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The City Hall dominates the city's skyline from every angle. The building's remarkable interior contains a marble grand staircase crowned by a domed ceiling of intricate plasterwork. The Grand Staircase is lit by seven stained glass windows and the Grand Hall is also adorned with several stained-glass portraits of British sovereigns, rescued from bombing during the Second World War. Guided tours of the building and grounds are available all year round; each tour lasts approximately one hour.
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.
Located a bit further from the city center in the 'sailor-town' area of Belfast in an old mill, the Golden Thread Gallery has given a boost to the visual arts scene since 1999. Although there is no permanent collection as such, this spells good news for emerging artists who now have a chance to feature in their well-received ongoing exhibitions. Check website for a list of upcoming events.
See the birthplace of Titanic from the water to really understand the whole story. This unique tour lets you experience first hand the sights and sounds of the bustling 19th-century port. Belfast Harbor has always been a romantic and mysterious place, oozing with tales from far-flung places and boasting a rich, dynamic history. Expert commentary, illustrated by photographs of the bygone shipyard, helps to illuminate the excitement and grandeur of those halcyon days when Belfast was truly the toast of the shipbuilding industry. The tour also takes in the historic Harland and Wolff shipyard and all the other landmark Titanic sites dotted throughout the harbor. The tour departs from the Number two jetty in front of the Royal Mail building beyond the sculpture of the “big fish”. The duration of the tour is 70 minutes. Call ahead to know more.
W5 refers to "who, what, where, when and why," and is the name of this latest museum to open in the city. Meant for kids, this is the place to bring them on a rainy day. Have a go at playing a laser harp, building a robot, defying the lie detector or just try hanging out in the wind tunnel. You will find W5 inside the Odyssey, Belfast's millennium landmark project and the latest architectural addition to the spectacular waterfront skyline.
Nestled in a corner of the iconic Botanic Gardens, the Ulster Museum is one of Belfast's most prestigious establishments with a spectacular collection art, ethnography and archaeology sourced from all across the globe. Formally established in the year 1929, this elegant four-story structure is located within walking distance of Queen's University's plush campus. The main highlights of the museum include riches recovered from the wreck of a Spanish Armada ship salvaged off the Giant's Causeway. Its top-floor gallery displays a series of exquisite British and Irish artwork.
Titanic, the British liner has remained ever popular through literature, movies, exhibits and folk songs. Considered to be the biggest experience relating to the Titanic in the globe, Titanic Belfast showcases the complete story of this passenger line - right from its inception to its unfortunate sinking through stunning, interactive displays, including artifacts such as the launch day tickets and last luncheon menu. Set on the former shipbuilding site where the Titanic and Olympic were built, Titanic Belfast is among the city's most prominent landmarks. Resembling an iceberg and hulls of a ship, this striking architectural masterpiece is encased in 3000 contrasting shaped aluminum plated sheets in intricate geometrical patterns. It is not only an ode to RMS Titanic but also to the city's maritime heritage. The historic slipways feature life-size frameworks of the Titanic and Olympic while its plaza is outlined with a map of its journey with LED lights and tiles.
Set on the wooded slopes of the dramatic Cave Hill is the 19th-century edifice of Belfast Castle. The castle was built in 1870 and was previously home to the Earl of Shaftesbury. Within the castle are two rather expensive restaurants and also a small heritage center offering an insight into the area's history. The castle and its spectacular grounds afford beautiful views of the whole city and across Belfast Lough. If visitors feel like venturing beyond the grounds, there are walks that lead up to the foot of Napoleon's Nose and to the caves that gave the Cave Hill its name.
An attractive rolling parkland, Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park's crowning glory is its International Rose Garden. It's a treat for the senses with the scents and riotous colors of over 300,000 blooms. Come for the famous rose trials held here during Rose Week every summer. Set out in a series of circular gardens, each garden has a different theme and is decorated with striped tents. The park also provides an ideal starting point for exploring the Lagan Valley Regional Park. Though the park opens at 7.30a, the closing time varies seasonally, please visit the website for complete schedule.
Ward Park in Bangor is a place that has many activities for all. For the sports fanatics there is a 18 hole putting green and also the Ward Park Tennis Club. Thriving with music, there are local concerts too held here. Beautiful birds skirt around the lakes and on small islands of the park. Lush green expanse with colorful flowers and birds, do make a pretty sight for spending some quality time.