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Wales and its amazing architecture
Cymru am Byth
Travel in Wales Part 2
Recently voted the top place in the World to visit by the "lonely Planet Guide" , Wales is a tiny gem. Three hundred miles by just seventy, it packs in over four hundred amazing stone castles.
The Principality of Wales is a very small country belonging to the United Kingdom of Great Britain. It is a very special part of the UK as it divided from its neighboring England by an ancient border called Offa's Dyke. This was erected to defend England from the marauding Welsh. The border is also peppered with castles, strongly built of stone, plentiful in Wales, built for the same reason, to keep the fierce Celtic warriors at bay. Wales has its own Language which is widely used throughout the country. All road signs are in both languages which gives the observant traveler an insight into the language
Wales has been populated since very early times. The warmer west being settled first. The Presely Hills have vestiges of Stone Age huts on the summits of the hills. If you climb up to them, maybe starting from Newport in Pembrokeshire, the stone circles marking the walls of the huts are still clearly visible. These hills provided the massive sarsen stones of the wonderful monument Stonehenge, now thought to be a healing center because of the power of the stones. See the Video below.
Amazing burial sites like Pentre Ifan near Nevern are repeated throughout the area. The mind boggles when you see the amazingly big stones balanced on top of what was previously a burial site. Enormous strength and much organization must have been needed to hoist these stones to the height of eight feet above the ground. This is just one of many in Wales.
An Iron age fort is close by at Bryn Henllan not far from Pentr Ifan. This site has been restored and is open to the public showing how people lived in those days. There is plenty to see and do in the area which is also an area of outstanding natural beauty.
The hills of Carn Ingli (Hill of the Angels) are a backdrop and are supposed to be where St Brynach had his hovel where he prayed and meditated, living as a hermit.The church of St Brynach near by is very ancient. Its church yard at Nevern contains the Vitalianus stone written in the ancient writing system, Ogam composed of a collection of lines. It was erected in about 500 AD
Caerleon in South Wales near Newport is the site of the huge Roman Amphitheatre, built to hold 6000 people. There is also a Roman fort and barracks near by and the remains of a medieval castle attached to a local pub.
There is so much to see in Wales, a country just over 300 miles from top to bottom and just 73 miles wide holds over 400 castles, ancient churches, dolmen and beautiful manor houses. All yours to explore. If you have an interest in Architecture, you will be thrilled with the riches Wales can provide. Tintern Abbey and St David's Cathedral are just two examples. The Architecture varies from primitive and plain to baroque and beautiful Enjoy! The primitive poorhouse is currently being converted to a private home. People who remember it in use tell me that the internal fireplace didn't have a chimney so it was always smoky inside.