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Learning English - Beyond the Postcard
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Cardiff Castle
There are a number of impressive buildings in the centre of Cardiff. Cardiff Castle is one of them. It has all the outward signs of a traditional castle, but inside it has some unusual features.

Read the text to find out more about the history of Cardiff castle then try the vocabulary exercise that follows.

  Cardiff Cardiff Castle
The Millennium Stadium is not the only imposing building in the centre of Cardiff. Cardiff Castle is another.

It has all the outward signs of a traditional castle. The first settlement here was a fort built by the Romans, and the present walls include sections of the original Roman ones. Inside, the open area known as Castle Green is dominated by the distinctive 11th century style of building of its next owners, the Normans - a motte (a man-made hill) on which stands a keep.

The group of buildings beside the west wall, however, contain a considerable surprise. They mostly date from the 15th century, but in the 19th were dramatically altered. The owner at that time, the 3rd Marquess of Bute, was extremely rich as a result of his father's business activities. So he commissioned rebuilding work, in the fashionable Victorian style known as Gothic Revival.

The results are amazing. Elaborate bedrooms. Different smoking rooms for summer and winter. One sitting room containing scenes from the writings of Geoffrey Chaucer, especially "The Canterbury Tales", and another copying classical Arab architecture. A huge banqueting hall for which seven of the original rooms were combined. And a grand library.

All of them are lavishly decorated, and are an extraordinary example of what can be done when both money and imagination are plentiful.

Exercise - Vocabulary

Look at the definitions below. Each one is for a word in bold in the text. Choose the word or expression from the list on the right which matches the definition.

1: a large room where many people attend formal meals  
2: because of  
3: paid someone to do something  
4: joined together  
5: impressively and expensively  
6: changed  
7: complicated and detailed in design  
8: impressive to look at  
Check your answers Check your answers

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Cardiff Castle
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