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Sunday, 17 June 2012

Belfast

The name Belfast is derived from the Irish Béal Feirsde. The word béal means "mouth" or "rivermouth" while feirsde is the genitive singular of fearsaid and refers to a sandbar or tidal ford across a river's mouth. The name would thus translate literally as "(river)mouth of the sandbar."

The site of Belfast has been occupied since the Bronze Age. The remains of Iron Age hill forts can still be seen in the surrounding hills.

Belfast became a substantial settlement in the 17th century after being established as a town by Sir Arthur Chichester. It was initially settled by Protestant English and Scottish migrants at the time of the Plantation of Ulster.


Belfast


John Dunlop was a flourishing veterinary surgeon near Belfast, when in 1888 he obtained patents on a pneumatic tyre (invented in 1845 by Robert William Thomson) for bicycles. His company, formed in 1889, became known as the Dunlop Rubber Co in 1900.


From 1905 aged 6 to 1918 CS Lewis lived at Little Lea, a 3-storey house with an acre & half of garden on the outskirts of Belfast, which cost £800 in 1904. A hand carved wardrobe in one of the upstairs rooms became the inspiration for The Lion the Witch & The Wardrobe.

The Harland and Wolff shipbuilding firm was created in 1861 in Belfast. By the time the Titanic was built there in 1912, it had become the largest shipyard in the world.

Belfast has been the capital of Northern Ireland since its establishment in 1921 following the Government of Ireland Act 1920.

Belfast saw the worst of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, with nearly half of the total deaths in the conflict occurring in the city. The highest death toll from a single incident during the conflict was on December 4, 1971 when the Ulster Volunteer Force bombed the Catholic-owned McGurk’s Bar in Belfast killing 15 civilians and wounding 17. 




The interactive museum Titanic Belfast opened in 2012, the 100th anniversary of the sinking, it has nine galleries and features full-scale reconstructions and special effects. Four years later, it was crowned Best Tourist Attraction at a ceremony for the World Travel Awards in the Maldives. 

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