Swansea is a major city in South Wales, beside Swansea Bay and 35 miles from Cardiff. Its Welsh name is Abertawe.
The English name is believed to relate to Sweyn Forkbeard, the Viking who was briefly King of England, while the Welsh name refers to the mouth of the River Tawe.
A maritime town for centuries, its first docks were constructed in 1306. Swansea grew as an industrial port from the 18th century. Britain`s first oil refinery was built on the outskirts in 1918.
Swansea Castle, dating from the Norman period, survives in fragments.
From the 1970s, there has been much development centred around the old waterfront, now transformed into a stylish Maritime Quarter with marina facilities.
The Guildhall contains the Brangwyn Panels, huge murals that were originally made for the House of Lords.
Plantasia is a giant hothouse, with plants in desert and raoinforest environments.
People born in Swansea include John Charles, Wales footballer; Robert Croft, England cricketer; Michael Heseltine, politician; Catherine Zeta Jones, actress; Martyn Lewis, TV newsreader; Richard "Beau" Nash, Master of Ceremonies at Bath; Harry Secombe, singer and comedian; and Dylan Thomas, poet.