Swansea is a county in Wales, on the South West Coast. It is a waterfront city with Viking roots. Swansea is the second largest city in Wales by population, and is home to around 169,000 people. Swansea was granted city status in 1969.
Swansea has a vast historical heritage; Swansea's seaport was dominant from the 17th Century onwards and was integral for the export of coal and iron, and more recently, copper. Swansea is also notable for its shipbuilding. Swansea is well known for its manufacture of copper and zinc in the 19th Century and metalwork as an industry thrived in the seaport.
The traditional metal industries in Swansea have since declined, and the majority of employment within Swansea now comes from the service sectors in areas such as public administration, banking, finance and health. Swansea is also the home of Swansea University, a research-led university that was founded in 1920. Swansea University is renowned for its excellence in engineering, sports and physics, amongst others, and is a key employer within the city.
The Gower Peninsula in Swansea offers miles of unspoiled coastline with a host of award winning beaches and rolling countryside. There are many beauty spots to enjoy in Swansea, and the Gower Peninsula was the first 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty' to be named in Britain. The seaside village of Mumbles is also a popular tourist destination and has many restaurants and cafes, as well as boutique shopping to enjoy along with the natural beauty of the area.
Swansea has the largest covered market in Wales, which attracts many shoppers. Swansea also has many points of interest including museums, such as the Swansea Museum and the National Waterfront Museum, art galleries and at least 2 large shopping centres. The city centre is also where the ruins of Swansea Castle lie. Literary events take place all year round at the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea which is home to a permanent exhibition of his life and works.
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