"Eine Barden und Volksversammlung in Wales"

Name of traveller

Karl Blind (1826-1907)

Reason for travel

  • cultural tourism; leisurely travel while living in exile in London

Date of travel

1862, 1881

Immerhin gemahnt uns das Eisteddfod-Wesen einigermaßen an die Meistersinger-Schulen und Gesellenvereine unseres späteren Mittelalters; nur daß die Waliser der körperlichen Ausbildung nicht die Aufmerksamkeit widmen, wie unser Bürger- und Handwerkerstand es vor Alters that und wie es die Engländer noch heute thun. (Blind 3)


  • customs:
    • remembers attending the Caernarfon Eisteddfod in 1862 during his first visit to Wales
    • attends the Merthyr Tydfil Eisteddfod; identifies different types of competitions
    • comments that the cultures of Wales and England are entirely distinct from one another; perceives Welsh culture as a return to the past
    • impressed that eisteddfodau are a folk tradition independent of wealthy patrons; points out the noted absence of Watkin Wynne (1844-1921)
    • identifies the harp as national instrument
    • comparison of eisteddfodau with the medieval Meistersinger movement in Germany
  • language:
    • peculiarity of Welsh family and bardic names and the naming of horses
    • notes a diminished antagonism on the part of Welsh speakers towards the English language in contrast to the 1860s
    • comparison between Welsh and Irish-language cultures, particularly in oral and written media
    • recognises liveliness of the Welsh language and the creation of new words; comparison with German and Greek
    • critical of opinions of Welsh as a Biblical language
    • notes on Welsh pronunciation
  • people: identifies Hwfa Môn (Rowland Williams) (1823-1905) among other bards attending the Eisteddfod
  • politics:
    • notes that eisteddfodau are generally apolitical by nature
    • one address during the Merthyr Tydfil Eisteddfod touches on the Home Rule question and stresses the strong Welsh support for the Union
  • compare with the author's more detailed description of the Caernarfon Eisteddfod in 1862
  • click here to read the full account

Nationality of traveller


Language of publication


Gender of traveller


Type of publication

essay; report


Blind, Karl. "Eine Barden und Volksversammlung in Wales." Neue Freie Presse (14 Sep. 1881):1-3. Print.