Northern Ireland

 

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Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom in the northeast of the island of ire. It is known for its glacial valleys and mountains, Norman castles, Celtic and Christian monuments and its troubled  history. Its capital city, Belfast, and its scenic coastline have been recently redeveloped and rediscovered as tourist destinations.

Belfast City Hall dominates the city centre with its copper dome, public gardens, and numerous memorial statues.

 

25 stained glass windows in the City Hall chronicle Northern Ireland's history from Celtic myths to industrial and ship-building power to contributions of Irish forces in various wars.

St. Anne's, a protestant cathedral of the Church of Ireland, anchors the cathedral quarter, an area of art galleries, theatres, festivals, music venues and trendy restaurants and nightclubs.

Belfast's Grand Opera House, opened in 1895, is considered one of the best surviving examples in the U.K. of the oriental theatre style. Our lovely hotel was right next door.

Irish pubs (public houses) have been gathering places for centuries, where the community gathers to enjoy a drink, share some music and have good "craic."

The Titanic Quarter is a large-scale redevelopment project comprised of historical maritime landmarks, film studios, an entertainment district and the world's largest Titanic-themed museum.

There are approximately 2000 murals in Northern Ireland depicting some aspect of history, politics or unionism.

    

The Beacon of Hope statue in Thanksgiving Square is a symbol of transformation and regeneration.

    

There are over 100 pieces of new contemporary street art within a short walking distance in central Belfast.

 

The Giant's Causeway is a UNESCO World Heritage site, an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns formed by an ancient volcanic fissure eruption.

 

The dramatic Antrim Coast and Glens, site of the ruins of Dunluce castle and the old Bushmills Distillery, has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge first erected by salmon fishermen in 1755 in Antrim County links the mainland to the tiny island of Carrickarede.

At Downpatrick Cathedral lies the grave of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. The surrounding Down County has a number of early Christian artifacts.

The Guildhall in Londonderry/Derry is an important landmark. It displays artifacts related to Derry's history as a military and industrial power and as the flashpoint for the sectarian violence that erupted after the partition of Ireland.

The quaint streets in Derry's old town are rich for crafters, artists, musicians and foodies, and host one of the biggest Hallowe'en celebrations in Europe.

Derry is the only remaining completely intact walled city in Ireland. The walls feature gates,watchtowers, bastions and cannons, and provide a promenade for viewing the city. 

Throughout the region we observed uniformed students in gender-segregated private and parochial schools.

 

While peaceful today, just over 40 years ago, Northern Ireland was a region in Civil War. Many new structures such as this Peace Bridge attest to the end of "The Troubles."

The striking Hands Across the Divide monument in Ulster symbolizes the spirit of reconciliation and hope for the future. It was unveiled in 1992, 20 years after Bloody Sunday.

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This site was last updated 08/11/19