A Proud and Distinct Heritage
One of the four constituent countries of the United Kingdom, the unique Celtic enclave of Wales is a nation unto itself. Despite their close proximity to one of the great powers of Europe, the Welsh people have managed to maintain a cultural identity that is separate from their English neighbors. The most striking example of this is the national language, which is one of the continent's oldest; visitors to the sparsely populated north might go days without ever being addressed in English. Cardiff, the capital and largest city of Wales, stands at the southern tip of the country, and it is one of Britain's major industrial and cultural centers. Major brick-and-mortar attractions include Cardiff Castle, St. David's Hall, and the National Museum. However, the city is also surprisingly green, so there is no shortage of parks and public gardens to explore. Every summer, the Big Weekend Festival attracts up to 200,000 visitors from all over Europe.