Thursday, April 28, 2011

Belfast, Ireland - Markets, Bars and a Cathedral


Congratulations to Prince William and the soon to be Princess Catherine on their marriage today! I wish them much happiness always.  I will be sipping my tea from the James Sadler commemorative mug which I bought on a recent trip to Belfast in Northern Ireland. To see my first posts about this beautiful city click HERE and HERE, or go to the label IRELAND on my blog's right sidebar and click it to see all my prior posts about my visits to the Emerald Isle.


 Belfast has many wonderful shopping venues and one I enjoyed visiting was the Queens Arcade.


There were shops lining both sides of the walkway inside the arcade.  I bought my William and Catherine commemorative mug from a wonderful store called  Little Heart.


Another wonderful shopping venue in Belfast was The King George's Market.  Located on May Street, it is the last surviving Victorian covered market in Belfast. There has been a Friday market on the St. George’s site since 1604. The present St. George’s Market, built 1890-1896, is one of Belfast’s oldest attractions. As well as being home to some of the finest fresh produce, with customers travelling near and far to sample the delights of Friday and Saturday markets, it has become one of the city's most popular places to visit.


My husband and I arrived in Belfast on a Sunday afternoon, and luckily the market was now open for business on Sundays. Our hotel room  was not yet available for check in and the hotel concierge suggested we visit the market while we waited.


There was a wonderful array of goods available for sale, and I wished I had more time to shop!


There were quite a few antique and flea market types stalls in the market and I did manage to chose one goody from this table that I could not resist!  Come back to my blog on Mother's Day on May 8th, and I'll show you the trinket that I bought as a souvenir.


One of the iconic pink and white double decker city buses on the very fashionable shopping area of Donegall Place in the City Centre of Belfast


When we arrived in Belfast we had an incredibly nice taxi driver who was very erudite and friendly and he told us quite a few things we should be sure to see in his city.  One of them was the Crown Bar.


The mosaic tile entrance to the bar.


The Crown Bar is called the most beautiful bar in the world and it is easy to see why once you step inside!

This is its description from it's website:
"Where else would you find a lovely burnished primrose yellow, red and gold ceiling, a floor laid in a myriad of mosaic tiles, brocaded walls ubiquitous highly patterned tiles, vigorous wood carvings throughout, ornate mirrors, wooden columns with Corinthian capitals and feathered motifs in gold?
Painted and etched glass is everywhere you look, vivid in amber and carmine painted shells, fairies, pineapples, fleurs-de-lis and clowns incidentally,the colourful decorative windows fronting the bar were originally intended to shield customers from inquisitive passers-by.

The long Balmoral red granite-topped 'Alter' bar is divided by columns and faced with gaily coloured tiles and a heated foot rest. Look out for the huge casks with their polished brass taps. Save for the inscriptions in English on the Mahogany cabinet behind the bar."

Some more interior shots of the Crown Bar.


Some of the beautiful tiles work on the outside walls of the bar.


While Crown Bar may be the most beautiful bar in Belfast, White's Tavern is the oldest!


Just look at this testimonial above its door! (double click on the photo to enlarge it)

It was not easy to find White's Tavern as it is located in a little alley street, one of many in Belfast.  I walked around for quite awhile until I finally stumbled upon it through the "Winecellar Entry."


This placard on the Winecellar Entry wall describes what the "entries", are, and also the White Tavern location.  I didn't go into the tavern, because my husband was working and I was by myself, but you can see photos of the interior on the tavern's website.  In any event I was determined to see it as I had also visited the oldest pub in Dublin on a prior trip to Ireland, which you can see HERE.


I actually had a good time walking all around Belfast taking photographs of the various pubs, taverns, bars, that I saw! The architecture of many was charming. (double click on the collage to see more detail)


 I also made a point to visit the Belfast Anglican Cathedral of Saint Anne

The Celtic Cross on the exterior of the Belfast Cathedral is the largest Celtic Cross in Ireland.  The three nautical figures called "The Belfast Buoys" are located in a park alongside the cathedral as a tribute to the long maritime history of Belfast.


