Wales: An Overview
What is Wales? Find out with the video below. Use the script to read along with the video, and try the quiz at the end!
Wales is a country in the United Kingdom, a nation in north-western Europe. The capital city of Wales is Cardiff, though London is the capital of the UK. Wales has a relatively small population, of about 3.1 million people.
Wales and Welsh identity emerged in the 5th century, after the end of Roman Britain. The Britons living in Wales developed as a Celtic culture, though around the 12th century England invaded and took control of much of the region.
Wales was incorporated into the Kingdom of England in the 16th century, and existed without a distinct political identity for centuries afterwards. In 1707 the Kingdom of Scotland joined with the Kingdom of England, and the Kingdom of Great Britain was born incorporating Wales, England, and Scotland.
In 1801, Ireland was united with the Kingdom of Great Britain and the United Kingdom was born. Around the same time, a Welsh political identity began to emerge again, as Wales transformed from an agricultural society to an industrial one – Wales was a major centre of the Industrial Revolution.
Each of the countries of the UK have a national flower. The national flower of Wales is the daffodil.
While English is the most common language of Wales, there is a distinct language called Welsh which today has nearly a million speakers, and growing.
Wales is also known as the “Land of Song,” and the “Land of Castles.” Wales has over 600 castles, which by some measures is the highest density of castles in Europe, making Wales a fantastic place for hiking and exploring. The country also has a unique and varied cuisine.