A FREE exhibition celebrating the Land of Bards and Singers is open at Rhondda Heritage Park, the Museum of Welsh Mining, until the end of March.
It is just one of the many attractions at the ever-popular family tourist attraction in the heart of the Rhondda Valley.
The mid-late 19th Century brought many changes to the world-famous Valleys of South Wales, the intensification of coal mining led to a population growth never before witnessed.
There was a phenomenal population boom, from 23,950 people in 1871 to around 152,781 people in 1911.
Communities sprang up around the coal mines, with men, women and even children having to suffer the dangers of working underground. Drawn together by these perils, they found comfort in their language and a shared religious faith.
The choral singing that arose from the traditional Welsh chapels went on to become a defining symbol of the close-knit Welsh communities, resulting in many choirs and singing groups being formed.
In true gladiatorial combat, choirs would compete in eisteddfodau across Wales, a man’s pride was at stake and the rivalry between choirs could be fierce. It is little wonder then that Wales would gain its reputation as the Land of Bards and Singers.
Cllr Joy Rosser, Cabinet Member for Prosperity, Wellbeing and Communities, said: “Thousands of people flocked to Rhondda Heritage Park, the Museum of Welsh Mining, over the festive season, and 2017 looks like being yet another memorable year.
“With our exciting new simulator ride set to open this year, we also have many more year-round attractions including our Black Gold Experience, the new permanent exhibition telling the International story of Rhondda, its Industrialists and the export of its famous steam coal that made Rhondda famous throughout the world, as well as our famous landmarks such as the authentic Lamp Room, Chimney Stack, Pit-head Wheel and Winding Gear.
“As well as our indoor period village shops, Traditional Welsh Gift Shop, Caffe Bracchi, we also have our new Black Gold Experience Exhibition Area, which is currently celebrating the Land of Bards and Singers.
“A warm welcome awaits all visitors to Rhondda Heritage Park, the perfect day out, whatever the weather.”
Land of Bards and Singers Exhibition, Rhondda Heritage Park until March 31. Admission Free. To book your Black Gold Experience, and for all your latest news and updates, visit www.rhonddaheritagepark.com or call 01443 682036.