Cardiff (Caerdydd in Welsh) is the capital and largest city of Wales. It is located in the historic county of Glamorgan, but is administered by Cardiff County Council. It was a relatively small town until the early nineteenth century and came to prominence quite suddenly as a result of the influx of industry into the region and the use of Cardiff as a major port for the transport of coal.
Cardiff's port, known as Tiger Bay, was once one of the busiest ports in the world. After a long period of neglect, as Cardiff Bay it is now being revived as a popular area for arts, entertainment and nightlife. Much of the explosive growth has been due to the building of the Cardiff Barrage.
At the 1991 census, the population of Cardiff was about 269,000.
Cardiff was probably named after a Norman family dominant in the area in medieval times. A Norman castle still exists, on the site of an earlier Roman fort, but was substantially altered and extended during the Victorian period by the Marquess of Bute and the architect William Burges.
Apart from the castle, the city is home to the National Assembly for Wales (recently renamed the Welsh Assembly Government), St. Davids Hall, the National Museum of Wales, Cathays Park (including municipal buildings modelled on those in New Delhi), Chip Alley, Wally's Delicatessen, and Spillers Records.
It is a university town and has four universities in the city:
- Cardiff University http://www.cardiff.ac.uk
- University of Wales Institute Cardiff http://www.uwic.ac.uk
- Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama http://www.rwcmd.ac.uk
- University of Wales College of Medicine http://www.uwcm.ac.uk