Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland. Its name originates from the Irish Béal Feirste, or the mouth of the Farset, the river on which the city was built and has now been superseded by the River Lagan. Belfast saw the worst of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and since their start in 1969, news of violence and disruption marred the city’s image as a tourist destination.
Since the 1997 cease-fire and the Good Friday agreement, however, Belfast is making up for lost time. With the help of massive investment, the city has undergone a remarkable transformation, and now has a booming economy and high employment rates. The River Lagan has been cleaned up and inner city areas, such as the Cathedral Quarter, have been regenerated, attracting new restaurants, hotels, shopping areas and cafés.
Belfast was once home to C.S.Lewis, author of the Chronicles of Narnia. Maybe this is where he found his inspiration? The famous musician Van Morrison also grew up in Belfast and music is indeed an important part of this city’s social scene, with bands often performing at the Odyssey Arena or the Belfast Waterfront.
The numerous Victorian buildings of the city have been juxtaposed with impressive 20th-century architecture, so creating a sense of progress and change. With its sights set on the future, Belfast has become a vibrant, friendly and exciting city, waiting to be discovered in new ways.