Bangor, in north Wales, is one of the smallest cities in the United Kingdom. It is a university city which had a population of 13,725 at the 2001 census, about 8,000 of whom were students at the University of Wales, Bangor.
The origins of the city date back to the founding of Bangor Cathedral by the Celtic Saint Deiniol in the early 6th century AD. The name 'Bangor' itself comes from a Welsh word for a type of fenced-in enclosure, such as was originally on the site of Bangor Cathedral. The present cathedral is a somewhat more recent building and has been extensively modified throughout the centuries. While the building itself is not the oldest, and certainly not the biggest, the bishopric of Bangor is one of the oldest in the UK. Another claim to fame is that Bangor allegedly has the longest High Street in Wales.
Bangor is largely contained to the south by Bangor Mountain although the large housing estate of Maesgeirchen, originally built as council housing, is to the east of the toe of the mountain near to Port Penrhyn. The presence of Bangor Mountain casts a shadow across the High Street, Glan Adda and Hirael areas such that from November through to March some parts of the High Street in particular receive no direct sunlight as they lie in the shadow of the mountain. Bangor has two rivers within its boundaries. The River Adda is a largely culverted watercourse which only appears above ground at its western extremities near to the Faenol estate, whilst the River Cegin enters Port Penrhyn at the eastern edge of the city. Port Penrhyn was an important port in the nineteenth century, exporting the slates produced at the Penrhyn Quarry.
Bangor railway station, which serves the city, is located on the North Wales Coast Line from Crewe to Holyhead.
Radio stations Champion FM broadcasts to the city in English and Welsh and Storm FM broadcasts from the University. The BBC's Light Entertainment Department moved to Bangor during World War II and many classic programmes (like ITMA) came from Bangor. In 1967, the Beatles came to Bangor (staying at Neuadd Reichel) for their first encounter with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, during which visit they learned of the death of their manager Brian Epstein.
Bangor hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1890, 1902, 1915, 1931, 1940 (through the medium of radio), 1943, 1971 and 2005, as well as an unofficial National Eisteddfod event in 1874. Nightclubs in Bangor include Time, Academi (the Student Union bar), The Octagon and Bliss. Bangor is twinned with Soest, Germany.
Bangor has a pier , which is the second longest in Wales and also the 9th longest in the British Isles, being 1,500 feet (or 472 metres). Its name is the Garth Pier, and was almost demolished in 1974 due to the poor condition it was in at the time. However local support for the pier ensured that survived and gained a Grade 2 listed status, as it was considered one of the three finest surviving piers at the time. Restoration work began in 1982 and did not finish until 1988.
Bangor has a successful football team, Bangor City F.C. which competes in the national Welsh Premier League. Bangor City has won numerous cups and championships, and has represented Wales in European competition on a number of occasions.