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GO Museums in Cardiff

Museums in Cardiff If you want to wander into the past then Cardiff is great place to visit, as the city is jammed packed full with museums and historic buildings.

Europe’s youngest capital city has been built round the 2000-year-old Cardiff Castle [map] site so it seems only fitting that we start our journey here.

The castle began life as a Roman fort and the remains of this can still be seen today within a band of red stone to keep it separate from later work. A 12th century keep is also visible along with a number of Tudor buildings. In addition there are 19th century towers designed by architect William Burges for the third Marquis of Bute, whose family owned the castle from 1766.

A visit to the castle provides a great day out for all the family and allows you to really get to grips with the history of the Welsh capital. But to uncover more details about the country’s past, why not pay a visit to the National Museum of Wales [map], which houses one of Britain’s finest collections. Exhibitions include the Evolution of Wales, which takes you on a spectacular 4,600 million year journey through Wales, and Natural History in Wales, where you can see birds, animals and plants. There are also displays of Bronze Age gold, early Christian monuments, Celtic treasures, silver coins, medals, ceramics, fossils and minerals.

If you’re looking for something a little different on your sightseeing tour, then head to the Museum of Welsh Life [map] based at St Fagans. Here you‘ll find an open-air museum full of buildings taken from all over Wales and carefully rebuilt in 100 acres of parkland on the edge of the city. The attractions include a medieval chapel, a row of miners' cottages, a wartime shopping centre, a tollhouse, an old schoolhouse and a state-of-the-art energy-efficient House of the Future.

Meanwhile Cardiff’s historic importance as a port town is displayed at the Welsh Industrial Maritime Museum [map], where the exhibits include a recreated ship’s bridge.

For those who prefer to delve into the world of science, the interactive National Techniquest [map] is well worth a visit. There are more than 150 exhibits to play with, including giant puzzles, computers and a mirror maze. The centre also has a planetarium, science theatre, cyber-library and a discovery room for young children.

If you want to venture out of the city centre, why not visit the Abergavenny Museum and Castle [map] in the scenic town of Abergavenny, which is just a short drive north of central Cardiff. Here you’ll find the ruins of a Norman castle and the town's museum, which details the history of the area from Roman times, including the infamous massacre of the Welsh Lords by William de Braose in the 12th century.

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