It was too cloudy the day I visited the cathedral for the interesting large metal spire that passes through the roof of the cathedral to be seen well in my photos, so the photo above is from the cathedral's website. It is called the Spire of Hope.  It is lit at night for all to see.


The interior of the cathedral. Note the lighted section in the roof where the interior point of the Spire of Hope can be seen. The Spire enters the cathedral through this glass platform and standing in the choir visitors can look up the Spire to the heavens.


One of many beautiful stained glass windows inside Belfast Cathedral -- "Blessed are the Peacemakers." 

No visit to Belfast would be complete without learning about the past and present conflict in this city that has been referred to as "The Troubles."  Much reconciliation and healing has occurred in the decades since the worse of the troubles in Belfast, but much is still waiting to be accomplished.  My next blog post will show many photos of the main areas where the conflicts between the Catholics and Protestants in Belfast have taken place and what the current situation is now.

I'm linking this post to "Friday Favorites" event on Sandi's blog The Whistlestop Cafe Cooking and  the "Pink Saturday" event on Beverly's blog "How Sweet the Sound" Thanks for hosting Sandi and Beverly! 

For my Bertolli virtual wine tasting event winner please see my prior post.

Happy weekend to all!


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53 comments:

Oliag said...

You really have me yearning to visit Ireland! I especially would love the Belfast Market! Thanks once again for taking us along on your trip...

Sarah said...

Pat, your photos are so wonderful. Makes me want to hop on a plane to Ireland. Thanks for sharing. ~ Sarah

Lovella ♥ said...

I'm packing my bags and jumping on the plane iwth Oliag and Sarah. So fun.
I love that commemorative mug . ..oh I wish I had one to match the ones I'm posting tomorrow.
OH .and I can never get over how they are allowed to have eggs sitting out across the pond. It would be quite nice to have one less rule on the farm.

Lily Hydrangea said...

interesting post as always Pat!
I would love to check out the market with all of the little treasures. It would be hard not to bring many of them home!
& I love the mosaic tile too.

Ola said...

I would probably spend long long hours on shopping there:)

Tracy said...

Oh, all of this was such a treat to see, Pat! We have got to get ourselves to Ireland, to Belfast... LOL! Raising my cup of tea and scone to you as I tune in to the Royal Wedding... so exciting! Happy Wedding ((HUGS))

RNSANE said...

I am of Irish ancestry and, much to my regret, I have not ever visited Ireland - though I've been to England a dozen times. My job ended before I had the opportunity!
I probably won't get there in this life but it is on my list of places to vist!!

RNSANE said...

My Alphabe Thursday is at:

http://rnsane.blogspot.com/2011/04/alphabe-thursday-b-is-for-beautiful.html

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

No matter where you go you do such a wonderful job with photos and interesting facts. I love the mosaic tile in the gorgeous bar.

Mary said...

Oh Pat~ I need to catch up with you! It looks like a wonderful trip~ your posts are so informative & photos always so amazing! I love how elaborately decorative the Crown Bar is~ Beautiful!

pam said...

I love all the architecture you captured. That market looked fun. I especially liked the photo of the old suitcases. I'm not always into antiques...but that would be fun to have a stack of old bags. I never popped over there while in Europe but my parents have always loved it...maybe some day. Hope your weekend is wonderful Pat!

La said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful trip. You always find the most incredible places to visit.

Have a great weekend!

Gracie said...

Thanks once more for the stunning photos Pat! Those old markets look very much like the Covent Garden Market in London, and I see you had a Guinness, my favourite beer in the world! You made me sick again, I want so badly to go back to Ireland....

Barbara F. said...

Wonderful tour this morning, Pat. Photos are incredible. I like the photo of the "buoys". xo,

Barbara F. said...

I checked prior post but didn't see the winner?

LDH said...

Your Belfast photos are a great way to experience the excitement of your visit.

I was up at 4am and watched all of the Royal Wedding. So lovely :)

Vee said...

