Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Beautiful Belfast


Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland and a city which grew during the industrial revolution with flourishing linen, rope-making, and shipbuilding industries. Most heavy industry has been replaced by services, technology and tourism in this modern day.  I took this photo of the city from my hotel window as I loved the green rolling hills in the background that surround the city.


Belfast was the largest and most productive shipyard in the world at one time and the city's main shipbuilders, Harland and Wolff, built the ill-fated RMS Titanic.  Although shipbuilding has been in a steady decline the twin Harland and Wolff yellow shipbuilding gantry cranes situated at Queen's Island, in Belfast, are nicknamed "Samson and Goliath," and still dominate the skyline as landmark structures of the city.


Memories of the Titanic are a large part of the city. This beautiful memorial was painted on the side of a building.


Since April 14, 2012, will be the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, the city is gearing up with a Titanic Quarter and a Titanic Museum being constructed located at the head of Titanic’s original slipway. It will be the heart of a new revitalized area in East Belfast. The museum will tell the story of the people of Belfast as well as the story of the infamous ship.


Along with its industrial side, Belfast has much Victorian elegance to see as well as modern buildings and conveniences. Here are a few landmarks I found interesting:


The Albert Memorial Clock was erected in 1865 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s consort, Prince Albert is built on land reclaimed from the River Lagan. The clock leans slightly and has been called Belfast's "leaning tower of Pisa."


Belfast City Hall is the civic building of the Belfast City Council. Plans for the City Hall began in 1888 when Belfast was awarded city status by Queen Victoria.


The Titanic Memorial stands on the side of city hall.


The shopping area of Donegall Place is now home to 8 copper lighting masts. These feature lighting masts have been designed to create a significant impact on the street while taking in to account the historic setting. They have been influenced by Belfast’s industrial heritage, the linen industry and maritime traditions


The Grand Opera House of Belfast was built in 1895, and has delivered an unrivalled program of entertainment, playing host to some of the greatest names in theatre and music. It became the first building in Belfast to be listed as being of historical and architectural importance, and was acquired by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland in 1976.


Saint George's Market is one of Belfast’s oldest attractions. It was built between 1890 and 1896 and is one of the best markets in the UK and Ireland


Victoria Square shopping mall is one of the many wonderful shopping venues within Belfast. 


It has a breathtaking urban design with four floors and a central communications area to take shoppers to different levels including a viewing gallery at the top from which to view the city.



Looking up at the Victoria Square viewing platform inside the dome.


Stormont Estate and Parliament building is the seat of the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Northern Ireland Executive.


‘The Searcher’, a statue sculpted by local artist Ross Wilson, was commissioned to mark the centenary of the birth of CS Lewis, author of "The Chronicles of Narnia." It stands outside Holywood Arches library, near to where Lewis grew up. It shows Professor Digory Kirke, hero of ‘The Magician’s Nephew’, entering the magical wardrobe into Narnia.

A close up of the sculpture.

Belfast is a very walkable city and while I took the "hop on hop off bus" to see some of the sights much of it I saw by foot.  I'll show you  more interesting sights in my next few posts...the historical pubs, some of the inside of city hall, and a library that dates back to 1788, and the remaining traces of the "Troubles" that has unfortunately plagued the city.

I'm linking to "Outdoor Wednesday" on Susan's blog A Southern Daydreamer. Click on the link to see links to all the blogs participating this week.


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44 comments:

Ginny said...

These pictures are AMAZING, maybe the best I have ever seen from you!! I have always wanted to go to Ireland, now maybe I don't have to! Those lighting masts, how do they work? Do they light up all along them, from top to bottom? Because I don't see anyplace for bulbs or anything at the top.

pam said...

It's a very pretty town. Those cranes are amazing. I don't recall now how or when things settled down over there. I loved the architecture you captured.

Kris said...

Wow Pat!! Beautiful photos, and a terrific history lesson as well! Loved this!

Elisabeth said...

Thank you for these beautiful photos and the history around them.

