Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- This article is about the Welsh capital. For the place in United States, see Cardiff, California .
|City of Cardiff|
- % Water
|Geographical coordinates:||51°29N 3°11W|
- Total (April 29, 2001)
2,181 / km²
- Any skills
|Cardiff County Council|
|Control:||(No overall control)|
Jon Owen Jones
Cardiff (Welsh: Caerdydd, from caer, "fort," and dydd, "Aulus Didius") is the capital and largest city of Wales. It is located in the traditional county of Glamorgan, and since 1996 has been administratively independent. It was a small town until the early nineteenth century and came to prominence following the arrival of industry in the region and the use of Cardiff as a major port for the transport of coal. Cardiff was made a city in 1905 and proclaimed capital of Wales in 1955. In the Census 2001 the population of Cardiff was 305,340, making it the 16th largest settlement in the United Kingdom. People from Cardiff are called Cardiffians.
Cardiff's port, known as Tiger Bay, was once one of the busiest ports in the world and for some time the world's most important coal port. It also housed one of the UK's earliest immigrant communities. After a long period of neglect as "Cardiff Bay," it is now being regenerated as a popular area for arts, entertainment and nightlife. Much of the growth has been thanks to the building of the Cardiff Barrage.
Caroline Street is one of the three oldest streets in Cardiff and is a major link between two of the busiest streets (St. Mary Street and the Hayes). The street has been a host to all kinds of stores but more recently has been taken over by chip and kebab shops, and as such is commonly known as Chip Row, Chip Alley, or Chippy Lane, and is a popular post-club location, leaving the street often looking like a sea of polystyrene containers. As of 2003, luxury flats were being built and plans were made to refurbish the street. As part of the development a Hard Rock Cafe and a Nandos have opened in the Old Brewery Quarter.
Development and growth were initially centred on the transportation of coal, where coal mined from the Rhondda Valley was sent to the port by barge along the river Taff . A logical extension of the coal business was the development of an iron and steel industry, based largely on the port and the valleys coal. The 1980's brought closures, and thousands of local workers were made redundant as the steel industry moved out of Cardiff, including the largest GKN steelworks in Newport Road.
The name Cardiff is an Anglicisation of Welsh name "Caerdydd". There is uncertainty concerning the origin of "Caerdydd"—"Caer" means "fort" or "castle," but although "Dydd" means "Day" in modern Welsh, it is unclear what was meant in this context. For many years it was believed that "Dydd" or "Diff" was a corruption of "Taff" the river on which Cardiff stands, in which case "Cardiff" would mean the fort on the river Taff (in Welsh the T mutates to D). Modern research casts doubt on this meaning, and it is now known the Romans under Aulus Didius established a fort in Cardiff. Considering this it is now believed that Cardiff means the fort of Aulus Didius. A Norman castle still exists, on the site of an earlier Roman fort, but was substantially altered and extended during the Victorian period by John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, the 3rd Marquess of Bute, and the architect William Burges .
There is a second castle to the north west of the city centre, called Castell Coch (Welsh: "the Red Castle"). The current castle is an elaborately decorated Victorian folly designed by Burgess for the Marquess and built in the 1870s. However, the Victorian castle stands on the site of a much older medieval castle built by Ivor Bach, a regional baron with links to Cardiff Castle also. The exterior has been used for filming several television series, for example as the outside of Cackles Academy in the ITV presentation of The Worst Witch.
Culture, Media, Sport and Tourism
The city has a professional football team, Cardiff City F.C., nicknamed "The Bluebirds." There is also the Cardiff Blues regional rugby union team, and the Cardiff Devils Ice Hockey team. The city also features an international sporting venue, the Millennium Stadium. Cardiff hosted the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games.
Cardiff is home to Cardiff Castle, the National Assembly for Wales, St. David's Hall , the National Museum and Gallery, and Cathays Park (including municipal buildings modelled on those in New Delhi). The Welsh National Opera moved into the Wales Millennium Centre in November 2004.
Cardiff has twinning arrangements with:
Since gaining autonomy at the county level in 1996, Cardiff has been governed by Cardiff County Council. Following the 2004 local elections, no individual political party has a majority on Cardiff County Council. The Liberal Democrats have 33 councillors, Labour have 27, the Conservatives have 12 and Plaid Cymru have 3. The Leader of the council is from the Liberal Democrats.
Natives of Cardiff
- Michael Aspel
- Jeremy Bowen
- Ryan Giggs
- John Humphrys
- Griff Rhys Jones
- Shirley Bassey
- Ivor Novello
- Charlotte Church
- Rhodri Morgan
- Dr Bobi Jones
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