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> Europe, A little about my country
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Jaxom 
Posted: 25-Feb-2004, 12:08 PM
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As promised I have started to put together some information about Wales. Not an easy task as the history of Wales goes back thousands of years. I have taken much of this information from the Welsh tourist boards information site and would encourage people to go there for further information and to view some of the fantastic photos of Wales.

A Celtic heritage has survived in Wales for thousands of years. Wales?s distinctive culture springs from its Celtic roots. Celtic tribes settled in Britain before the Roman Conquest. After the Romans came the Saxons, who pushed the Britons further west into their Celtic stronghold of Wales - which explains why the name of our country comes from the Anglo-Saxon term 'waleas' meaning foreigner.

Wales for thousands of years has had an undeniable resilience to invaders. Despite the hammer blows dealt by Roman soldiers and, later, Saxon invaders and Anglo-Norman warlords. The Welsh and the traditions of Wales have survived to the present day. This heritage has become an indelible part of the Welsh spirit. The Museum of Welsh Life near Cardiff has recreated the typical circular Celtic dwellings that reflect life in the Iron Age. As well as this Iron Age recreation you will find numerous building that are hundreds of years old. All lovingly rescued and rebuilt within the vast grounds of the Museum of Welsh Life.

The Romans mined for gold here. The Normans built castles here. The Tudor dynasty was founded here. Henry VIII ?s Grandfather came from Wales. His name was Jasper Tudor and his son became Henry VII the first Tudor King. Wales is rich in Roman remains. Caerwent, near Caerleon, boasts some of Britain's most impressive Roman town walls. The most intriguing site of all is at sleepy Pumsaint in the heart of Wales, where the Dolaucothi Gold Mines are the only place we know, for certain, that the Romans mined for gold in Britain. All the Royal Family?s Wedding Rings are made from Welsh Gold. And the eldest son of the monarch is always called the Prince of Wales.

Each of the major periods of British history has left its mark on Wales, some more attractive than others. The scars of the industrial revolution are now being healed by a forward-looking people with their own National Assembly. But the sense of past can still be felt all around Wales: from a windy hilltop with a half-ruined castle, to the quiet darkness of a mine miles underground.

As a nation we have a rich history, that takes in literature, music and storytelling. The Welsh are great storytellers. You'll hear tales of King Arthur and Merlin the Magician, of kingdoms lost beneath the sea and battles between dragons, of haunted castles and knightly deeds. These captivating tales don't just spring from a fertile Celtic imagination. They are inspired by Wales's wonderful landscapes and seascapes. Pembrokeshire is still proud to be known as Gwlad hud a lledrith, 'The land of magic and enchantment'.

King Arthur
There's a legion of sites throughout Wales with links to the legendary King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. From north to south, standing stones, caves, hilltop forts and lakes claim their Arthurian adventures.

Wales can stake a strong claim to King Arthur - all the earliest references to him were written in Welsh or in Latin by Welshmen or Welsh monks. Throughout the country, there are sites with intriguing Arthurian connections. In the south, Caerleon's magnificent Roman amphitheatre is said to have served as Arthur's Round Table. In Mid Wales, you can take a boat trip into a labyrinth that tells the king's story. The castle above Llangollen in the north is the reputed hiding place for the Holy Grail.

Folk Tales
Wales's dramatic, mist-shrouded mountains have always been a powerful stimulus to the storyteller. The cliffs and bays along the Welsh coast also tell tales - of great storms and holy wells with magical healing powers.

Wales's earliest written folk tales appear in the 'Mabinogion', stories that were told around the fireside before they were recorded in medieval times. A Lady of the Lake emerged from the inky waters of Llyn y Fan Fach in the brooding Black Mountain. At Dinas Emrys in Snowdonia, red and white dragons fought for the control of Wales.

There is so much to tell I will put more information together and post soon.

Jaxom



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MacEoghainn 
  Posted: 25-Feb-2004, 02:00 PM
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I have read that Scotland's greatest hero, Sir William Wallace, was most likely a descendant of a Welshman that immigrated to the Sterling area of Scotland from Wales, and that the name Wallace is most likely derived from the Scot Gaelic word for a person from Wales.