Riet said...

Ah you are in Ireland so in Europe Pat. Wonderful. Thank you for showing us around in Belfast and telling us all about it. You are so good in that.
Enjoy your journey.

diane b said...

Thanks for the beaut over view of Belfast. It has interesting buildings and history. It is a shame that the country is in economic chaos at the moment.The Titanic museum would be interesting to visit when completed. I migrated to Australia on a sister ship called the "Georgic" built in belfast in 1931.

H said...

Fascinating post. I loved seeing your photos and finding out a little more about Belfast.

Ⓙ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

I sighed the sigh of one watching a perfect romantic movie. WOW!

Lucy (aka rharper) said...

I'd love to see this place. My father's line was from Belfast and it would be fun to look up all that. Neat pictures.

Ola said...

pretty old architecture but the Titanic museum is too crazy idea for me (I mean the builidng):)

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

I would have never guess that the Titanic would have so many tributes there. And, those mast lights lining the streets! Lots of wows! thank you, Pat. blessings ~ tanna

podso said...

Thanks for the great tour. The photos are all stunning but I like the view out your window the best!

Old Kitty said...

Pat!! I love your view from your hotel window! Who knew Belfast was nestled in such greenery?? Amazing view!

I forget that the Titanic was birthed there! Of course!!! The memorial drawing on the side of the house is fantastic! Was that just someone's art done on the hop? WOW!!

Queen Victoria must have loved this city! I can't see that the Albert Memorial is leaning though but maybe that's cos I was leaning deliberately as I was looking at the pic!

Thanks for such a pictorial and info feast to a really nice city! Take care
x

Tracy said...

WOW...Just loving to see all the variety of Belfast... such great architecture, history and modern progress. I think we'd love it there. ;o) Interestingly Stormont looks a lot like the Royal Castle here in Oslo. This trip has been a feast for us to see to, thanks, Pat :o) Happy Day ((HUGS))

Junie Moon said...

Ireland is wonderful! What a fantastic opportunity for you, Pat, to visit Ireland with your husband. You have the best adventures. My daughter is flying to London today (royal wedding stuff) and then going to Ireland and Scotland. I hope she soaks up as much lore and history as you do.

Gracie said...

Thanks for the nice walk through the city. From which part of Ireland are your family's roots?

Carol said...

Amazing trip, Pat! I love the rich history, but then the modern against the background of the old industrial city. You showed it so well!
How was the food?

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

Now I wish we had gone into Belfast when we were so close, but it was the mid-80's and there was trouble afoot at the time.

Thank you for a beautiful tour!

nanny said...

Amazing shots....
Victoria Square is fantastic....
Thanks for another great tour....

The Gathering Place said...

What a fascinating place! It looks like a fun spot to discover.

Barbara F. said...

I enjoyed my tour this morning Pat. Thanks for the great photos. I am impressed with the Titanic Museum. I could hear the song from James Cameron's movie in my head! Happy Easter to you and your family. xo,

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I always enjoy your posts, Pat. You not only give us fabulous photos --but you explain them, which is what I really enjoy...

Belfast looks like a fabulous place to visit. That mall is EXTREMELY modern, isn't it? Wow!!!! But--I love seeing the old clock and the opera house...

Didn't know the connection between Titanic and Belfast. That is so interesting. Thanks.
Hugs,
Betsy

Oliag said...

Who needs to travel when we have you!! Wonderful photos as usual Pat...I love the view from your hotel room...It is amazing how close that green pasture is!

Carol said...

A fascinating read and I loved all the photographs.

Houseelf said...

Thanks for the tour Pat. It looks like a pretty city -what a shame that the only time we hear of it is when there are problems. It would make a good tourist destination. The closest I've been is Galway and Connemara.

Vee said...

Sweet little grandsons over there in your sidebar...

Wonderful pictures of this city. Those green hills and that slate blue sky are something else. I especialy enjoyed the sculpture
"The Searcher."

