Douglas has been the capital and principal port and ferry terminal of the island since 1869, the island itself having become a Crown possession in 1828. It lies at the mouths of the Dhoo and Glass Rivers, hence its name. About a third of the islanders live in Douglas, which originally developed around smuggling, but today has light industry, tourism, and is the seat of the island's parliament, the Tynwald and House of Keys (the oldest parliament in the world). Many tourists visit the Isle of Man for its interesting features, such as its own unique currency and the famous tailless Manx cats. Douglas boasts Castle Mona (1804), and the Tower of Refuge (1832), as well as the impressive Manx Electric Railway (1893) and Douglas horse-drawn trams (1876), both of which are still in service.
Located along the Irish Sea, the Isle of Man lies half way between England and Northern Ireland, and its wooded hills and jagged coastline offer some of the country's most spectacular scenery. The island was once occupied by the Celts, who left behind Iron Age forts and huts. Though the Romans never settled here, it is believed that Celtic Christianity was introduced by St. Patrick and flourished from the fifth century to the end of the eighth century when the Vikings conquered the island.On the island you can also visit the Calf of Man bird sanctuary, and Castle Rushen at Castletown, the former capital of this island of cliffs and moorlands.
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