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Belfast City Hall ( ga, Halla na Cathrach Bhéal Feirste;
Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster-Scots: ''Ulstèr-Scotch'', ga, Albanaigh na hUladh), also called Ulster Scots ...
: ''Bilfawst Citie Haw'') is the civic building of
Belfast City Council Belfast City Council ( ga, Comhairle Cathrach Bhéal Feirste) is the local authority Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration Public administration is the implementation of government policy Pu ...
located in
Donegall Square Donegall Square is a City square, square in the Belfast City Centre, centre of Belfast, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. In the centre is Belfast City Hall, the headquarters of Belfast City Council. Each side of the square is named according to ...
,
Belfast Belfast ( ; , ) is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, standing on the banks of the River Lagan on the east coast. It is the 12th-largest city in the United Kingdom and the second-largest on the island of Ireland. It had a popul ...

Belfast
,
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster- ...

Northern Ireland
. It faces North and effectively divides the commercial and business areas of the
city centre A city centre is the commercial, cultural and often the historical, political, and geographic heart of a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and ...
. It is a Grade A
listed building A listed building, or listed structure, is one that has been placed on one of the four statutory lists maintained by Historic England Historic England (officially the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England) is an executive ...
.


History

The site now occupied by Belfast City Hall was once the home of the White Linen Hall, an important international Linen Exchange. The street that runs from the back door of Belfast City Hall through the middle of Linen Quarter is Linen Hall Street. Plans for the City Hall began in 1888 when Belfast was awarded
city status City status is a symbolic and legal designation given by a national or subnational government. A municipality may receive city status because it already has the qualities of a city, or because it has some special purpose. Historically, city status ...
by
Queen Victoria Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of En ...

Queen Victoria
. This was in recognition of Belfast's rapid expansion and thriving
linen Linen () is a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant. Linen is very strong, absorbent, and dries faster than cotton. Because of these properties, linen is comfortable to wear in hot weather and is valued for use in garments. It also h ...
,
rope-making
rope-making
,
shipbuilding Shipbuilding is the construction Construction is a general term meaning the and to form , , or ,"Construction" def. 1.a. 1.b. and 1.c. ''Oxford English Dictionary'' Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0) Oxford University Press 2009 and c ...

shipbuilding
and engineering industries. During this period Belfast briefly overtook
Dublin Dublin (; , or ) is the capital and largest city of Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_ ...

Dublin
as the most populous city in
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...

Ireland
. Belfast Corporation used their profits from the gas industry to pay for the construction of the Belfast City Hall. The building, which was designed by Sir Alfred Brumwell Thomas in the Baroque Revival style, was built in Portland Stone at a cost of £369,000 and opened on 1 August 1906. Local firms H&J Martin and WH Stephens were among the companies involved in the design and construction. The city hall in
Durban Durban ( ) ( zu, eThekwini, from meaning 'the port'), nicknamed ''Durbs'',Ishani ChettyCity nicknames in SA and across the worldArticle on ''news24.com'' from 25 October 2017. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
, South Africa is almost an exact replica of Belfast's City Hall. It was built in 1910 and designed by Stanley G. Hudson, who was inspired by the Belfast design. The
Port of Liverpool Building The Port of Liverpool Building (formerly Mersey Docks and Harbour Board Offices, more commonly known as the Dock Office) is a Grade II* listed building A listed building, or listed structure, is one that has been placed on one of the four sta ...

Port of Liverpool Building
, designed by Sir Arnold Thornely and completed in 1913, is another very close relative. On 1 August 2006 the City Hall celebrated its centenary with a "Century of Memories" exhibition and family picnic day. On 3 December 2012, the City Council voted to limit the days that the
Union Flag The Union Jack, or Union Flag, is the de facto national flag of the United Kingdom The national flag of the United Kingdom is the Union Jack The Union Jack, or Union Flag, is the de facto national flag of the United Kingdom. Though ...

Union Flag
flies from City Hall to no more than 18 designated days. Since 1906, the flag had been flown every day of the year. The move was backed by the Council's
Irish nationalist Irish nationalism is a nationalist Nationalism is an idea and movement that promotes the interests of a particular nation (as in a in-group and out-group, group of people),Anthony D. Smith, Smith, Anthony. ''Nationalism: Theory, Ideol ...
Councillors and by its Alliance Party Councillors. It was opposed by the unionist Councillors, who had enjoyed a majority on the council until the Northern Ireland local elections of 2011. On the night of the vote, unionist and
loyalist Loyalism, in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdo ...
protesters tried to storm the City Hall. They held protests throughout Northern Ireland, some of which became violent.


