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Belfast (Béal Feirste in Irish) is the largest city in Northern Ireland (of which it is the capital) and the province of Ulster, and is the second largest city on the island of Ireland. In 2001 Census population within the city limits (Belfast Urban Area) was 276,459, while 579,276 people live in Greater Belfast area or Belfast Metropolitan Urban Area. City is situated at the south-western end of Belfast Lough, a long natural inlet ideal for the shipping trade that made the city famous, and near the mouth of the River Lagan. It is flanked by long stretches of hills, the Castlereagh Hills on the south and the Antrim Hills on the north. The city straddles the County Antrim and County Down boundary.
The name Belfast originates from the Irish Béal Feirste, or the mouth of the Farset (feirste is the genitive of the word fearsaid, "a spindle"), the river on which the city was built. Interestingly, the river Farset has been superseded by the River Lagan as the most important river; the Farset now languishes under the High Street in obscurity. Bridge Street indicates where there was originally a bridge across the Farset.
Belfast saw the worst of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. The Belfast/Good Friday Agreement has encouraged large-scale redevelopment, Victoria Square, Titanic Quarter and Laganside inc new Odyssey complex and sports arena. The city has two airports: Belfast City Airport adjacent to Belfast Lough and Belfast International Airport which is near Lough Neagh. Queen's University of Belfast and The University of Ulster also maintains a campus in the city, which concentrates on fine art and design.
City Hall, dating from 1906, Queen's University of Belfast (1849), and other Victorian and Edwardian buildings display a large number of sculptures. Among the grandest buildings are two former banks: Ulster Bank (1860), in Waring Street and Northern Bank (1769), in nearby Donegall Street. Also notable is the Linenhall Library (1788), in Donegall Square North. Architect Charles Lanyon is responsible for many of the city's Victorian buildings.
The worlds largest dry dock is located in the city, the giant cranes (Samson and Goliath) of the Harland and Wolff shipyard, builders of the Titanic. Other long-gone industries included Irish linen and rope-making.
Sections of the city contain numerous sectarian murals, reflecting the political and religious allegiances of the communities living there: the Shankill Road, East Belfast, Sandy Row, Glencairn, Highfield, Ballygomartin Road, Ballysillan Road, Upper Ardoyne, and Rathcoole, which are almost entirely Protestant, have murals depicting republican violence, loyalty to the British Crown, the Ulster Volunteer Force and Ulster Defence Association. Conversely, murals on the Falls Road, Andersonstown, Twinbrook, Poleglass, New Lodge and Ardoyne neighborhoods, which are almost entirely Roman Catholic areas feature political themes such as a united Ireland, and the Provisional IRA, as well as traditional folklore and the Irish language. The Irish folk hero Cú Chulainn has appeared on both republican and loyalist murals, representing the heroic Celtic past for the former and legendary battles between Ulster and the other provinces for the latter.
The Albert Clock is a Belfast landmark The 4 star Europa Hotel, located in the City Centre, holds the distinction of being the most bombed hotel in Europe
Belfast is divided into the districts of East Belfast, West Belfast, South Belfast, North Belfast and Greater Belfast which existed as separate villages and towns before the city spread
Belfast Hotel, Belfast Bed and Breakfast, Belfast Cheap Hotel accommodation suitable for a Belfast Weekend Break, a Belfast City Break, Belfast Wedding Accommodation, Belfast Guys Night out, Belfast Girls Night out or even a Belfast Stag Night or a Belfast Hen Night