The ancient city of Belfast lies inset in the rugged coast of Northern Ireland where the River Lagan flows to the sea. In fact, the name itself reflects this position for it is a translation meaning "Sandbank Fjord." Offshore the North Channel, separates the Irish coast from Scotland by less than 40 miles. And inland from this legendary city lie the green lands of Ulster Province.
Historians tell us this capital of Northern Ireland saw its earliest settlement in the early Middle Ages. At that time, a substantial stone fortress punctuated the horizon. As history unfolded, Irish and English soldiers clashed on the cobblestone streets of Belfast. Much later, the French Huguenots arrived. They not only brought weapons with them but the knowledge of "advanced" technology. During the 17th Century, these French Protestants introduced the manufacture of fine linens. This, along with shipbuilding, literally put Belfast on the world map
Nearly one-third of the country's population lives here, some 400,000 in fact. They enjoy Belfast's unique setting. It lies at the base of green carpeted hills that seem to literally hug the city streets. Residents enjoy performances at the Grand Opera House, shop along trendy Donegall Place, and visit pubs lining The Golden Mile. Sights include Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Queen's University, Mount Stewart House and Gardens and the Giants Causeway.
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