Postcard from Llanfairpwll

„The next stop is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch“. Come again?? Yep, that's right! This place really exists and it's pronounced „Chlanweirpuchkin-gichgogerisch-worndrobuch-chantisilio-gogogoch“. That's Welsh for „The church of Mary in the hollow of the white hazel near the fierce whirlpool and the church of Tysilio by the red cave“ – and yes, this name has been made up.


Llanfairpwll (or rather Llanfair P.G. as the locals call the village) is located on Anglesey peninsula (which is called Môn in Welsh) in North Wales, but it doesn't have much else to offer than a touristy shopping centre the longest place name in the United Kingdom. A business man invented the name in the early 19th century to attract tourists to the village - and he was successful. Even today, busloads of tourists stop there every day to have their photo taken in front of the long town sign. However, Llanfairpwll is only worth the time when it's a coffee or cigarette break on the way to Holyhead and the ferry to Ireland in the east, or going west towards Llandudno in North Wales or Chester in England.

Although they like to tell everyone that is is so, Llanfairpwll is not the longest place name in the world! Current record holder is: "Krungthepmahanakornamornratanakosinmahintarayutthayamahadilokphop- nopparatrajathaniburiromudomrajaniwesmahasatharnamornphimarnavatarnsa-thitsakkattiyavisanukamprasit", which is the full and official name of Bangkok, Thailand (in Thai it is shortend to Krung Thep). "Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokai-whenuakitanatahu" (Taumata) in New Zealand comes to second place. And if L.A. would return to its full former name of "El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciúncula", there would only be one letter missing for a tie and shared third place with Wales!

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