The Beech Hill Guide to Belfast
Belfast is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland,
it is also home to over half the population of the country.
Belfast was first settled in the Bronze Age and was named 'Beal Feirste'
the old Irish term for 'the crossing at the mouth of the Farset' and
1000 years ago there was a chapel near to where St George's Church now
stands on High Street, where travellers could pray for a safe crossing
of the perilous sandy ford.
By the 17 century Belfast was a busy trading port catering to the cotton
and linen industries and many fine buildings such as The City Hall,
Custom House and Harbour Office were built to reflect the towns newfound
wealth and prosperity. The City Hall was completed in 1906 to commemorate
Queen Victoria granting city status to Belfast in 1888.
Seeing the sights in Belfast is easy as it is divided into 4 cultural
quarters - Queens, Cathedral, Titanic and Gaeltracht ; Belfast's history
comes alive in which ever direction you choose to go, you can easily
navigate your way from one side of the City to the other, covering all
the major sights on foot.
The Cathedral Quarter takes its name from St. Anne's Cathedral and is
packed full of fascinating architecture ranging from The Custom House
to cosy pubs and trendy restaurants. Take one of the informative walking
tours around this historic district. A piece of stone from each of Ireland's
32 counties was used in the construction of St. Anne's Cathedral.
Queens Quarter is named after The Queen's University of Belfast which
takes centre stage, it is richly endowed with architecture, shopping
opportunities and has a vibrant nightlife. You should also visit The
Ulster Museum which is one of Northern Ireland's most important cultural
institutions and The Botanic Gardens which feature a Victorian Palmhouse
and Tropical Ravine.
Titanic Quarter takes its name from RMS Titanic which was built in Belfast
and features a tour which takes in Thompson Dock and Pump House where
the celebrated Titanic had its final fit out. The Titanic Signature
Project will be a worldclass visitor attraction on its completion in
2012, the centenary of the Titanic's maiden voyage.
Gaeltracht Quarter encompasses the West of the city and although the
two communities; the Unionist/Protestant in the Shankhill and the Nationalist/Catholic
in the Falls; have traditions which differ in some very significant
respects they also have a very much shared history. In the late 19th
century thousands of people moved into Belfast from the countryside
in the face of the potato blights of 1845-1847. Similar working traditions
were shared by both communities as they worked in the linen mills, unfortunantly
of the origional 32 linen mills none exist today. Photograph the world
famous murals and take a Political History Tour around this district.
For those interested in researching their family and local history Northern
Ireland's Public Record Office in Belfast holds the most extensive range
of private archives in the country, with records dating from the 17th
century to the present day.
To help you plan your visit and find out about everything from how to
get around the City to the many tours on offer get in touch with The
Belfast Welcome Centre email: firstname.lastname@example.org,
call: 028 9024 6609 or Web: gotobelfast.com
This information is complied by and copyrighted
to Beech Hill Country House. It may not be reproduced in any form without
written permission other than to print and use for personal use whilst
visiting Northern Ireland .