Love that stained glass window..."Blessed are the Peacemakers." Your commemorative mug is terrific. A great souvenir to have at this point in history. I never would've thought that I'd like a trip to Belfast, but I think that I really would. It looks like such an interesting and clean city. I like clean cities. ☺

Lucy (aka rharper) said...

Oh man! I wish I was there. So beautiful. What the heck. I'll move there. I'd love that. Any single Irish 60ish guys over there you've run into?

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Your photos are all fabulous! This is a friday's favorite for sure :-)

ARLENE said...

Though I didn't get to Belfast, my trip to Ireland was a wonderful experience. You've made me want to return to see what I missed. Love the mug, BTW.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Pat, I love love love seeing your photos and history from Ireland.. I'm so glad that you give us more information when showing pictures. So many bloggers just show a picture with no explanation.

Love that Cathedral... There's nothing better when we visit cities and countries than seeing all of the gorgeous churches. Thanks for sharing.

I didn't wake up to see the wedding today--but have seen some of it on TV this morning. I LOVE Kate's dress... Just gorgeous...

Have a great weekend.
Hugs,
Betsy

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

You covered a lot of territory here today, Pat! From cathedrals to flea markets, it is all most interesting. And you found the most timely souvenir to bring back!

I've just watched wedding highlights so far...but have the whole thing recorded to watch at my will.

Claudia said...

I am imagining a trip through St. George's Market - what beautiful bounty to be had! The pub photos are stunning - I would have gone in! What's a pint between friends? Love the commemorative mug - I still have one of Charles and Di. I wish the young royals every bit of happiness they can find!

Kathleen said...

Ah.. but she isn't going to be a Princess! Apparently. as she is a commoner, she will be Duchess until the Queen Mum decides she is Princess worthy. That according to the news report.
Fabulous pics as always!

Donnie said...

So much eye candy. I love traveling with you since you take us to really interesting places. I wish the new couple a wonderful life.

Lisa@GrandmasBriefs said...

Fun to visit Ireland vicariously through you. The Crown would top my list, as would the stunning cathedral. One of my former volunteer tutors fled Ireland about 15 years ago after being fed up with "the troubles." As a young woman in her early 20s, she simply packed her bags, hopped a plane, and didn't tell her mother she was gone until she called her from the US. She'd just plain had enough of worrying about her future and watching young men around her die, she said. An interesting place. Such beauty, such unrest.

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

I loved the market, what fun that must have been and the Crown Bar, and Whites Tavern, I hope you had a pint in each!

Your photos are just beautiful. I enjoyed my trip today!

Ginny said...

Wow, what amazing photos1 It's kind of funny that you paired churches with pubs! What a difference between those two bars! I love the cathedral interior! Now I can't wait till Mother's Day!

Elizabeth said...

What a wonderful trip!
Of course, I LOVED the mug!

H said...

I would love to visit the market. It looks to be one of those fascinating places which capture the imagination.

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

I would love to go there some day!

Trotter said...

Hi Pat! Finally some time to stop by... Wow!! The pictures are gorgeous, but what I envy is that sky... When I was in Ireland it was pouring a whole week long... ;)

Blogtrotter Two is still strolling in Amsterdam... Enjoy and have a superb weekend!!

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

Pat -- you keep forgetting to come get me before you venture off!!

You would be the best friend to travel with!

Thanks for taking us with you and yes, like you I am wishing the young prince and princess the best as they start their married life together.

Hugs!!
Claudia

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Another wonderful guided tour. Great photos! What a beautiful cathedral and I love your mug :)

Annie said...

Beautiful as always. I so enjoy these tours. Thank you.

Jeanne said...

Hi Pat, thank you for your visit and comment. I am also catching up from my trip to California for my friend's wedding. I know visiting your grand sons was a very special time. The new little one is darling I am sure. There is nothing like holding a baby in your arms. Especially when he is your grandson.

Your post about Ireland really has my attention. we have decided to travel to Ireland, England and Scotland for our 50th anniversary in two years. Your post is so full of detail and I intend to really study and research where we want to go. We will be gone for three weeks.

I am looking forward to your Mother's Day post now. I am sure it must be something very special. I know I will love the markets too.

