5 Interesting Facts About Cardiff
Nestled in the stunning lands of South Wales and situated on the River Taff, is Cardiff, one of the youngest capital cities in Europe and a popular destination for over 18 million tourists. With incredible attractions a short distance from each other, it’s no wonder people love coming back to the ‘Diff.
We love Cardiff, which is why we chose the city as the location of our fifth Diamond Heaven store. If you’re planning a visit to this fine place, here are five interesting facts about Cardiff.
1. Cardiff is the Capital of Wales
While the capital of the United Kingdom is London, each of the four nations has their own capital city. Cardiff was recognised as a city and declared the capital of Wales in 1955, making it one of the youngest capital cities in Europe. It is the UK’s 11th largest city and its population, in the city, is 364,248 according to the Office of National Statistics.
Its status as the Welsh capital has been further enhanced by various development projects that have taken place since the 1980s. A new development in Cardiff Bay houses the Senedd Building (The Welsh National Assembly) and the Wales Millennium Centre arts complex. Its biggest sporting venue, the Principality Stadium (formerly Millennium Stadium) is the second largest stadium in the world with a fully retractable roof.
2. Cardiff has its own Island
One of the most interesting facts about Cardiff is that the city has its own island that you can visit. The Island of Flat Holm (or Ynys Echni in Welsh) sits five miles off the Cardiff coast and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. On the island you can explore seabird colonies, historical sites such as a wartime barracks and a ruined cholera hospital, and even have a pint in Wales’ most southerly pub, the Gull and Leek. Flat Holm is also the location for the world’s first radio signal sent overseas when Italian inventor, Marconi, transmitted a message in Morse code to Lavernock Point on 13th May 1897, which simply said, “Are you ready?”.
3. It’s a City of Castles
Visiting cities is all about its historical sites, and Cardiff is full of those. In fact, the city is home to more castles than any other city in Europe. The biggest of these, Cardiff Castle, is a huge site in the city centre and boasts a Norman keep and even has the remains of a Roman fort within its grounds.
Just outside of the city centre is Castell Coch, a Victorian folly which was built on the remains of an ancient castle. There’s also St Fagans Castle, an Elizabethan manor house that is part of the St Fagans National History Museum. You can also explore the remains of Morgraig Castle on the edge of the suburb of Thornhill.
4. Many Celebrities were born in Cardiff
Cardiff is a hotbed of famous people you definitely know or have heard of. The drinks brand, Captain Morgan, took its name from a famous Welsh privateer of the Caribbean, Sir Henry Morgan, who was born in Cardiff in 1635. More recent famous names born in the city include singers Shirley Bassey, Shakin Stevens and Charlotte Church, footballers Ryan Giggs and Gareth Bale and comedian Griff Rhys-Jones.
Writer Roald Dahl was born in Cardiff and grew up in Llandaff - the city named the public space in Cardiff Bay, Roald Dahl Plass after the writer. Plass is Norwegian for Place and is a nod to his parents who were born in Norway.
Those familiar with the Ivor Novello Awards may not know that the composer they are named after was born in Cardiff.
5. Cardiff is a TV Production Hub
Talking of famous names, Cardiff is also home to several TV productions in the UK. Most of these are filmed at the BBC’s Drama Village in Cardiff Bay and Wolf Studios. The city became a hub for TV production after the success of Doctor Who, which used the city as its home since its revival in 2005. The show has also had various spin-offs including Torchwood (which was also set in Cardiff) and The Sarah Jane Adventures. Other shows that use the BBC Studios permanently for filming include Casualty and Welsh soap opera Pobol y Cwm.
Other shows that have been or are currently being made in Cardiff and the surrounding areas of South Wales include Sherlock, Sex Education, His Dark Materials, Keeping Faith, A Discovery of Witches and War of the Worlds.
Famous films that have been shot in the city include Human Traffic and 28 Weeks Later which used the Principality Stadium as a replacement for Wembley Stadium as it was under construction at the time of filming.
Visit Diamond Heaven’s Cardiff Store Today
Complete your visit to Cardiff’s historic and beautiful city centre with a visit to Diamond Heaven. Our fifth location across the UK, our Cardiff Jewellers can be found in St David’s Shopping Centre, the home of fashion in Wales and one of the largest shopping arcades in the UK. Browse our beautiful selection of engagement rings, wedding rings, diamond rings, eternity rings and diamond jewellery in store today. Our store offers various services including polishing, repairing and resizing giving customers a complete service. Alternately, for any advice or help with your diamond jewellery order, do not hesitate to get in touch.