Since the famous Acts of Union in 1707, Wales has been part of the United Kingdom which includes England, Northern Ireland, and Scotland too.
Prior to the industrial revolution, Wales was a sparsely populated country dependent on local agricultural and pastoral trade.
It had minor law making powers and an executive (including a First Minister).
In 2006 the Assembly moved into a new purpose built building known as the 'Senedd', which has won awards for its environmental design by Richard Rogers.
Travellers are attracted to Wales because of its beautiful landscape, including the mountains and coast of its three contrasting national parks, the wealth of history and large number of imposing castles.
Occupying a mountainous western peninsula of the island of Great Britain, Wales is bordered to the east by England, while the Republic of Ireland sits to the west across the Irish Sea.
In 2011, following a further referendum, the Assembly obtained further law-making powers, and its structure was reformed so that there was a clearer separation of powers between the Assembly and the Welsh Government.