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Belfast Northern Ireland


Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland. It is the largest city in Northern Ireland and the second largest on the whole island of Ireland.

Belfast, is a unique travelersí experience, shaped by a long and often violent history. This modern city has played a prominent role in world history, commercial trade and has even inspired such famous literary classics as Gulliverís Travels.


Belfast has been Northern Ireland's capital since the country's creation, but the area has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, before 3,000 BCE. Life was primarily agricultural and fishing based.

The Normans visited the region around the turn of the first millennium AD, staying long enough to build several important structures on what are now historic sites, such as the site of the Belfast Castle. The modern castle dates to 1870.

The area was developed over successive centuries, adding major roadways and attracting settlers.

By the middle of the second millennium AD, Belfast was enjoying substantial growth from British and Scottish settlers. During the colonization efforts known as the Plantation of Ulster, in the early 1600s, the region experienced a considerable population boom, leading to the Belfast area becoming a prominent urban center.

In the mid 17th century, a short lived rebellion led by Irish Catholics against Protestant settlers, at the cost of many lives. The rebellion was brought to a decisive end by Scottish warriors, who remained in Belfast after the war.

The growth and prosperity in the city led to settlers traveling from as far as Huguenot occupied France.

Growth led to the development of several important trade associations, and Belfast began to emerge as a viable commercial center. Unfortunately, the increased migration only deepened religious tensions, and resulted in the formation of several Irish organizations (such as the Society of United Irishmen of 1791) intending to protect Irish rights.

By the end of the 1700s, Belfast was in the throes of the Irish Rebellion. The war was intended to bring social, political and religious reforms to the region, but ultimately led to countless deaths. Prisoners of war were executed, usually by hanging but often were burnt alive. The number of innocent civilians caught in the wake of rampaging soldiers in unknown.

Among the results of the rebellion, in addition to countless deaths, was a reinforced faith in the Acts of Union, passed in the summer of 1800.

The stability provided by the union and its enforcement allowed Belfast to grow into a major urban center through the 19th century. By the time it was officially granted city status, in 1888, Belfast had become the most lucrative settlement in Ireland. Prominent industries included linen manufacture, engineering and shipbuilding (the now legendary vessel the Titanic was constructed in Belfast in 1911). The population grew and the economy prospered.

By the turn of the 20th century, Belfast had secured its place as the largest city in Ireland. The now historic Belfast City Hall was constructed in 1906, to accommodate the growth.

Poor living conditions, however, led to the outbreak of several fatal diseases, including Cholera in the early years of the 20th century. Strife led to a dock workers strike, which required the presence of the British military to be brought to an end.

When the territory of Northern Ireland was created in 1920, during the height of the Irish War of Independence, Belfast became its capital. The war was characterized by open hostility between Catholic and Protestant groups. A truce signaled the end of the war in 1921, with more than 1,000 dead.

Ireland fell directly into the Irish Civil War, lasting 11 months. The treaty that brought the Irish War of Independence to an end established British rule over Northern Ireland, and outraged nationals. The fight against British rule claimed more lives than the Irish War of Independence. Over the next several decades, many of the issues central to the civil war were settled in Irelandís favor. A poignant example is that Ireland regained control over several important sea ports and related commercial trade.

Belfast suffered massive bombings during the Second World War, most notably during the Belfast Blitz of 1941, when more than 200 German bombers leveled half of the city and claimed countless lives.

During the 1960s, Belfast entered the time known as The Troubles, essentially revitalizing the religious and political conflict brought on by foreign rule. Several incidents of domestic terrorism have claimed many lives and cause immeasurable damage to the city. By the time of the 1998 Belfast Agreement, which signaled the beginning of a cease fire, more than 1,500 residents had lost their lives.

Modern Belfast has grown considerably since the end of the conflict. Major redevelopment projects have begun to revitalize the city, and foreign investors are increasingly attracted to the region while it enjoys peace. Belfast also enjoys a growing tourism industry, supported by a rich cultural history and a growing reputation for safety that is putting the cityís violent past behind it.


Belfast has been the center of the country's political controversies for years.


Donegall Square-City Hall is located here, along with most of the city's main streets. There is also a Titanic memorial, historic buildings, and the Grand Opera House.

Ulster Museum-The museum includes all aspects of Ulster.

There are plenty more things to see and do in Belfast.

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