Flower dance (National Eisteddfod at Swansea, 2006)

A brief history of the Eisteddfod

The first Eisteddfod was held in 1176, under the patronage of Lord Rhys, in his castle in Cardigan.

He invited poets and musicians from all over the country and awarded a chair to the best poet and musician, a tradition that has carried on to the present day.

Many Eisteddfodau were held over the centuries under the patronage of Welsh gentry and noblemen.

The first National Eisteddfod was held in Aberdare in 1861, and since then, it has been moulded into the annual cultural event we recognise today.

During the second half of the 19th century, there was a thirst in Wales for the celebration of Welsh culture and the establishment of the National Eisteddfod has contributed heavily to the preservation of traditional Welsh literary and musical culture.

With the exception of 1914 and 1940, the National Eisteddfod has been held alternately between north and south Wales and is the responsibility of the National Eisteddfod Association.

Festival Photos


From the Maes

Images of the National Eisteddfod in Cardiff.



2009's Eisteddfod

Results, news, stories, video clips and much more from Bala Eisteddfod 2009.

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