Exterior

The hall features towers at each of the four corners, with a
lantern A lantern is an often portable source of lighting, typically featuring a protective enclosure for the light source Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation within the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visual perce ...

lantern
-crowned green copper
dome A dome () is an architectural element similar to the hollow upper half of a sphere. There is significant overlap with the term cupola, which may also refer to a dome or a structure on top of a dome. The precise definition of a dome has been a m ...

dome
in the centre. The
pediment Pediments are gablesGables may refer to: * The plural of gable, portion of walls between the lines of sloping roofs * Ken Gables (1919-1960), Major League Baseball pitcher * Gables, Nebraska, an unincorporated community in the United States * Ga ...

pediment
sculpture is by F. W. Pomeroy, assisted by local carver J. Edgar Winter, and features on the reverse side of the current series of £10, £20, £50 and £100
sterling banknotes Sterling banknotes are the banknotes in circulation in the United Kingdom and its related territories, denominated in pound sterling, pounds sterling (symbol: Pound sign, £; ISO 4217 currency code GBP (Great Britain pound)). Sterling banknotes ...
issued by the
Northern Bank Danske Bank UK (formerly Northern Bank) is a commercial bank in Northern Ireland. Northern Bank was one of the oldest banks in Ireland having been formed in 1809, and formed part of one of the Big Four (banking)#Ireland, Big Four banks in Irelan ...
.


Interior

The interior has a number of notable features including the Porte-Cochère and Grand Entrance, the Grand Staircase, the Reception Room and the Banqueting Hall. The roof above the Banqueting Hall was destroyed during the
Belfast blitz The Belfast Blitz consisted of four German air raids on strategic targets in the city of Belfast Belfast ( ; , ) is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, standing on the banks of the River Lagan on the east coast. It is the 12 ...
on the night of 4/5 May 1941 and had to be rebuilt.
Carrara Carrara ( , ; ) is a city and ''comune'' in Tuscany, in central Italy, of the province of Massa and Carrara, and notable for the white or blue-grey marble quarried there. It is on the Carrione River, some Boxing the compass, west-northwest of ...

Carrara
, Pavonazzo and
Brescia Brescia (; lmo, link=no, label=Lombard The term Lombard refers to members of or things related to Lombardy (man) it, Lombarda (woman) lmo, Lombard (man) lmo, Lombarda (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title ...
marble Marble is a metamorphic rock , a type of metamorphic rock Metamorphic rocks arise from the transformation of existing rock (geology), rock to new types of rock, in a process called metamorphism upright=1.35, Schematic representation of ...

marble
s are used extensively throughout the building as are
stained glass windows The term stained glass refers to coloured glass as a material and to works created from it. Throughout its thousand-year history, the term has been applied almost exclusively to the windows of churches and other significant religious buildings ...

stained glass windows
featuring among others the Belfast
Coat of Arms#REDIRECT coat of arms A coat of arms is a heraldry, heraldic communication design, visual design on an escutcheon (heraldry), escutcheon (i.e., shield), surcoat, or tabard. The coat of arms on an escutcheon forms the central element of the fu ...

Coat of Arms
, portraits of Queen Victoria and
William III
William III
and shields of the
Provinces of Ireland Since pre-historic times, there have been four Provinces of Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by ...

Provinces of Ireland
. There is also a stained glass window commemorating the
36th (Ulster) Division The 36th (Ulster) Division was an infantry Infantry is an army specialization whose military personnel, personnel engage in military combat on foot, distinguished from cavalry, artillery, and armored warfare, armored forces. Also known ...
.


Grounds and public memorials

The memorial to Sir Edward Harland, the former head of the
Harland and Wolff Harland & Wolff is a shipyard A shipyard (also called a dockyard) is a place where are and repaired. These can be s, military vessels, s or other cargo or passenger ships. Dockyards are sometimes more associated with maintenance and b ...
shipyard and Lord Mayor of Belfast, was sculpted by
Sir Thomas Brock Sir Thomas Brock (1 March 184722 August 1922) was an English sculptor and medallist, notable for the creation of several large public sculptures and monuments in Britain and abroad in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His mos ...
and unveiled by the
Earl of Glasgow Earl of Glasgow is a title in the Peerage of Scotland. It was created in 1703 for David Boyle, 1st Earl of Glasgow, David Boyle, Lord Boyle. The first earl was subsequently one of the commissioners who negotiated the Act of Union 1707, Treaty of U ...
on 23 June 1903. The statue of
Queen Victoria Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of En ...

