Wednesday, July 22, 2015

(Northern) Ireland, Day 10: Belfast

We had a fairly easy day today; we left our car in the hotel's garage and walked to a few local attractions, starting with the Linen Hall Library, which was established in 1788, making it the oldest library in Belfast and the last subscribing library in Ireland. We especially liked exploring the genealogy and manuscripts collections.

Almost directly across the street was Belfast City Hall, a baroque revival building on Donegall Square.
From Ireland (2015)
We were able to go inside, where we discovered a history of Belfast, which emphasized it's non-Troubles-related history.

Next, we headed over towards the Entries, a series of narrow alleys dating from at least 1630, and marking the oldest parts of the city. Some of the oldest pubs are in this alleyway, including White's Tavern, a 17-century pub with oak beams, where we had lunch.
Our last stop was the Cathedral Church of St. Anne, a romanesque building completed in 1904. The Cathedral's organ, which is located to the right of the altar, has four manuals and is the second largest organ in Northern Ireland.
From Ireland (2015)
One of the things we've been enjoying in our brief stay has been the regular chimes we've heard from a beautiful building across the street. Only tonight did we walk by the building; we discovered that it's a Presbyterian church that may still be at least partly used for religious purposes, but it looks like some of it is used for retail space. The bells ring every 15 minutes; the bells are rung for a longer tune at the top of each hour, and every three hours the bells are rung for a bit longer.
From Ireland (2015)

We had plans to have dinner at Mourne Seafood Bar, but by the time we got there, there was no availability, so we traipsed back to our hotel and had dinner at the hotel restaurant. Tomorrow we leave Belfast and Northern Ireland and head back to Ireland, where we'll see Newgrange before spending our final week in Dublin.

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