In the capital of Wales in the city of Cardiff there is a castle of the same name. In the 1st century AD, the Romans built the first fortresses on this hill. And now the foundations of these castles are visible. After William conquered Wales, the Norman castle began to be built here. This is the end of the 11th century. The castle consisted of external and internal courtyards, separated by a stone wall. Lord Gloucester Robert Fitzemon built the first wooden citadel on a hill. Throughout its history, the owners of the castle were many counts and barons, Despensers, Boschans and Neville. In 1766, the castle was handed over to Lord Butte as a devotee, who still belongs to him. It was thanks to the second Marquis of Butte that Cardiff turned from a fishing village into the largest coal port in the world. In 1860, the castle passed to the son of the Marquis of Butte.
In 1866, the architect William Burges, hired by the Marquis, began the reconstruction of the castle’s living rooms. Inside, magnificent and luxurious interiors were created. Frescoes, gilding, stained-glass windows, marble and carved wood create the interior coziness of the rooms, each of which has its own theme. Here you can see the Mediterranean gardens, and halls in various styles. In 1947, the castle was transferred to the city of Cardiff by the fifth Marquise Butte, which currently houses the museum. There are festivals and concerts, a historical club, where adults and children can study. This museum is a symbol of all of Wales, not just the city of Cardiff.
Cardiff Castle - a well-preserved medieval fortress located in the south-west of Great Britain. The picturesque castle was built at the beginning of the XI century on the ruins of an ancient Roman fort. It is the oldest building in Wales and one of its main architectural attractions.
Throughout its long history, Cardiff Castle has played the role of a city fortification and a judicial institution. For many centuries, it was owned by representatives of different noble families. The last owner of the Marquis Butte reconstructed the ancient fortress in the Neo-Gothic style, and in 1947 it was donated to the city.
Today, Cardiff Castle is surrounded by a large beautiful garden, and inside it are rich museum collections. Here you can see the luxurious interiors of the second half of the XIX century. The wall of the ancient Roman fort has also been preserved on the territory.
Cardiff Castle conducts individual and group excursions, during which tourists are told about its eminent owners - the Counts of Gloucestersk, Barons de Claire, Despenser, Boshany, Neville and Buttes. The Historical Club is open here and lectures are organized for schoolchildren. Every year, Cardiff Castle hosts jousting tournaments, festivals and concerts, which attract many tourists from the UK and other countries.
Cardiff Castle History
The first fortifications on the site of the future Cardiff Castle appeared 2000 years ago. Roman soldiers entered South Wales in the 1st century AD, when Nero ruled the empire. In 250, the Romans built a fortress on the left bank of Taffa, not far from the Gulf of Bristol. The fort had strong walls and for two centuries protected its masters from barbarians. This was one of the four fortifications that controlled the approaches to the Roman possessions from the sea.
In the XI century, when the Normans ruled in England, the Lord of the county of Gloucester Robert Fitzhamon erected a new fort on the ruins of a Roman fortress and made it his residence. The fortifications stood on an earthen hill, and they were surrounded by a stone wall with towers. Inside the castle of Cardiff lived a family of Norman lords, and also housed a garrison of soldiers.
Since 1107, after the death of Robert Fitzhamon, the fortress was inherited from one noble family to another, until in the middle of the 19th century the Buttes took possession of it. Thanks to them, the old building was restored, rebuilt in the Neo-Gothic traditions and has survived to this day. The reconstruction of the old building was carried out by the talented architect William Burges. He turned the ascetic military fortress into luxury apartments.
The territory of Cardiff Castle is open for tourists: from March to October from 9.00 to 18.00, from November to February from 9.00 to 17.00. Last visitors are allowed an hour before closing time.
Having passed through the entrance gate, the guests of the castle find themselves in the courtyard. This part of the fortress was built in the 15th century. In the premises where the former owners lived, you can see intricate candelabra, antique furniture, stained glass, carved wood, as well as an abundance of marble and gilding. The castle library is very beautiful.
In the courtyard, on a spacious green meadow, a figure of a red dragon is installed. She marks the place where the Roman fort was located. Tourists can climb one of the dungeons of the fortress and admire the streets of Cardiff and the city Hall. In the castle from 9.00 to 16.00 there is a cafe and a gift shop.
How to get there
Cardiff Castle is located in Glamorgan County, in the capital of Wales - Cardiff. From London to Cardiff in 3-3.5 hours you can get on a comfortable bus. From London Paddington Station to the capital of Wales, high-speed trains arrive in 2 hours. The ride on regular trains, due to the greater number of stops, lasts a little longer. Conveniently, the train station and bus station in Cardiff are close by.