendless Churches · List of Honorary Fellows of Jesus College, Oxford · List of founding Fellows, Scholars and Commissioners of Jesus College, Oxford · List of county courts in England and Wales · List of former county courts in Wales · List of Principals and Fellows of Jesus College, Oxford


Good articles: A4232 road · Aberdaron · Anglesey Central Railway · Rakie Ayola · Norman Biggs · Bullet for My Valentine · Caernarfon Castle · Caernarfon town walls · Caffo · Capel Lligwy · Cardiff Arms Park · Cardiff Castle · Conwy town walls · Andrew Crofts (footballer) · (Drawing) Rings Around the World · Ebbw Valley Railway · Timothy Everest · Flat Holm · Golden Retriever (song) · Arthur Gould (rugby player) · Hello Sunshine · The Holy Bible (album) · It's Not the End of the World? · Herbert Armitage James · Barry John · Gethin Jones · Juxtapozed with U · Kidwelly and Llanelly Canal · Llanishen Reservoir · Llantwit Major · John McFall (athlete) · Milford Haven · Millennium Stadium · Neath and Tennant Canal · Old Bridge, Pontypridd · Old Church of St Gwenllwyfo, Llanwenllwyfo · Our Lady Star of the Sea and St Winefride, Amlwch · Parc Cwm long cairn · Penmon · Phantom Phorce · Phantom Power (Super Furry Animals album) · Pont-y-Cafnau · Guto Puw · Raglan Castle · Rhondda · Rings Around the World · Senedd · Sibyl de Neufmarché · Slow Life · Snowdon · St Caian's Church, Tregaian · St Beuno's Church, Trefdraeth · St Ceidio's Church, Rhodogeidio · St Cristiolus's Church, Llangristiolus · St Cwyllog's Church, Llangwyllog · St Deiniol's Church, Llanddaniel Fab · St Eleth's Church, Amlwch · St Fflewin's Church, Llanfflewin · St Gallgo's Church, Llanallgo · St Gwenllwyfo's Church, Llanwenllwyfo · St Iestyn's Church, Llaniestyn · St Llibio's Church, Llanllibio · St Mary's Church, Bodewryd · St Mary's Church, Llanfair Mathafarn Eithaf · St Mary's Church, Pentraeth · St Mary's Church, Rhodogeidio · St Mary's Church, Tal-y-llyn · St Pabo's Church, Llanbabo · St Peirio's Church, Rhosbeirio · St Peulan's Church, Llanbeulan · St Twrog's Church, Bodwrog · St Tyfrydog's Church, Llandyfrydog · The Tale of The Flopsy Bunnies · Wales · Wales Millennium Centre · David Watts Morgan · Welsh Springer Spaniel · Y Gododdin

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