The city of Cardiff, Welsh capital and home of St David's Hall where the National Assembly sits, is set amid the beautiful rolling hills of south Wales and overlooks the Severn estuary. Built on the back of Wales' biggest export - coal - during the industrial boom of the late 18th and early 19th century, the city's bustling docks became a huge source of income and employment, encouraging growth across the region. At this time one of the first immigrant communities to spring up in the UK was making its home in Cardiff.
The city has a number of famous landmarks to recommend it to a prospective visitor, one of the best-loved of which is Cardiff Castle, a Norman structure which was itself built on the site of an earlier Roman fort. There is also a castle to the north of Cardiff, a 19th century folly that occupies the site of a medieval tower of guard.
Alongside its historic architecture the city also boasts the Millenium Stadium which, for the last five years has hosted the FA Cup Final in May and, whilst the new Wembley complex is under construction in London, proudly holds the post of national stadium.
Cardiff has also given birth to several famous sons and daughters: veteran broadcaster and presenter of the 'Today' programme on Radio 4, John Humphrys; singers Charlotte Church and Shirley Bassey; much-loved children's author Roald Dahl and comedian Griff Rhys Jones (now better known for 'Restoration' on BBC 2); Wales international and Manchester United mainstay Ryan Giggs.
Since the setting up of the Welsh Assembly, some governing powers have been devolved from Westminster to Cardiff and more are expected, although many of its members look to full independence for Wales some time in the future.