Wales (Welsh: Cymru [ˈkəm.rɨ]) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2 (8,023 sq mi). Wales has over 1,680 miles (2,700 km) of coastline and is largely mountainous with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), its highest summit. The country lies within the north temperate zone and has a changeable, maritime climate.
Cardiff (/ˈkɑːrdɪf/; Welsh: Caerdydd [kairˈdiːð, kaːɨrˈdɨːð]) is the capital city of Wales and a county. Officially known as the City and County of Cardiff, it is the United Kingdom’s eleventh-largest city and the main commercial centre of Wales. Cardiff is the base for the Senedd, most national cultural institutions and the Welsh media. At the 2011 census, the unitary authority area population was estimated to be 346,090, and the wider urban area 479,000. In 2011, Cardiff was sixth in the world in the National Geographic magazine’s list of alternative tourist destinations. Cardiff is the most popular visitor destination in Wales with 21.3 million visitors in 2017.
Cardiff is the county town of the historic county of Glamorgan, and, since 1974, South Glamorgan. Cardiff is part of the Eurocities network of the largest European cities. A small town until the early 19th century, its prominence as a major port for the transport of coal following the arrival of industry in the region contributed to its rise as a major city. In 1905, Cardiff was made a city and proclaimed the capital of Wales in 1955. In the 2011 Census, the population was 346,100. The Cardiff Built-up Area covers a slightly larger area outside the county boundary and includes the towns of Dinas Powys and Penarth.
Since the 1980s, Cardiff has seen significant development. A new waterfront area at Cardiff Bay contains the Senedd building (the Welsh Parliament) and the Wales Millennium Centre arts complex. Current developments include the continuation of the redevelopment of the Cardiff Bay and city centre areas with projects such as the Cardiff International Sports Village, the BBC drama village, and a new business district in the city centre. Sporting venues in the city include the Principality Stadium—the national stadium and the home of the Wales national rugby union team—Sophia Gardens (the home of Glamorgan County Cricket Club), Cardiff City Stadium (the home of Cardiff City football team and the Wales football team), Cardiff International Sports Stadium (the home of Cardiff Amateur Athletic Club), Cardiff Arms Park (the home of Cardiff Blues and Cardiff RFC rugby union teams) and Ice Arena Wales (the home of Cardiff Devils ice hockey team). The city hosted the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. Cardiff was awarded European City of Sport due to its role in hosting major international sporting events in 2009 and again in 2014. The Principality Stadium hosted 11 football matches as part of the 2012 Summer Olympics, including the games’ opening event and the men’s bronze medal match.