A new website has been launched which gives modern tourists insights from past European travellers, who documented their visits to Wales, including Bangor.

For centuries, continental Europeans have visited to Wales for numerous reasons. Not only have they left their traces among the people of Wales by settling here, but they have also written extensively about their experiences in diaries, letters, books and magazines or novels.

The new website was launched at Bangor University this week and Lord Elis-Thomas, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, was present to see the new website launched. Lord Elis-Thomas said: “This is a fascinating resource which uses the best of modern digital media to enrich our own understanding of ourselves and our history as well as providing an extra historical perspective for tourists to Wales. I am delighted to see that this has been the result of combining the academic expertise to access these historical accounts of Wales, with the rich historical and cultural resources that we have available to us.”

Follow along nine themed trails the website allows visitors to discover Wales, its culture and people in an entirely new way. Through the eyes of these historical travellers, experience the country like you have never done before.


Karl von Hailbronner (1788 – 1864) recorded his visit to Bangor in 1836.

“Finally we arrive at Bangor, this magical spot of earth. He who has time and a sense for the highest beauty of almighty nature may repose here in the splendid inn on this hillock, which looks far out to sea into the distance between the lovely banks of Wales and Anglesey to the far shores of Ireland and where he shall find all the joys of life paired with the most magnificent landscape.”

Ludwig Rellstab (1799 – 1860) visited Bangor in 1851 from Germany, he recorded:

“As we are on our way to Bangor under cover of darkness, one line shall suffice. Enough – we have arrived! A dozen omnibuses, one for each hotel, the small town sports at least a dozen small hotels, as the two architectural curiosities are located nearby.

“The Prince Albert Hotel at Bangor lived up to its namesake because not only did the clean chamber maids carry some sweet English faces above their slender figures, but they were also most diligent and friendly and incessantly chirped their pleasant treble solo of, ‘Yes, sir!’ into our ears.

“First, we made our way back to the railway station through the narrow, rural alleys of the small town; from there we followed the old country road which runs almost parallel to the railway, but frequently allows free, wide prospects over the landscape. It is extraordinarily beautiful.”

For more historical information about Bangor and photos visit here:


Photo: Copyright 2002 Gwynedd Museum and Art Gallery, Bangor