"Belfast" Belfast by Goner
Belfast Travel Guide: 1,056 reviews and 2,273 photos
It had rained all the way from Derry so the sights outside Belfast were only sullen pictures of the seascapes and landscapes out the train window. Thankfully, we woke the next morning to sunshine at least for part of the day. In the afternoon we were very pleased to have taken an off-and-on bus which gave us some protection from the rain between stops to Belfast's interesting places. We didn't know what to expect from Belfast, so many years it was a city unsafe due to the Troubles. It was a wonderful surprise to find a city on the move, many new buildings have risen or are rising. The city streets are full of people bustling about with there everyday lives. The only evidence of troubles past were bullet holes in various buildings and rubble where there had been bombings. Murals remined us of an opinionated people who are now dedicated to making Belfast a place to be proud of.
Frommer's, the American travel guidebook series, listed Belfast as the only United Kingdom destination in its Top 12 Destinations to Visit in 2009.
Belfast Béal Feirste in Irish means "mouth of the sandbars". It’s the capital and largest city in Northern Ireland. It is now the seat of devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly. Belfast now has over 579,000 people in its entire metropolitan area.
Belfast sits on an area that has been occupied since the Bronze Age. The proof is in the Giant's Ring, a 5,000-year-old henge and the remains of Iron Age hill forts that can still be seen in the surrounding hills.
It wasn’t until the 17th century that Belfast became a town due to the settling of Protestant English and Scottish immigrants at the time of the Plantation of Ulster. Belfast and County Antrim, however did not become part of the Plantation scheme as they were private colonies.
In the 18th and 19th centuries Belfast became a commercial and industrial center with linen, rope-making, tobacco, heavy engineering and shipbuilding. The Harland and Wolff shipyards became one of the largest shipbuilders in the world, employing up to 35,000 workers and known for building the ill-fated Titanic. Belfast wasn't granted city status until 1888.
In 1920-22, Belfast became the capital of the new entity of Northern Ireland when the island of Ireland was partitioned by the Irish War of Independence. This bloody time during the “Troubles” continued through the 1990’s and cost up to 1,500 lives in Belfast.
Belfast was heavily bombed during World War II. The German bombers killed around one thousand people and left tens of thousands homeless in 1941, the greatest loss of life since the Blitz in London.
Today, Belfast remains a center not only for industry, but as the arts, higher education and business, a legal center, and is the economic engine of Northern Ireland. The city suffered greatly during the period of the Troubles, but has undergone a period of calm and freedom from political violence. Belfast city centre has undergone considerable growth and expansion primarily around Victoria Square.
Did you know Belfast is the home of C.S. Lewis of the Chronicals Narnia
- Pros:Belfast has a great deal of history to share with the world
- Cons:There was much more to see in and around Belfast than you can see in two days
- In a nutshell:City of Change definitely for the better - go Belfast
The open-top buses takes a 1 ½ hour, 8km round-trip along some of the city's most impressive and evocative sights and... more travel advice
The Shankill and Newtownards Roads have the most visited Loyalist murals reflecting those communities' pro-British... more travel advice
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