Sunday, February 18, 2024

Derry, Northern Ireland


Our bus tour of Ireland left Galway, and headed towards a stop in Northern Ireland, called Derry, officially Londonderry.  It is the largest city in County Londonderry, the second-largest in Northern Ireland, and the fifth-largest on the island of Ireland. The old walled city lies on the west bank of the River Foyle, which is spanned by two road bridges and one footbridge. The city now covers both banks.

Derry is the only remaining completely intact walled city in Ireland and one of the finest examples of a walled city in Europe. The walls constitute the largest monument in State care in Northern Ireland and, as part of the last walled city to be built in Europe, stand as the most complete and spectacular. The Walls were built in 1613–1619 by The Honourable The Irish Society as defenses for early 17th-century settlers from England and Scotland. The Walls, which are approximately one mile (1.5 kilometers) in circumference and vary in height and width between 12 and 35 feet (3.7 and 10.7 meters), are completely intact and form a walkway around the inner city.

It was a beautiful autumn day in late October as we drove into the city of Derry on our tour bus and we soon passed some of the building murals about the Irish Troubles--political and nationalistic conflicts that occurred between 1960 and 1998 in parts of Northern Ireland. More about the murals later in this post.

Our tour bus parked at the historic Guildhall building, in which the elected members of Derry City and Strabane District Council meet. 

During the visit, we were able to use the bathrooms inside and browse the exhibits on display. The building's stained glass windows were beautiful!

Please click on the photo to enlarge it to see more detail.

I was particularly impressed with a quilt that was hanging on the wall.

We had a few hours of free time to walk around on our own, so my husband and I headed over to the Bogside neighborhood of Derry to see some of the murals we passed on our way into the city. 

Please click twice on the photo collage above to enlarge it to full size to see more detail about the neighborhood where the majority of the murals are located 

The Bloody Sunday Memorial.

Bloody Sunday, demonstration in Londonderry (Derry), Northern Ireland, on Sunday, January 30, 1972, by Roman Catholic civil rights supporters that turned violent when British paratroopers opened fire, killing 13 and injuring 14 others (one of the injured later died).

Please click on the photo above to read the placards in front of the Bloody Sunday Memorial to read more about what happened that sad day.

On a prior visit to Northern Ireland in 2011 I took a "Troubles" bus tour of Belfast --the capital of  Northern Ireland --click here-- to read that blog post, and I was even more impressed with the amount of murals about the Troubles in Derry.  Belfast and Derry contain arguably the most famous political murals in Europe  It is believed that almost 2,000 murals have been documented since the 1970s.

Civil rights leaders around the world were also depicted on some of the murals.

This touching mural, called "The Death of Innocence,"  is of a 14-year-old student, Annette McGavigan, who was the 100th victim of the Troubles in Derry.

We also passed this colorful mural of a dove of peace. 

Derry--Londonderry has officially been declared a United Nations (UN) International City of Peace. The accolade was awarded in recognition of the city and district's transition to peace over the years following Northern Ireland's Troubles.


I'll admit when we were back on the tour bus again and passing bright green fields full of grazing cows I breathed a sigh of relief and felt far removed from the reminders of the sad times Ireland has faced in its history. I wish and pray that the entire world could also solve its continued "Troubles" of war, hatred, and prejudice, and work towards peace for all.

We were now headed for Belfast, Northern Ireland, where we were staying the night and then later the next day taking a ferry to Scotland--see my next post.


eileeninmd said...

Wonderful photos of your visit and tour of Derry.
The murals and memorial are a reminder of the violent and sad times in Ireland.
Beautiful building and stained glass windows.
The countryside is beautiful and a peaceful sight.
Take care, enjoy your day and have a great week!

Rajani Rehana said...

Beautiful blog

ellen b. said...

Your tour really covered a lot. Such a small country with so much to see and learn from.

stevebethere said...

What a fab post amazing pics and info too what a trip 👍

Have a Derrytastic week 👍

Joanne said...

That is one prayer I am sure we all wish would get answered! I think that is so neat that the walls are still intact.

diane b said...

So good to see that they live in peace now. Lovely photos and story of your amazing travels.

Jeanie said...

I think I would love this spot. I know that friends who returned from Ireland said Derry was one of their most interesting and favorites, lovely and full of history. That church looks gorgeous and the stained glass windows are so remarkable. I'm not sure I've seen any like that. I'm very interested in the Troubles and would find that part fascinating, too. This sounds like the trip of a lifetime.

NCSue said...

Beautiful photos, each and every one! I love the stained glass.
Thanks for sharing at

Lillian "sognafaret" said...

I love street art. It is to few in my town

EricaSta said...

We traveled Ireland from west to east and vice versa. However, we deliberately skipped the British part. We were sailing on the Europa Canal when a person on the edge of the English section poured a bucket of water onto our motorboat from the bridge. We were shocked and embarrassed. We ended up anchoring a little further on the lake district and were flown around several times by military helicopters...

Thanks for sharing with MosaicMonday I'm very happy about it again.

I wish you and your family a pleasant week, hugs

Jim said...

Terrific shots.

Kristie from Love My Little Cottage said...

Your Post is being featured on the Home Matters Link Party! Drop in if you give a chance.

Spare Parts and Pics said...

What an incredible history... both good and bad. Love those stained glass windows!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

What a sobering and beautiful place. Hard to think of a teenage girl killed by a soldier.

Maria said...

Beautiful photos and such an incredible history. The murals are stunning and I imagine they are much beautiful in person. It's so nice to travel the world with you! Thank you so much for sharing it with us at this week's SSPS.
xx - Maria @ Krafty Planner

Photo Cache said...

Extremely fascinated by walled cities.

Visiting from Skywatch Friday group.

Worth a Thousand Words

Esme Slabbert said...

Absolutely stunning Guildhall building. WOW
Thanks so much for participating and sharing at #15 InLinkz #WordlessWednesday (Words also welcome). See you again next week!

Lowcarb team member said...

Lovely to see the Autumnal colours in your photographs.
Those stained glass windows are amazing.

All the best Jan

eileeninmd said...

Hello Pat,
Great post on your visit to Derry. The history of the troubles is well known, especially Bloody Sunday. I hope they continue to live in peace.
The street art/murals are wonderful and I love the sculpture in the first mosaic. Peace dove mural is beautiful. I love seeing the green field and the critters. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a great day and happy new week. PS, thank you for leaving me a comment.

Tom said...

...Pat, thanks for taking me along to see the sights, I particularly enjoyed the murals. Take care and have a good week.

Veronica Lee said...

Your Derry photos are stunning, Pat!
Love the church and its intricate stained glass windows.

Hugs and blessings

Rambling Woods said...

There were a lot of sad times and heroic people....Michelle

Jeanne said...

Great post! I loved the TV series "Derry Girls", it made me click on your post...

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Such a good post and as always you are such a good tour guide. It is really hard to view reminders of such sad times, but it is so important to keep them out where people will not forget. I join in your prayer.