Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- This page is about Swansea in Wales. For others, see Swansea (disambiguation).
- % Water
- Total (April 29, 2001)
591 / km²
- Any skills
|City & County of Swansea Council|
|Control:||Liberal Democrats + Conservative + Ind|
Alan John Williams
Swansea (Welsh: Abertawe - "aber" river-mouth + river Tawe ) is a city and county in South Wales, situated on the coast, immediately to the east of the Gower peninsula in the traditional county of Glamorgan. The name Swansea is believed to come from "Sweyn's Ey" ("ey" being a Germanic word for "island") and to have originated in the period when the Vikings plundered the south Wales coast.
Swansea is Wales' second city, and it grew to its present importance during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, becoming a centre of heavy industry. However, it did not enjoy the same degree of immigration as Cardiff and the eastern valleys. Consequently, it retains close links with agriculture and rural life, and a healthy proportion of the population are Welsh speakers (13.4% at the 2001 census, as compared with 11% for the capital city, Cardiff). According to the mid-year estimates for 2002, the population of Swansea was about 230,000.
Although the Gower, to which Swansea is considered the gateway, is Britain's first area to be designated an 'area of oustanding natural beauty', the city centre itself is modern (many older buildings having been destroyed by World War II bombing). The coastal landscape is stunning, and the wide sandy beaches at Langland, Caswell and Limeslade are the most popular with swimmers and tourists with children, whereas the wide and calm waters of Swansea Bay tend to attract the water-sport enthusiast. Coastal paths connect most of the bays, and hikers can enjoy breathtaking views throughout the year.
The former fishing village of Mumbles (located on the Western edge of Swansea Bay) has excellent restaurants and coffee shops, and is a great place to pick up a local souvenir. In addition, the vista of Swansea Bay is perhaps most spectacular when viewed from the promenade at Mumbles. The village, also known as Oystermouth, is home to the ruins of a 12th Century castle of the same name.
In addition to being a holiday resort, Swansea is also a commercial centre, and the recently regenerated dock areas are home to some cutting-edge hi-tech industries. The University of Wales has a large campus as well as an Associate College of Higher Education in the city, with a combined student population of around 13,000. Within the city centre, sites recommended to visit are the ruins of a castle, the Marina, The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, the Dylan Thomas Centre, the Environmental Centre, and the Central Market. Wind Street is the city's main watering hole and also the location of many high quality restaurants, while the Quadrant Mall is the main shopping centre. Discos and clubs line the Kingsway, and this street is a hive of activity at the weekend.
Swansea's diverse and interesting past has helped weave a city of character and charm, and as one would expect, the land has been very fertile in producing famous personalities. On the literary stage, the poet Dylan Thomas is perhaps the most well known. He was born in the town and grew up at 5 Cwmdonkin Drive, Uplands. There is a memorial to him in the nearby Cwmdonkin Park. The actress Catherine Zeta-Jones is probably the most famous of the city's recent cultural exports, and she maintains closes links with the city. The singer Bonnie Tyler, author Mary Balogh, and entertainer Sir Harry Secombe were also born and raised in the city. However, perhaps the city's most celebrated personality is Jack - a black labrador. During his seven years of life, he managed to save twenty-seven people from drowning in the murky waters of Swansea docks. There is a monument to commemorate Jack's gallant efforts on the foreshore near the St. Helen's Stadium.
The city is currently in the phase of unofficial, yet massive redevelopment. Many areas have seen changes within the 21st Century. The Wales National Pool, of Near-Olympic size, is now complete, however at the loss of two other swimming pools in the town. Massive redevelopment of retail parks is currently underway - Fforestfach Retail Park now has a Tesco Extra, along with the city's second openings of stores such as Dixons and Pizza Hut - and an area next to the new Swansea FC and Neath-Swansea Ospreys Stadium (due to be completed early 2005), is currently being developed with a large new B&Q Warehouse and Morrisons supermarket.
City of Swansea
- Swansea, Wales Official City Website
- University of Wales Swansea Official Website
- City and County of Swansea
- Swansea Institute of Higher Education Website
- "The Mumbles", Home of Catherine Zeta Jones
- Gower Web Cams
- Salubrious Place
News In Swansea
Sports In Swansea
- Swansea Rifle Club
- Swansea City Football Club (Unofficial)
- Swansea City Football Club (Official)
- Swansea City Rugby Football Club
- Neath-Swansea Ospreys Rugby
Entertainment In Swansea
Famous People From Swansea
- Bonnie Tyler (Singer)
- Mal Pope (Comedian, Entertainer)
- Catherine Zeta-Jones (Oscar-winning actress)
- Rowan Williams (Arch-bishop of Canterbury)
- Dylan Thomas (Poet & playwright)
- Harry Seacombe (Entertainer)
- Come and live the dream
- Swansea Castle
- Oystermouth (Mumbles) Castle
- Landimor Castle
- Lougher Castle
- Oxwich Castle (Gower)
- Pennard Castle (Gower)
- Weobly Castle (Gower)
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