Cardiff

Cardiff, the capital of Wales is famous for both its historical and modern buildings. The highlights include:

The Cardiff Castle is one of the most visited buildings in the Welsh capital. It dates from the 11th century when a motte-and-bailey castle was built on the site of a former Roman fort. The castle was commissioned by William the Conqueror although some suggest that it was built by his kinsman Robert Fitzhamon. In the 12th century, a stone castle was built but it went through a number of changes both in ownership and appearance over the following centuries.

In the mid-18th century, much of the medieval castle was demolished and by mid-19th century, the present-day Gothic revival style castle was built. Works, however, continued well into the 20th century. After the end of the Second World War, it was given to the city of Cardiff by the Crichton-Stuart family. Today, it is a major tourist attraction but it is also used as a venue for a variety of events.

The 4.7 acre arts centre in the Cardiff Bay was built in two phases. The first phase was completed in 2004 and the second phase in 2009. The centre consists of a central theatre and two smaller halls which are home to shops and restaurants aswell as being the perfect destination for weekend breaks and beauty treatments. But the Wales Millennium Centre is also home to the national orchestra, opera, theatre, dance and several literature organisations. It was designed by Welsh architect Jonathan Adams from the Cardiff-based architectural practice Percy Thomas Architects.

The Llandaff Cathedral serves as the seat of the Bishop of Llandaff and Diocese of Llandaff. It is also used as a parish church and has daily services but is open to visitors as well. The cathedral which was built on the site of an earlier church dates from the 12th century.

Also known as the National Assembly Building, the Senedd is home to the National Assembly for Wales. The latter moved to the building when completed in 2006 at a cost of nearly £70 million. It was formally opened by Queen Elizabeth II in the same year.

In addition for its modern design, the Senedd is also renowned for its sustainable design and the use of renewable energy. It received an “Excellent” certification from the BREEAM and was a nominee for the Stirling Prize. The building was designed by British architect Richard Rogers who amongst other also designed the Millennium Dome in London, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.