Belfast City Hall, where these young women are sitting under the statue of Queen Victoria, was built in 1906. The queen awarded Belfast city status in 1888, and the new city hall was built to reflect this major change in status.
Belfast – Been There

Northern Ireland’s amazing legacy of inventions

Photo by Jurjen Drenth

Belfast – Been There Northern Ireland’s amazing legacy of inventions

Belfast's University area and the booming Cathedral Quarter both show the city's energy, while the City Hall, opened in 1906, is a solid testimony to the ambition of the city fathers in other times.

Kieran Meeke
Kieran Meeke Travel Writer

In the City Hall grounds is a monument to Edward Harland who with his partner Gustav Wolff built the great shipyards where RMS Titanic was launched.

“There never was a more unlikely place to build a shipyard,” says historian Ken McElroy. “We had very little raw material – the steel had to be imported from Scotland – but we had a great Presbyterian spirit. It was a very radical place and the Presbyterians were also into education – we have one of the oldest libraries in Ireland. Presbyterians always had this work ethic.

“Dunlop invented the rubber tire here, Ferguson invented the tractor, the ejector seat by Martin, the world's first vertical take-off aircraft, the mobile defibrillator and many more. For a tiny provincial city, those are amazing inventions.

“That spirit has always flowed through the veins of Belfast. Many would say that spirit started in Edinburgh, with people like Adam Smith, passes through here and then pushes off to America.”

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Although enjoying a sheltered position on a major sea lough, Belfast harbor did not develop until major dredging operations in the mid-1800s. During World War II, the port became the home base for Royal Navy ships escorting Atlantic and Russian convoys. Photo by Ton Koene

Ton Koene

Ton Koene

Canon EOS 5D-III

Aperture
ƒ/18
Exposure
1/320
ISO
200
Focal
70 mm

Although enjoying a sheltered position on a major sea lough, Belfast harbor did not develop until major dredging operations in the mid-1800s. During World War II, the port became the home base for Royal Navy ships escorting Atlantic and Russian convoys.

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