Belfast the past and the present

Belfast Past and Present.

Belfast is the capital city of Northern Ireland and has history that dates back to both the Stone Age and the Bronze Age. Ancient history surrounds the city as well as being a new upcoming city in terms of city breaks, bars and restaurant tourism. The buzzing city wraps around the majestic city hall that towers over the entire city. It is a great stop on any tour if you have a curiosity for culture, a hankering for history or a thirst for the Northern Ireland experience.

Belfast’s history has changed from what it is today and so a brief history lesson is needed here. From 1641-49 and 1688-90 two major Catholic risings are put down, first by English Protestant revolutionary Oliver Cromwell, then the Dutch King William lll of Orange. The fledgling Protestant plantation is secured and Ireland becomes firmly British. In the 18th century Belfast is one of the largest suppliers of linen in Ireland and in the 19th century Belfast experiences a ‘golden age’ under Queen Victoria. From then on through the 19th century was the century of change in the country. In 1912 The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) is formed and Unionists sign the Ulster Covenant, pledging to militarily fight Home Rule. In 1914-1918 The UVF, and most of the Irish Volunteers, joins up to fight for Britain – both hoping to gain support for their causes. In 1916 Ulster Divisions suffer heavy causalities at the Battle of the Somme.

William of Orange, Belfast

Then, following the 1919-21 Irish War of Independence, six of Ireland’s 32 counties remain British and the state – or Province – is named Northern Ireland. Belfast becomes its capital city and the Unionist-controlled government oversees direct rule from the purpose-built Stormont. And so we saw Ireland divided and Belfast way up top of the county with the rest of Northern Ireland. The troubles were a very dark time in Irish history and thankfully we are over this stage, Brexit might cause some issues…but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it!

This city holds a population of 267,500 and is mouth of the Lagan. It holds some the best pubs, restaurants, shopping, accommodation and nightlife in Northern Ireland! The streets are lined with interesting shops to pop into and the friendly faces of the locals are a delightful addition to this little city’s atmosphere. Whether your only there for an hour or there for a week you won’t be disappointed with what you see and experience.

Some of the most popular attractions in Belfast include the Crumlin road goal you can take a guided tour of the prison and hear about the history of the site from when women and children were held within its walls through to the political segregation of republican and loyalist prisoners and learn about why the decision was taken to close the prison.


There is also the Titanic museum. This museum tells us all about the titanic, its maiden voyage and the tragedy that took place. There are exhibitions that show how the boat worked and the ins and outs of all to do with the titanic and its story.

Another popular attraction to enjoy when you visit Belfast is St. George’s market which is one of Belfast’s oldest attractions. It was built between 1890 and 1896 and is one of the best markets in the UK and Ireland. It has been selected for numerous local and national titles and awards for its fresh, local produce and great atmosphere. It holds a weekly Friday Variety Market, the City Food and Craft Market on Saturdays and the Sunday Market. It also hosts a range of events throughout the year.

City hall is well worth a visit as its magnificent architecture and deep historical value is a site to see. In 1888 Queen Victoria granted Belfast the status of the city and it was agreed that a grand and magnificent building was required to reflect this new status, so it is very spectacular!

Belfast city tour - Giants Causeway day trip from Dublin

As well as bars, restaurants and trendy shops to browse at your leisure Belfast has so many interesting attractions and is such a memorable city to visit any time of the year and for any length of time! Well worth a visit for all. If you wish to book a tour up to Belfast today we have the right one for you. Irish day tours have a fascinating 1 day tour up to Belfast city and the Titanic experience which showcases the city and its great attractions. 

Posted in Blog