Harlech - World Heritage Site - Castle Capital of the World
Harlech means fair or beautiful rock.
This UNESCO listed
world heritage site sits prominently on the coastline of Snowdonia and is a must visit
for the family. It overlooks the magnificent 4 mile sandy beach, and the National Nature Reserve of Morfa Harlech
. It is within site of Criccieth Castle, which lies across the bay.
There are more castles per square mile in Wales than any other country in the world. Since this was the castle where Owain Glyndwr once held court and presided over the Welsh nation, Harlech justly has the right to call itself Castle Capital of the World.
The castle was built at the order of Edward I (Longshanks) after besieging Gwynedd. It took 7 years to build between 1283 -1290. While under the command of Dafydd ap Ieuan
(one of Abraham Lincoln's forefathers) the castle itself was subjected to a siege of 7 years from 1461 (War of the Roses), the longest recorded seige in British history. It was also the last Royalist stronghold to fall, marking the end of the Civil War in 1647.
The site of the castle has actually been a fortified position since ancient times and to demonstrate this point, a trip just 2 or 3 miles North East into the hills, will bring you to the magnificent Bronze Age stone coronet circle of Bryn Cader Faner.
For a walk around the town, the golf course and along the beach for the stunningly dramatic scenery or a visit to nearby Portmeirion Italianate Village - see the video clips
Today Harlech is a remarkable place in a truly magnificent position and justifies its position as a popular tourist destination !