Have a wonderful weekend.
Hugs, Jeanne

Carol said...

What a beautiful bar! I love the whole city, what a tour you've given us! That market looks fabulous.

Jeni said...

What beautiful photo's. for some reason "Belfast, Ireland" has been crossing my path lately. I wonder if it means I'll be visiting in the near future. Wouldn't that be lovely? Seeing your pictures gives me some glimpses...thank you!

Ms. Burrito said...

So pretty!

Would you please come and see my PINK, thank you!

Annesphamily said...

I would love to visit Ireland! was it your first trip? My daughter has a good friend who was born in New Jersey along with her husband but raised int heir homeland of Ireland! They are the neatest people. I love visiting them. Pat your pictures are always so gorgeous and professional. I love stopping by. Hugs Anne

Sheila said...

Pat, the information you share makes all of us who have dreams of traveling open our planning journals and add yet another place to our list. I would have enjoyed looking at all the antique treasures in the market and am curious to see what you bought. I love those mugs - you will enjoy having a souvenir of this very special royal wedding. Thanks for your comments on my blog.

Jacqueline said...

Now I feel like I have been to Ireland! What a beautiful trip you took me on. The shopping looked fantastic and the mosaic floor in the Crown Bar is just gorgeous. What beauty and it looks like you had gorgeous weather too. How fun to have the commemorative mug. I watched and really enjoyed it. I am exhausted tonight though!

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Happy Pink Saturday Pat Sweetie...
What a gorgeous visit to Ireland. DH has always wanted to go, and I think you have just really encouraged me to start saving a little harder for this trip to happen. It is breathtakingly beautiful.

I would have loved that market, and what fun are those double decker pink buses? You could see alot up high I would think.

Loved the cathedral, how beautiful the stain glass windows are. I also loved the buoys outside. That is quite interesting.

Many thanks for taking me along. I love your commemorative mug as well.

Many hugs and much love, Sherry

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

It was a truly wonderful day yesterday and I felt proud to be British. Today I been amazed by the number of bloggers from all around the world who have paid tribute in some way to the Royal Wedding. Thanks for the virtual tour today of part of your trip.

Susie Jefferson said...

Looks like you're having the most fabulous time. I've never visited, but I definitely want to, having seen all your wonderful pix! Happy PS from the UK, and thanks so much for visiting.

Carmine Volpe said...

Nice pics, thank you

Old Kitty said...

Oh Patsy!!!! What a place!! The market looks amazing - such a history! Oh but I do like these pubs!! The Crown Bar looks much to opulent for a pub and I could really see myself drinking there!! What a fantastic interior - bet it gets packed though! The oldest pub is fabulous - I particularly like the last sentence of the plaque "all who walk within can find the spirit which breahted of the past"!

The Cathedral is beautiful! Thanks for these vivid pics of a stunning city! Take care
x

Sue said...

Pat, The Belfast Cathedral is truly beautiful! I love that celtic cross. And that market puts anything here in this area to pure shame! Looking forward to seeing your purchase from there. Enjoy the weekend- hope the weather cooperates and is spring-like.
xo Sue

Cottage Touch said...

Happy Pink Saturday THANK YOU FOR THE TOUR..

Houseelf said...

What a lovely tour Pat. The Queen's Arcade is a lot like Oxford's Covered Market with its permanent Victorian shops in narrow rows.

Love Victorian majolica tiles!

Beautiful stained glass window too.

Ⓙ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

as always, love the photos, Pat! My favorites were the mosaic floor and the stained glass window.

Yvette said...

That Belfast Market looks like heaven to me, Pat. I LOVE flea markets and antique shows and the like. I've been collecting odds and ends for years. I would have had to buy another suitcase to bring home all my newly acquired treasure. Ha!

What a gorgeous place and how fortunate you were to be able to visit Ireland. After lookiing at and reading your posts, I feel as if I visited as well. Thank you.

⚜ ↁℯℬℬᴵℰ⚜ said...

I am in awww of your Ireland pictures. My Grandmother went there and I recall her saying it was the trip of her lifetime. Of course we have the pictures but they are all those small polaroids.