So, today we visit a renewed & transforming Belfast. A Belfast whose makeover is well underway & whose people are trying hard to put the conflicts of the past behind them.
|H & S Crane, Titanic Quarter, Belfast|
On doing a little research about 'Titanic Belfast', I see it will include "a ‘Titanic Experience' exhibition, an ‘immersive theatre' diving underwater to explore the wreck, a Titanic-themed banqueting suit and a community arts facility for local exhibitions, performances and conferences".
A replica of the grand oak staircase which was on board the ill-fated ship has been built & erected in the centre's banqueting hall. The problem with this is, that the staircase is only open to corporate guests using the banqueting suite & not part of the main tour for visitors, which has been causing a bit of a stir among the die-hard 'Titanoraks' who feel it should be included in the tour. NB: 'Titanoraks' is the new buzz word given to those with a particular fascination for the Titanic disaster.
|Titanic Museum, Belfast|
|Thompson's Dry Dock, Titanic Quarter, Belfast|
|The Pump House, Thompson's Dock, Belfast|
|The deep-water fitting out wharf, Titanic Quarter, Belfast|
|St Anne's Cathedral, Belfast|
|St Anne's Square, Cathedral Quarter, Belfast|
|St Anne's Square, looking through to St Anne's Cathedral, Belfast|
|James Larkin [Irish Trade Union Leader & Socialist Activitist] Sculpture on a wall in Donegall Place, Belfast|
The Quarter also boasts a diverse mix of bars & restaurants. The Duke of York is nestled in one of the Quarter's cobbled streets & one of Belfast's most famous traditional pubs, it's walls & ceiling stuffed to the gills with signs and memorabilia. This wee pub is well worth a visit during the daytime before it fills up with the evening crowd.
|The Merchant Hotel, Waring St, Belfast|
|Bittles Bar, Belfast|
Victoria Square Mall, on top of which has been built a large glass dome, lit at night & visible from many parts of the city. Inside the dome, accessed by a lift, there is a superb viewing platform from which to get great views across Belfast city.
|Viewing Dome of Victoria Square Mall, Belfast|
|Victoria Square Viewing Dome, Belfast|
|Looking down from viewing dome into the Mall, Victoria Square, Belfast|
|The Albert Clock Tower viewed from Victoria Square Dome, Belfast|
Across from the Albert Clock Tower you'll spot the Big Fish on Donegall Quay beside the River Lagan. When you take a closer look you find that each scale on the fish is a printed ceramic mosaic, depicting aspects of Belfast's past - a newspaper cutting, a letter, a photograph, an illustration maybe of a sailing ship or maybe a portrait. What at first sight seems to be an over-sized fish, turns into a complex mosaic, crammed with information waiting to be discovered. Made in 1999 by artist John Kindness, the pictures & text on the tiles are mainly from the Ulster Museum, but some are contributions from Belfast school children.
|Mosaics clearly visible on the Big Fish sculpture, Belfast|
|New Commercial building, Belfast|