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You'll spot the Neo-Romanesque facade of this cathedral long before you step up to the door. Inside you'll find lots of splendid marble and some impressively enormous mosaics. Lord Carson, leader of the campaign against Home Rule, is buried here. St Anne's Book of Common Prayer, written on cigarette papers in a Japanese prisoner of war camp, serves as a poignant reminder of human suffering. Some marvelous classical concerts are held here, and evensong on a Sunday afternoon is a beautiful musical experience, if nothing else. In recent years, the cathedral has been at the forefront of cross-community initiatives in Northern Ireland. People from any denomination, or none, are welcome to attend their weekly 'heal our land' services and to take communion here. It is open through the day for visitors.
The beautiful Sinclair Seamen's Church is one of the most famous places of worship in the city. Belfast has a great seafaring tradition and this church has become a museum/shrine to all things maritime. It was built to meet the spiritual needs of sailors coming into the port, a noble, if somewhat optimistic aim. Designed by Charles Lanyon (the architect behind Queen's University), the pulpit is the front part of a ship and navigation lights and the ship's bell are both integral features of the church's design.
An exemplary structure, the Clonard Monastery was designed in 1897 and follows the Gothic-style of architecture. Clonard Monastery was established by the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, also known as the Redemptorists. An interesting feature of this religious structure is that it is not a parish and hence it does not conduct services like weddings and funerals. The grounds, however, are often used to organize festivals and large-scale religious events. For more details, check website or call ahead.
The Holywood Priory, or as the locals reverently call it, the Old Priory, is located at the corner of the Bangor Road, a few minutes walk from the Holywood train station. These magnificent ruins trace their history back to 12th Century (some would debate it to be 7th Century), when a certain Mr. Thomas Whyte built an Augustinian abbey here; much of these ruins are still present at the site. Amidst the ruins is a clock tower that was built in 1800s to mark the parish church of Holywood and an old graveyard where many celebrated Irishmen have been interred. Today the rustic remains of the Old Priory function as a dignified symbol of Ireland's glorious heritage.