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Wales

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The small town of Llanfairpwll­gwyngyllgogery­chwyrndrobwll­llantysilio­gogogoch holds the world record for the longest town name. In English it means St Mary's Church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool of Llantysilio of the Red Cave.

Wales is a part of the United Kingdom like England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Around three million people live there. Most of them live in the south where you can find the capital Cardiff.

Most people are christians and come from the area. Around a fifth migrated from the rest of the United Kingdom and only a few people from other countries. Many Welsh see themselves as celts. More than one out of ten people can write and speak Welsh. Both English and Welsh are official languages in Wales. In Welsh the country is called Cymru, speak Cumree.

The welsh peninsula is located at the sea. It has many hills and meadows. Large areas are under nature protection. There used to be a lot of industry in Wales because of the mining of coal, iron and lime. However, these companies have disappeared because you can no longer earn enough money with them.

What happened earlier in Wales?

In ancient times modern day Wales was inhabited by celtic tribes. In the year 43 AD the romans conquered it. From around 400 AD, the Romans left the island. This is how Celtic kingdoms came into being in Wales. Germanic tribes, later called Anglo-Saxons, arrived in the east of the island.

In the Middle Ages, Anglo-Saxon kings conquered part of what is now Wales. However, these areas were not yet part of the Kingdom of England. That did not happen until around 1540. At that time, the English King Henry the Eighth also determined: A person can only exercise an office if he speaks English and not Welsh.

The British heir to the throne has been given the title of Prince of Wales since the 14th century. Allegedly, the English king promised the Welsh a prince who does not speak English. He couldn't either, because his son was still a baby.

In the 1800's, many residents converted from Welsh to English. At the same time, however, some wanted an independent Wales. Wales has been a country of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland since 1999. But it took a few more years for the Welsh to get their own parliament and government. They are allowed to decide on a few things.