Welcome to the Wales Portal!
Croeso i Borth Cymru!
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.
The Talyllyn Railway
: Rheilffordd Talyllyn
) is a narrow-gauge preserved
railway in Wales
running for 7.25 miles (11.67 km)
on the Mid-Wales
coast to Nant Gwernol
near the village of Abergynolwyn
. The line was opened in 1866 to carry slate
from the quarries at Bryn Eglwys
to Tywyn, and was the first narrow gauge railway in Britain authorised by Act of Parliament
to carry passengers using steam haulage.
Despite severe under-investment,
the line remained open, and in 1951 it became the first railway in the world to be preserved as a heritage railway
Since preservation, the railway has operated as a tourist attraction, expanding its rolling stock through acquisition and an engineering programme to build new locomotives and carriages. In 1976, an extension was opened along the former mineral line from Abergynolwyn to the new station at Nant Gwernol. In 2001, the preservation society celebrated its 50th anniversary, and in 2005 a major rebuilding and extension of Tywyn Wharf station took place, including a much-expanded facility for the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum.
(d. 908/909) was a Welsh monk
from St. David's
, who became Bishop of Sherborne
in the 890s. In about 885 he was asked by Alfred the Great
to leave St. David's and join the circle of learned men which Alfred was recruiting for his court. After spending a year at Caerwent
due to an illness, he accepted. In 893 Asser wrote a biography of Alfred, called the Life of King Alfred
. The manuscript survived to modern times in only one copy, which was part of the Cotton library
. That copy was destroyed in a fire in 1731, but transcriptions that had been made earlier, allied with material from Asser's work that was included by other early writers, have enabled the work to be reconstructed. The biography is now the main source of information about Alfred's life, and provides far more information about Alfred than is known about any other early English ruler. Asser also assisted Alfred in his translation of Gregory the Great
's Pastoral Care
, and possibly with other works.
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
Featured pictures: Crib Goch · National Fund for Welsh Troops Grand Matinee poster
Featured sounds: 1899 recording of Hen Wlad fy Nhadau
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