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Wales (Cymru)

Covering an area of 20,000 km2 (8000 square miles), Wales has 3 million inhabitants, 20% of whom can speak Cymraeg (Welsh).

Wales has been a principality of England since the Act of Union in 1536, although the Welsh Assembly sitting in Cardiff is elected by the Welsh people. Wales was in the past known for its coal, tin and lead mines.

The patron saint of Wales is St David and the Welsh flag is composed of a red dragon on a green and white field.

The national emblem is the leek, a relative of the onion.

Wales was never conquered by the Roman Empire, due to its mountainous terrain and ample amounts of rain and so it was resistant to the spread of Christianity in the latter stages of Roman occupation. It remained pagan for a longer period than its neighbour, England, and so fairly reliable, and well-documented, Welsh pagan mythology survives to this day.


[1], The National Assembly for Wales