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By Oleksiy Zabolotnyi.

Left: The daffodil is the floral emblem of Wales. It is worn on
Saint David’s Day each March 1.

Most of Wales is mountainous. Because of this,
communication between south and north is very difficult. As a
result, each part of Wales has closer contact with its
neighbouring part of England than it does with other parts of Wales: the north with Liverpool,
and mid-Wales with the English west midlands. The area around Mount Snowdon in the north-
west of the country is very beautiful and is the largest National Park in Britain.

Wales used to be famous for its coal mines, but very few of them still produce coal.

No large cities have grown up in the area – Cardiff, the capital of Wales, has a population of just
over a quarter of a million.

There is no other part of the British Isles where national spirit is stronger, national pride is more
intense or national traditions more cherished than in Wales. As in Scotland, most people live in
one small part of Wales, namely in the south-east of the country. The Welsh are very musical
people, and their country is famous for many musical and singing festivals.

Above: an elderly Welsh lady is wearing a Welsh
top hat – a part of the national costume.

Left: The leek is another symbolic plant of Wales.
According to legend Saint David ordered the
Welsh warriors to identify themselves by wearing
the vegetable on their helmets in an ancient battle against the Saxon invaders.
The Welsh still proudly wear their national clothes on festive occasions. The Welsh language,
which belongs to the Celtic branch of the Indo-European languages, is still spoken by about
25% of the two and a quarter million population, and is taught at schools alongside with English.
The Welsh call their country Cymru, and themselves they call Cymry. The word “Welsh” is of
Germanic origin, and it meant “strangers”.

It was King Edward I, who completely subjected Wales to the English rule in 1284. He built a lot
of mighty castles there, and eventually made his son (later Edward II) the first Prince of Wales.
The legend says that the Welsh did not agree to have any king who spoke English and was not
born in Wales. So Edward I promised them to find a prince who did not speak English. It turned
to be his newly born son who, naturally, did not speak any language at all, but was born on the
land of Wales. Since then, traditionally, the future kings of the United Kingdom bear the title of
the Prince of Wales. Today the title belongs to His Royal Highness Prince Charles.

Left: The Coat of Arms of the Principality of Wales is based on the
arms, which belonged to Llewelyn the Great, the famous 13th century
Welsh prince and warrior.

Right: The flag of Saint David.

Below right: Mount Snowdon is the highest peak in Wales.

Below left: The Flag of Wales incorporates the Red
Dragon (Y Ddraig Goch) of Prince Cadwalader. It was
officially recognized in 1959. The red dragon is a popular
Welsh symbol first mentioned in Historia Brittonum
chronicle in about 820 A.D