It was during the industrial revolution, however, that the city flourished and its population grew.
The city is home to the world's first passenger railway service known affectionately as the Mumbles Train, which bumped and bounced along five miles of Swansea foreshore, linking the city centre with the suburb of Mumbles.
The Oscar award winning actor Catherine Zeta Jones and TV actor Joanna Page were also born and raised here, with both maintaining close links with the city.
To start this drive, take A4118 through the bed-sit suburb of Uplands and then Killay.
Furthermore, according to a survey conducted by an international health magazine that considered, among other factors, a city's crime rate, life-style, environment etc, Swansea was judged to be the most relaxed city in the UK, while two national surveys have ranked the city as the third friendliest place in the country with regard to customer service and the safest urban area in the UK.
Citizens from Wales' second city are known as 'Swansea Jacks,' and the name 'Swansea' is derived from 'Sweyn's-ey,' the Scandinavian name for the original settlement.
Famous Faces Swansea's rich and diverse history has created a city of character, which has proved to be very fertile ground for producing well known personalities.
In the literary world, Dylan Thomas is Swansea's most famous son, and inscriptions of his verse can been seen throughout the city.