Portal:Wales
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Portal:Wales

The Wales Portal

Wales (Welsh: Cymru ['k?m.r?] ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2 (8,023 sq mi). Wales has over 1,680 miles (2,700 km) of coastline and is largely mountainous with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), its highest summit. The country lies within the north temperate zone and has a changeable, maritime climate.

Welsh national identity emerged among the Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, and Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations. Llywelyn ap Gruffudd's death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of England's conquest of Wales, though Owain Glynd?r briefly restored independence to Wales in the early 15th century. The whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. Distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. Welsh Liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by David Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism and the Labour Party. Welsh national feeling grew over the century; Plaid Cymru was formed in 1925 and the Welsh Language Society in 1962. Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998, Senedd Cymru - the Welsh Parliament, formerly known as the National Assembly for Wales - is responsible for a range of devolved policy matters. (Full article...)

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A tall stone wall with regularly spaced round towers, atop a grass embankment.
Conwy's town walls are a medieval defensive structure around the town of Conwy in North Wales. The walls were constructed between 1283 and 1287 after the foundation of Conwy by Edward I, and were designed to form an integrated system of defence alongside Conwy Castle. The walls are 1.3 km (0.8 miles) long and include 21 towers and three gatehouses. The project was completed using large quantities of labourers brought in from England; the cost of building the castle and walls together came to around £15,000, a huge sum for the period.

The walls were slightly damaged during the rebellion of Owain Glynd?r in 1401, but political changes in the 16th century reduced the need to maintain such defences around the town. The fortifications were treated sympathetically during the development of the road and railway systems in Conwy during the 19th century and survived largely intact into the modern period. Today the walls form part of the UNESCO world heritage site administered by Cadw. Archaeologists Oliver Creighton and Robert Higham describe the defences as "one of the most impressive walled circuits" in Europe.

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A horizontal bicolour of white over green charged with a red dragon passant.
Credit: Dbenbenn

The national flag of Wales is The Red Dragon (Welsh: Y Ddraig Goch), consisting of a red dragon passant on a green and white field. As with any heraldic charge, the exact representation of the dragon is not standardised and many interpretations exist.

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For me real peace is lying on a river bank in summer with a sprig of grass in my mouth. I have friends who jet off to a luxury hotel. I think, 'How can you enjoy such ghastly luxury?'
-- Griff Rhys Jones, quoted by Michael Odell in The Guardian, 5 November 2006.

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Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, at a press conference.
Rowan Douglas Williams, DD, DCL, PC, FBA (born 14 June 1950 in Swansea, Wales) is the 104th and current Archbishop of Canterbury, Metropolitan of the Province of Canterbury and Primate of All England. Williams was born in Swansea, Wales, into a Welsh-speaking family. He was educated at Dynevor School, Swansea; Christ's College, Cambridge, where he studied theology; and Wadham College, Oxford, where he took his DPhil in 1975. He lectured at the College of the Resurrection in Mirfield, West Yorkshire for two years. In 1977 he returned to Cambridge to teach theology, first at Westcott House, having been ordained deacon in Ely cathedral that year and was ordained priest in 1978. Unusually, he undertook no formal curacy until 1980 when he served at St George's Chesterton until 1983, having been appointed as a lecturer in Divinity at the University of Cambridge. In 1984 he became dean and chaplain of Clare College, Cambridge, and, in 1986, at the very young age of 36, he was appointed to the Lady Margaret Professorship of Divinity at the University of Oxford and thus also a residentiary canon of Christ Church. He was awarded the degree of Doctor of Divinity in 1989. In 1991 Dr Williams was appointed and consecrated Bishop of Monmouth in the Anglican Church in Wales. In 1997 he was proposed as a potential Bishop of Southwark. George Carey, the then Archbishop of Canterbury, asked Dr Williams to distance himself from his writings sympathetic to the cause of gay rights, but he declined and was not nominated to the post.

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1899 recording of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau

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