How the Welsh Town of ‘Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrnd-robwyllllantysiliogogogoch’ Got Its Ridiculously Long Name

Great Big Story traveled to the small Welsh town of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyllll-antysiliogogogoch, on the island of Anglesey, to break down the meaning of the town’s unusual 58 letter name. Surprisingly, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyllllantysiliogogogoch is only the second longest place name in the world, after Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturi-pukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu (85 letters), a hill in Northern New Zealand.

“At 58 letters, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyllllantysiliogogogoch is the longest town name in all of Europe. It wasn’t always the town’s name, though—in the 1860s, the name was developed as a way to entice tourists to make the town a stop on their travels. It’s an amalgamation of the Welsh words and names for local landmarks, and it’s probably the best PR stunt of the 1860s—or today.”

Previously from Great Big Story: Incredible Paper Creations by Origami Artist Robert Lang