Belfast Drawing Visitors
by Janet Collins
Mention Northern Ireland, and two images likely come to mind: rolling green hills and violent clashes dressed up as religious unrest. While the first are very much still in evidence, the latter are much less so. In fact, the region has transformed in the last ten years, with the capital city of Belfast bustling as a center of redevelopment.
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Belfast is also a "capital" city in a different sense: it is experiencing the fastest-rising property prices in the United Kingdom. Costly new construction projects are going up all over town, many intended to bolster the much-needed tourist trade.
The Belfast waterfront is seeing its share of the renewal action. Waterfront Hall by Robinson McIlwaine, has become a vital center for live music. The hall and its cross-town cousin, the Odyssey at Queen's Quay, have become prominent on the Belfast skyline.
City planners are now gambling that another waterfront venue will bolster the city's vital tourist trade while brightening up a neglected part of town. History and culture meet head-on in the redevelopment currently underway in Belfast's Titanic Quarter, where the historic ship was built.
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Waterfront Hall, Belfast, by Robinson McIlwaine.
Photo: © GRID Images
The Odyssey at Queen's Quay, Belfast.
Image: Courtesy Ulster Tatler
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