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gaberlunzie 
Posted: 25-Feb-2004, 02:20 PM
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I also read this. William Wallace is a man of whom only a few facts are known.
He is called "Willelmus Wallensis" in the Lanercost Chronicle which means "Welsh William" and this might be because of the fact that he was speaking Gaelic or else that he was a descendant of Celtic people (Britons) closely related to the Welsh.


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Aon_Daonna 
Posted: 05-Mar-2004, 10:45 AM
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well.. I read recently somewhere that he is most likely of norman descent, as was Bruce. They put up the Norman version of his name. I'll try and find the book again in which I read that.


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Dreamer1 
Posted: 05-Mar-2004, 10:54 AM
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( *Welcome back Aon Donna!!* ) How are you feeling? It's good to see you back.
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Aon_Daonna 
Posted: 05-Mar-2004, 12:19 PM
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thanks =) just discovered that I didn't actually post that I'm back even though I was going to.. *grumbles with herself*
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gaberlunzie 
Posted: 05-Mar-2004, 12:23 PM
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Hi, Aon...nice to see you're back. Are you fine? smile.gif
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Aon_Daonna 
Posted: 05-Mar-2004, 12:33 PM
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I am... I'm trying to post my "back" topic but I can't... I'll email Paul about it asap...
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gaberlunzie 
Posted: 05-Mar-2004, 12:45 PM
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Good to know you're fine! To say the truth I have been a litlle bit concerned as you're pregnant and...well...just didn't know...but glad to hear everything's okay! smile.gif
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DesertRose 
Posted: 05-Mar-2004, 06:50 PM
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Hey! Aon! Great to see you back! Missed you! smile.gif

Jaxom, thank you for posting the info about Wales. My hubby and I have been looking into trips in the UK and he is really interested in Wales. We looked at train trips throughout the UK and while I was really into Scotland, he is really into Wales. Hope to hear more about your country.

I understand that a great deal of the population there speak Welsh, is that true?


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Jaxom 
Posted: 06-Mar-2004, 07:34 AM
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Thank you CelticRose.
I will put part two together real soon and post. I hope that others living in Europe will post a little about their country here. There is nothing quite like a native to speak upon their own lands and heritage.
fond regards to all
Jaxom
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DesertRose 
Posted: 06-Mar-2004, 03:01 PM
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QUOTE (Jaxom @ Mar 6 2004, 07:34 AM)
Thank you CelticRose.
I will put part two together real soon and post. I hope that others living in Europe will post a little about their country here. There is nothing quite like a native to speak upon their own lands and heritage.
fond regards to all
Jaxom

Thanks so much, Jaxom. Looking very forward to learning more about your country! I do so hope that others from Europe will post in here and share some about their country. However, we have the Scotland, Ireland, Wales forums and so much info is in there too. Need to check out the Wales forum more! Wales is very Celtic, is it not?
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Jaxom 
Posted: 07-Mar-2004, 10:36 AM
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I would say that Wales is so Celtic that as a Nation we tend to forget about it, when talking to others about ourselfs.
Welsh is the oldest European Language that is still spoken today. Anchent Britans were driven into the Land of Wales by various invaders.
At one time the language started to die out due to English oppresion and children being beaten at school for speaking Welsh. A block of wood was hung round their necks with "Welsh Not" writen on it and the child was made to stand in the corner of the classroom after being beaten, as an object lesson to other children to stop them from speaking their mother tounghe.
Now since the Welsh Act all Governmental forms and papers must be Bi-lingual.
All road signs must be in both Welsh and English. Supermarkets sign post all food aisles in both languages. and so it goes on.
Now parents can send their children to Welsh School and they are taught in Welsh.
In their last years at school when they take their final exams they will sit them all in Welsh. English has joined French, Spanish and German as forren languages, and the exam for English is just the same, a foregn language exam.
Very little Welsh gets spoken outside of the home in Cardiff where I live. it is Wales's Capatal city and very ethnicly diverse. so English is the common language for comunication. you will hear many languages being spoken here. many from Africa and Asia as well as Easten Lands. However if you travel outside of the city then you will come across native Welsh speekers in everyday places.
I am sure that if you do come to Wales you will find a welcome in the hillside.

Iechyd da [Good health] (sounds like Yacky Dar)
Jaxom
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