Capital of Wales and granted city status in 1905, Cardiff is right at the centre of the Taff, the Ely and Rhymney river systems. These rivers provided trade routes for some of the earliest settlers in the area, the Romans, the Vikings, and later the Normans who conquered Glamorgan in the 11th century and began the construction of Cardiff’s mediaeval castle in 1081.
In the late 19th Century, the Glamorganshire canal was built linking Merthyr Tydfil with Cardiff and its docks, known to many as Tiger Bay. With plentiful, local coal reserves, Cardiff became the world’s largest coal-exporting port, with more than 10 million tons going through the port at its peak in 1913. Dockworkers and sailors from many different nationalities settled locally including Norwegian, Somalian, Yemenese, Spanish, Italian, Caribbean and Irish which helped to create the area’s unique multi-cultural character.
After the decline in the 70's and 80's, the regeneration of Cardiff's docks and city centre - the Cardiff Bay waterfront, the Brewery Quarter, Millennium Stadium and a raft of hotels and restaurants - transformed Cardiff into a thriving European capital city.
Future plans for development include enhancing its sporting city profile with an International Sports Village. Cardiff is home today for large employers such as the Assembly Government, Cardiff Council and NHS Wales.