How a Small Town in Wales Came to Have the Longest Name in Europe and One of the Longest in the World

Great Big Story visited the small town on the Welsh island of Anglesey with the longest name in the whole of Europe and one of the longest in the world. Containing an astounding 58 letters, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyllllantysiliogogogoch was not always known by that name, but in the mid-19th century, it was changed in a publicity stunt in order to increase tourism. The new name stated all that was available to visit within the town that translates to “Saint Mary’s Church in the Hollow of the White Hazel Near to the Whirlpool of Tysilio Church of the Red Cave”, although it was a bit more difficult to say.

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. So yeah, welcome to Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyllllantysiliogogogoch! You don’t need to be able to say it to enjoy your stay.