Dublin si Belfast
These include Trinity College, the Bank of Ireland, Dublin Castle, the National Museum, the National Gallery, Leinster House, and the seat of both houses of parliament, the Dail and the Seanad. Two important cathedrals are in Dublin—Christ Church Cathedral and Saint Patrick's Cathedral, which is famous for its connections with writer Jonathan Swift.
On the north side of the river, buildings of interest include the Custom House and the Four Courts, which houses the country’s high courts. The General Post Office is on O’Connell Street, where the republic was proclaimed during the 1916 uprising. In the west of the city is Phoenix Park, which contains the Zoological Gardens and the president’s residence.
Dublin is Ireland’s principal commercial city and its most important seaport. Industries include aviation engineering, electronics and software, printing, and pharmaceuticals, with many small factories located on the city’s outskirts. In recent years, increasing emphasis has been put on developing Dublin as a center for distribution, finance, and other services.
Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Also known as
297,300 (1996 estimate)
As a city of political importance, Belfast was heavily damaged by German air raids during World War II. The capital of Northern Ireland has also been the site of riots and terrorist attacks stemming from tension between Roman Catholics and Protestants, particularly in the latter half of the 20th century, when the violence has escalated.
As an industrial city—the largest in Northern Ireland—Belfast is an important manufacturing center. Local industries are engineering, automotive components, food processing, computer software, and brewing. The city’s maritime location on the Lagan River, at the head of an inlet of the Irish Sea, has given rise to an important shipbuilding and repairing industry. The extraordinarily long harbor is navigable to even the largest ships. Some of the largest ocean liners in the world, including the Titanic, were built by Harland and Wolff, still the city’s leading shipyard. A large petroleum refinery here is supplied by imported petroleum received at Belfast’s deepwater port.
An educational center, Belfast is the seat of Queen’s University of Belfast, and a campus of the University of Ulster, as well as the Belfast College of Technology and Union Theological College. The majestic City Hall building, the Protestant Cathedral of Saint Anne, and the Ulster Museum are other notable landmarks. The cultural offerings of Belfast are rich, with thriving theater, opera, and ballet movements.
Although evidence suggests that the site was occupied during the Stone and Bronze ages, Belfast’s founding dates from 1177, when a Norman fortress castle was constructed in the area. In the late 1600s a sizeable group of Huguenots—French Protestants fleeing religious persecution—arrived and established the linen industry that would prove to be widely influential in Northern Ireland. The Huguenots were soon joined by Scottish and English settlers, and the area became a center for Irish Protestantism. The modern city, unquestionably a product of the Industrial Revolution, became the capital of Northern Ireland in 1920 ved.
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