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  More than 5000 entries on the history, culture and life of Britain (published in 1993 by Macmillan, now out of print)

More than 5000 entries on the history, culture and life of Britain (published in 1993 by Macmillan, now out of print)

, Caerdydd in Welsh (290,000 in 1991)
City and administrative centre of both South and Mid Glamorgan, recognized in 1955 as the capital of Wales. The link by rail with the Welsh mining valleys caused Cardiff to grow at phenomenal speed in the 19C, from a small town with a population of about 1000 in 1800 to the world's largest coal-exporting port a century later. But Cardiff's history dates back to about 75 AD when the Romans built a fort here. The Normans later used the same site, and Cardiff castle has at its centre the 12C Norman keep astride its mound. The castle's most famous feature now is the extraordinary range of Gothic Revival interiors, created from 1867 for the 3rd marquess of Bute by William *Burges.

In 1899, in the area to the north of the castle known as Cathays Park, Cardiff began the creation of its Civic Centre, the most impressive municipal complex in Britain. The first two important buildings, completed in 1906, were the City Hall and the Law Courts, both designed by the firm of Lanchester, Stewart and Rickards. The *National Museum of Wales followed in 1927 (with later offshoots in the *Welsh Folk Museum and *Welsh Industrial and Maritime Museum). The Welsh National War Memorial (1928) stands in Alexandra Gardens, behind the City Hall, and is an open circular structure of Corinthian columns by Ninian Comper with bronze figures by Bertram Pegram. At the northwest end of Alexandra Gardens is the *Welsh Office (1938).

The city's impressively large area of parkland (1093ha/2700ac) includes Bute Park and Sophia Gardens (on the east and west banks of the river Taff), and in the suburbs Roath Park and the wooded hillside of Cefn Onn Park. In a northwestern suburb is *Llandaff cathedral.

Cardiff is the home of the *Welsh National Opera, based in the New Theatre (1906); St David's Hall, opened in 1982 and seating 2000, is Wales's chief concert hall. The city is also the centre of Welsh sport, with *Cardiff Arms Park, the National Sports Centre, and the Wales National Ice Rink (opened in 1987).

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