I thought of how much my family history is based upon the Titanic's tragic loss so that was all very interesting to see. I've seen the other end of the voyage museums in Halifax, Nova Scotia, hmmm, wonder if they're planning special events for the 100th anniversary.

Did you buy anything in those beautiful shops? I hope so!

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

What an interesting city Pat. You always do such a good job of making me think I'm walking along with you on your trips.
Sam

Regina said...

Wow wonderful place. Thank you for sharing Pat.
Regards.

Donnie said...

You sure do get around girl. Lovely photos.

Theanne and Baron said...

Thanks Pat...another wonderful visit to another interesting place! I'd never seen so many of the sites in Belfast before! Enjoyed my tour!

Yvette said...

Almost as good as being there. You've heard that before, Pat. You know, my brother and his wife went to Ireland a couple of years ago and brought back no photos. They're not the photo-taking type. Very frustrating because they travel a lot. But I have your photos to look forward to and that's just as good if not better. :)

The green of those hills is amazing. I remember when I visited Great Britain years ago (We didn't get to Ireland, unfortunately.) I couldn't get over the green of the countryside. Spectacular. I'll bet it's even greener in Ireland.

Thanks again for all these wonderful photos, Pat.

Claudia said...

I must stop being enchanted by shopping malls. I mean - you took me to Ireland and I am gazing with love - at shopping? Not sure I knew C.S. Lewis was Irish - and being such a fan - well, now I know. The memorials to the Titanic are always so moving. The post is packed with wonders.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

It doesn't matter where you travel, you always have some great photos and interesting tidbits of history and tourism for us. Thanks for the vicarious stroll through Belfast.

Sheila said...

Pat - you've given us a glimpse of a beautiful modern city. It's not what I expected at all. I'm ooking forward to learning more about northern Ireland next time!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Thanks for the tour, Pat. I'm hoping to get to Ireland one day...but if not, I'll just say I've been there on a 'tour by Pat'.

I love those 'hop on-hop off' tours when I visit a new city!

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Pat, Thank you so much for continuing this tour! I love the mix of modern (the lighting) and antique. It is one of the things that I like best about Europe in general...you can often find art in their architecture. Hope you are well...have a Happy Easter.
♥, Susan

merrilymarylee said...

I'm so glad you got to go. I KNEW you'd share! :)

Makes me want to gobble up another Maeve Binchy book. :) I love listening to the audio versions, for the accents.

Proud Italian Cook said...

I must admit that mall looks beautiful and I love the viewing gallery at the top. Thanks for the guided tour, you're so good Pat! Happy Easter, see you soon!

Beth said...

Pat, Thanks for the mini tour of Northern Ireland. Loved seeing Victoria Square and the Titanic mural. I am so glad you shared these photos and look forward to seeing more. Happy Easter!
Beth

Trotter said...

Hi Pat! It looks so different from my 1985 visit... And the weather was surprisingly wonderful: I caught the rainiest winter in my life that summer in Ireland... ;)

Sorry for the absence, but one week off means three weeks busy to recover... Blogtrotter Two is around the canals of Amsterdam... Enjoy and have a wonderful Easter weekend!!

eileeninmd said...

Pat, wonderful photos from Belfast. Thanks for the lovely tour of Ireland. I enjoyed this series of photos.

steviewren said...

Beautiful photos Pat! It looks like the weather was wonderful for you. Thanks for sharing your trip. I'm looking forward to seeing more.

La Petite Gallery said...

Pat if you haven't seen Anything Goes, it is a must see. That Sutton
Foster was fabulous some dancer.She has a great way of getting the songs to the back wall, what a voice. We were lucky and had
Orchestra seats about 5 rows back from stage. It was good to see Joel Grey on stage again. I was so sick Just got out of bed Friday. Enjoy your darling babies.. Happy Easter yvonne

liberal sprinkles said...

Thanks for this fantastic view and history of Belfast. I love the Titanic mural and museum looks like an interesting place to visit when it's done.
Grace