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Postcards From The Past: Belfast

Updated Tuesday, 10 October 2023

Comparing old and more recent photographs to see how has the coast has changed around Belfast.

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Giant's Causeway Belfast is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, and the site has been occupied since the Bronze age. It is located at the mouth of the Lagan river on Belfast Lough, an inlet of the northern channel of the Irish Sea. The city is flanked by long lines of hills on two sides, the Antrim Hills in the north and Castlereagh Hills in the south.

Belfast was founded in 1177 when a castle defending a ford over the Lagan was built. Some of the city was later built on reclaimed land resulting from the draining of flood prone areas of the bay.The modern city is a product of the Industrial Revolution when the French Huguenots started the linen industry.

  The River and Donegal Quay from Queens Bridge
Belfast quay

  A modern view of the quay from the bridge
Belfast quay

Belfast Lough is a long natural inlet ideal for shipping and some of the world's largest liners have been built here in the shipyards. (The Titanic was built in the Harland and Wolff shipyard.) Other industries associated with Belfast have been the manufacture of rayon, aircraft and machinery.

Agricultural and livestock products have formed the main exports. The decline of manufacturing industry in the early 1980's devastated the economy of the city and many parts have been regenerated in recent years.

  The Albert Memorial  - old view
The Albert Memorial

  Modern view of the Albert Memorial
The Albert Memorial

What about other Belfast landmarks? How has Belfast changed through the years? Find out from the interactive galleries below.




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