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Bangor is a small and pleasant city of about 18,000 people in North West Wales. Located between the mountains of the Snowdonia National Park and the Heritage Coast of Anglesey, it is a superb place to live, work and visit.
Having both a university and a cathedral gives Bangor the honour of being the only city in Gwynedd, a small city of only 18000 residents, but a city nonetheless and being a city, Bangor provides the facilities that befit its title. When the population becomes further swelled, as the university students arrive in the academic terms, Bangor takes on an extra verve, an almost cosmopolitan feel. So for sports facilities, shopping, culture, bars, restaurants and atmosphere, Bangor has it all, accordingly making the city a worthy place to stay awhile.
Bangor can trace its roots back to 525AD, when Saint Deiniol a Celtic missionary arrived with his followers, to form a monastic settlement, which they enclosed with a wattle fence, or bangor in Welsh, from which the city got its name. Around 546AD, Maelgwn, King of Gwynedd, consecrated Saint Deiniol as a bishop, making the church a cathedral and as such, gave Bangor the title of the earliest diocese in continuous use in Britain. Since that time there has been continuous building and rebuilding of the cathedral, especially in Norman times, following confrontations between the Welsh and English, with each phase leaving its mark on the site. A major restoration was carried out in 1866, under the direction of Sir Gilbert Scott, who carried out his duties diligently and leaves the building we see today. From its early beginnings, Bangor grew slowly until the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when accelerated growth was caused by improved transport links and the growing export demand for slate, the major industry in these parts.
Bangor Museum and Art Gallery shows an interesting exhibition of local antiquities and ever-changing displays of contemporary Welsh art. Theatre-goers can enjoy concerts, plays, films and dance performances at Theatr Gwynedd.
The Vaynol estate alongside the Menai Strait is a fine open space for visitors and Bangorians alike, to stretch their legs and enjoy the panoramas. Open parkland, woodland areas and curious follies also make this area a lovely spot for a picnic.
Penrhyn Castle was built in the 1830`s by the owner of the largest slate quarry in the world and is now owned by the National Trust. The view from the Ice Tower shows the open sea, the coast towards Llandudno, the mountains of Snowdonia, our lovely green countryside and the outskirts of Bangor.
The fully restored Bangor Pier stretches out into the Menai Strait, appearing to almost reach Anglesey. Built in 1896, this attractive pier is a pleasant place for a stroll, with views of the strait, the Great Orme Llandudno, Anglesey, Snowdonia, Telford’s suspension bridge and Bangor itself.