Northern Ireland is steeped in history with plenty of interesting and educational sights to see. From the century’s unspoilt countryside, monuments and impressive architecture to the man-made murals made famous during the “Troubles”, there are Historic tourist destinations to suit every visitor’s fancy. Northern Ireland is certainly easy enough to access with many budget airline flying in and out daily.
The Giants Causeway is a sight to behold, born of intense volcanic lave activity it is made up of some 40,000 layered basalt columns. Legends say that the columns were carved from the coast by a giant and it’s up to you to decide which theory you would prefer to believe. Located in County Antrim it is the only World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland and you can view the new Giants Causeway Visitor Centre to learn the science and the folklore of this magical place.
Chaine Memorial Tower.
The Chaine Tower is a memorial to James Chaine, the man who developed the short sea route form Larne to Scotland and established the town of Larne as a transatlantic port. Built in 1888 and standing twenty seven metres tall the tower is a typical round Irish tower and in 1899 a light was added 22 metres up the tower to help ships navigate around a submerged rock nearby.
Albert Memorial Clock.
The Albert Memorial Clock was erected in 1865 as a commemoration to Prince Albert. Situated in Belfast in Queens Square it stands at 113 foot tall and an interesting fact is that it leans off scale by about four feet, making it Northern Irelands answer to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. This was of course an ideal vantage point to see the sail of the Titanic which was built in Belfast as it set sail to Southampton. You will also see the Albert Memorial Clock if you chose to take one of the many Titanic Tours on offer.
You can find Belfast Castle in Cavehill Country Park. Originally built in the late 12th century it was destroyed by fire in 1708. The rebuilding of the castle began in 1811 although not on the original site. The castle underwent a major refurbishment in 1978 but the original features remain. Not only a beauty to look at, Belfast Castle has practical uses such as a coffee shop and restaurant and is a venue for weddings and private functions.
If you enjoy history then the thatched cottage of Hezlett House in Castlerock is one to view. Part of the National Trust at over three hundred years old it is one of the oldest domestic buildings in Northern Ireland. The interior timber is an exciting prospect for architectural lovers to peruse and the history of the charming Victorian cottage is certainly an interesting one.
Some of the most interesting and true to life historical elements of Northern Ireland are the murals that are on show almost everywhere in the country. The murals sprang up in a graffiti form by groups such as the Irish Republican Army, the Ulster Freedom Fighters and by individuals to celebrate loved ones who lost their lives in attacks during the worst of the “Troubles”. Some of the murals are amazing to view, especially the ones depicting individuals and in another time or place they would be worthy of awards. The majority can be seen in and around Derry, Belfast and Bangor.
Whether it is for the visionary beauty or the age old history, there is something for everyone in the country of Northern Ireland.
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