Stand in awe of this medieval cathedral, which is located in the grounds of an ancient city and hosts a selection of impressive religious artworks.
Llandaff Cathedral is one of the most important religious sites in Wales and one of the sightseeing highlights of its capital city, Cardiff. Visit this Anglican cathedral to learn about the Christian history of the area, then step inside to see paintings by British masters. Marvel at the beauty of the architecture and pause at the side chapels for a moment of reflection.
Approach the cathedral through the ancient “City of Llandaff,” an old settlement that has been transformed into a conservation area. The history of the cathedral goes back to the 6th century, when St. Teilo worshipped here. The first stone of the cathedral you see today was laid in around 1120 under Bishop Urban. Look for additions to the architecture from other eras, such as a Victorian restoration and a post-war reconstruction.
Stand outside and gaze upward at the vast building to appreciate its size. Two asymmetrical towers mark the entrance to the nave.
Head inside to further appreciate the architecture of the cathedral and pick up a pamphlet about the building. The eye is drawn immediately to the double-wishbone arch in the center, which was created in the 1950s. A concrete figure of Christ, sculpted by Jacob Epstein, watches over the congregation.
Seek out a triptych of paintings by the pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The three paintings, finished in 1864, depict a symbolic interpretation of the nativity story. Pause in the St. Illtud Chapel to appreciate this controversial painting.
Visit the other chapels that adjoin the main nave of the cathedral. The Lady Chapel features a 12th-century stained-glass window depicting Jesus’ family tree. Take a moment to rest in the peaceful Dyfrig Chapel, which includes a modern statue of St. Dyfrig.
Drive to Llandaff Cathedral, which is about 15 minutes away from Cardiff’s city center, and use the free parking in the area. The cathedral is open daily and closes once the last service each day has concluded. It remains an active place of worship with services throughout the week.