Cardiff (Caerdydd in Welsh) is the capital and largest city of Wales. It is located in the historic county of Glamorgan, but is administered by Cardiff County Council. It was a relatively small town until the early nineteenth century and came to prominence quite suddenly as a result of the influx of industry into the region and the use of Cardiff as a major port for the transport of coal.
Cardiff's port, known as Tiger Bay, was once one of the busiest ports in the world. After a long period of neglect, as Cardiff Bay it is now being revived as a popular area for arts, entertainment and nightlife. Much of the explosive growth has been due to the building of the Cardiff Barrage. The Welsh National Opera will move into the Wales Millennium Centre in the autumn of 2004.
At the 1991 census, the population of Cardiff was about 269,000.
Cardiff was probably named after a Norman family dominant in the area in medieval times. A Norman castle still exists, on the site of an earlier Roman fort, but was substantially altered and extended during the Victorian period by the Marquess of Bute and the architect William Burges.
It is a university town and has four universities in the city:
As well as the castle, Cardiff is home to the National Assembly for Wales, St. Davids Hall, the National Museum of Wales, Cathays Park (including municipal buildings modelled on those in New Delhi) and Spillers Records.
Caroline Street is one of the third oldest streets in Cardiff and is a major link between two of the busiest streets. The legendary street still has its original paving. The street has been a host to all kinds of stores but more recently has been taken over by chip and kebab shops, and as such is commonly known as Chip Row, or Chip Alley, and is a popular post-club location. As of 2003, luxury flats were being built and plans were made to refurbish the street. As part of the development a Hard Rock Cafe and a Nandos have opened in the Old Brewery Quarter.