Wales Fun Facts

By Caitlin Hornik


The Welsh culture has its quirks. Try saying

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

once, let alone five times fast! What exactly does it mean? Read on to find out!


History

  • The first town in Wales to get electricity was Cardiff in 1885.

  • Wales used to have four capitals, representing the four corners of Wales: Carmarthen, Caernarfon, Denbigh and Brecon. Today, the capital is Cardiff.

  • In 1842, the town of Blackwood held about one pub for every five people.

  • Wales had enough chapels to seat half of the population in the 1800s. It is estimated that a chapel was completed every eight days between 1801 and 1851.

  • Written in 1856 by a father-son duo, Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (Land of my Fathers) is the National Anthem of Wales.


People, Places, and Things

  • Anglesey is the largest island in both England and Wales.

  • Mount Snowdon is the tallest mountain in Wales, measuring 3,560 feet.

  • St. Patrick, the saint we celebrate on St. Patrick’s Day, was actually Welsh.

  • Sir Anthony Hopkins, known for his electrifying performance as Hannibal Lector, was born in Wales.

  • Mount Everest is named after a Welshman: Sir George Everest!

  • World-famous author Roald Dahl was born in Cardiff in 1916. His books have sold more than 250,000,000 copies world-wide.

  • Wales has more castles per square mile than any other country in the world!

  • Rugby is the national sport of Wales. The first international game took place between Wales and England in 1881. Wales went undefeated from 1907 to 1910. Today, Wales is ranked second in the world in Rugby!


Language

  • The first Welsh words were recorded in 700, but it is possible that the language extends further back to 600.

  • In the 1930s, there were a reported 100,000 people living in Wales who only spoke Welsh.

  • There is an area in Wales known as Y Fro Gymraeg, or “Welsh-speaking region” where four-fifths of the population speaks Welsh.

  • Wales is called Cymru in Welsh.

  • The Welsh village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is the longest place name in Europe, and the second longest place name in the world. It means St. Mary’s Church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool and the Church of Saint Tysilio of the red cave.

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