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Newport, South Wales

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Newport is the third largest urban area in Wales. Standing on the banks of the river Usk, it was granted city status as part of Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee celebrations and is part of the larger unitary authority of Newport, which is among those that replaced the county of Gwent.

The Welsh name for the city is Casnewydd-ar-Wysg, or more commonly, Casnewydd (pronounced Cas-NEW-ith) ('e' as in 'men'; 'th' as in 'then'), which literally means 'New Castle(-on-Usk)'. This refers to the twelfth-century castle ruins near the city centre, which are 'new' compared to the Roman fortress at nearby Caerleon. The city's importance as a trading port in the middle ages was re-emphasized when a 15th century ship , referred to locally as the the Newport ship was recently uncovered from the bank of the Usk within Newport during the construction of a new arts centre.

Newport is known for its many works of civic art, including the steel Wave on the banks of the Usk, and the mechanical clock in the city centre. It also has one of the few remaining working transporter bridges.

The city is known for its nightlife, containing many pubs, bars and nightclubs in a relatively small area. The most famous of these is probably TJ's, an alternative music club where it is rumoured that Kurt Cobain proposed to Courtney Love.

Newport was the focal point of a major Chartist uprising in 1839, where John Frost and 3,000 others marched on the Westgate Hotel. John Frost Square, in the centre of the city, is named in his honour. (See Chartism for more information)

The city has a formidable sporting reputation, owed mainly to the exploits of Newport Rugby Club. One of the few clubs to have beaten all the major southern hemispere touring sides, they were the only side to beat the Invincible All Blacks of 1962 - 63. Amongst the names associated with the club are Arthur 'Monkey' Gould, the first Rugby Union superstar, and David Watkins, the only man to have captained Great Britain at Rugby Union and Rugby League.

Newport also has a famous (association) football club, Newport County[?]: although currently a non-league club, it has an enviable reputation in Welsh football, citing three internationals in its squad. Newport also has a speedway[?] track and will soon be home to a new velodrome.



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