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.
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