The University of Wales, Aberystwyth was founded in 1873, and is the founder institution of the Federated University of Wales. The old college on the seafront was once the headquarters of the University of Wales, but this has now been transferred to The University of Wales, Cardiff. The University is home to the worlds oldest department of International Politics. The current Prince of Wales, Prince Charles is perhaps the most famous of Abersytwyth's alumni. In addition to the University, Aberystwyth is also home to the National Library of Wales.
The town lies between the Cambrian Mountains and Cardigan Bay, and stands at the confluence of two rivers, the Ystwyth, which gives the town its name ('Aber' is Welsh for 'Mouth'), and the Rheidol. The man-made confluence of these rivers forms the towns harbour. The town has three beaches and two distinctive peaks. Constitution Hill, to the North has an Electric Cliff Railway to its summit, where a Cafe and a Camera Obscura are located. The Hill offers views across Aberystwyth and Cardigan bay, and further on towards the Snowdonia National Park. Pen Dinas, to the South, is a steep sided hill with an Iron Age Hillfort at its summit. A peninsula separates North Beach from South Beach and bears the ruins of a 13th Century Castle, though a fortress has existed on the site since 1109.