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Belfast City Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland

March 29th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 
 

Belfast City Hall is the civic building of the Belfast City Council. Located in Donegall Square, it faces north and effectively divides the commercial and business areas of the city centre.

Plans for the City Hall began in 1888 when Belfast was awarded city status by Queen Victoria. This was in recognition of Belfast's rapid expansion and thriving linen, rope-making, shipbuilding and engineering industries. During this period Belfast briefly overtook Dublin as the most populous city on the island of Ireland.

Construction began in 1898 under the supervision of architect Sir Alfred Brumwell Thomas and was completed in 1906 at a cost of £369,000. Local firms H&J Martin and WH Stephens were among the companies involved in construction.

The city hall in Durban, South Africa is almost an exact replica of Belfast's City Hall. It was built in 1910 and designed by Stanley G. Hudson, who was inspired by the Belfast design.

On August 1, 2006 the city hall celebrated its centenary with a "Century Of Memories" exhibition and family picnic day.

The gardens surrounding the City Hall are a popular with office workers taking their lunch in the summer months, as well as tourists and teenagers gathering in their dozens to enjoy the green.

Various statues stand in the grounds, including one of Queen Victoria by Sir Thomas Brock. There is also a granite column dedicated to the American Expeditionary Force, many of whom were based in Belfast prior to D-Day.

The most notable feature of the grounds is Brock's marble figure Thane, in memorial to the victims of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. The ship was built in Harland and Wolff's shipyard located in the east of the city. The monument was originally located at the front gate of City Hall, at the junction of Donegall Square North and Donegall Place.

The grounds also house Northern Ireland's main war memorial, The Garden of Remembrance and cenotaph, at which wreathes are laid on Remembrance Day.

On January 3, 2006 Belfast City Councillors ratified a plan to erect a statue to the late Belfast footballer George Best in the grounds of the City Hall. Following approval from the Best family, a final decision on the memorial is due to be made in 2006.

[Source: Wikipedia]

Send by: Jeronimo

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