Queen Victoria
also by Brock was unveiled by
King Edward VII Edward VII (Albert Edward; 9 November 1841 – 6 May 1910) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland There have been 12 British monarchs There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union A political ...

King Edward VII
on 27 July 1903. The ''Titanic'' Memorial in Belfast was dedicated in June 1920. The grounds also house Northern Ireland's main war memorial, the Garden of Remembrance and
Cenotaph A cenotaph is an empty tomb at Hierapolis Hierapolis ( grc, Ἱεράπολις, lit. "Holy City") was an ancient Greek city located on hot springs in Greco-Roman culture, classical Phrygia in southwestern Anatolia. Its ruins are a ...
, unveiled in 1929. There is also a granite column dedicated to the
American Expeditionary Force The American Expeditionary Forces (A.E.F. or AEF) was a formation of the United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare, land military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the eight U ...
, many of whom were based in Belfast prior to
D-Day The Normandy landings were the landing operation Allied invasion of Sicily, 1943 A landing operation is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended fo ...

D-Day
, unveiled in 1943. A memorial to Leading Seaman James Magennis
VC
VC
, made from Portland stone and bronze, was erected in the grounds in October 1999. On 3 January 2006 Belfast City Councillors ratified a plan to erect a statue to the late Belfast
footballer A football player or footballer is a sportsperson An athlete (also sportsman or sportswoman) is a person who competes in one or more sport Sport pertains to any form of competitive Competition is a rivalry A rivalry is the s ...
George Best George Best (22 May 1946 – 25 November 2005), also known as Georgie Best, was a Northern Irish Northern Irish people is a demonym for all people born in Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; Ulster Scots di ...

George Best
in the grounds of the City Hall. Following approval from the Best family, the
George Best Memorial Trust George Best (22 May 1946 – 25 November 2005) was a Northern Irish professional association football, footballer who played as a Midfielder#Winger, winger, spending most of his club career at Manchester United F.C., Manchester United. A highly ...
was created in December 2006. The trust's patron
David HealyDavid Healy may refer to: *David Healy (footballer) (born 1979), Northern Irish footballer *David Healy (psychiatrist) (born 1954), Irish psychiatrist *David Healy (actor) (1929–1995), American-born, also appeared in many British films and TV show ...

David Healy
contributed £1,000 to the estimated total cost of £200,000. In October 2007 a 60-metre
Ferris wheel A Ferris wheel (or big wheel in the United Kingdom, also called giant wheels or observation wheels) is an amusement ride Amusement rides, sometimes called carnival rides, are mechanical devices or structures that move people to create enjoyme ...

Ferris wheel
was constructed in the grounds, giving passengers panoramic views above the city. The wheel had 42 air-conditioned capsules, which could hold up to six adults and two children. The wheel finally closed at 6:00 pm on 11 April 2010 and was removed during May 2010. In 2008, the Imjin River Memorial was relocated here when the
St Patrick's Barracks St Patrick's Barracks was a military installation in Ballymena. History The site was requisitioned by the War Office and the barracks were put into use as the depot of the Royal Ulster Rifles, who had relocated from Victoria Barracks, Belfast, Vic ...
in
Ballymena Ballymena (, ) is a town in County Antrim County Antrim (named after the town of Antrim, County Antrim, Antrim, ) is one of six Counties of Northern Ireland, counties that form Northern Ireland. Adjoined to the north-east shore of Lough N ...
closed. The memorial commemorates Irish troops lost in the Battle of Chaegunghyon (Battle of Happy Valley) in January 1951 during the
Korean War The Korean War (see § Names) was a war fought between North Korea North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. It b ...

Korean War
. Image:Belfast City Hall - Under Construction.jpg, Under construction File:Titanic Memorial, Belfast, Northern Ireland.jpg, Belfast's - ''
Titanic RMS ''Titanic'' was a British passenger liner Liner or LINER may refer to: Line drawing * , a type of makeup * , a porous-tip pen with its own ink source * used in engraving * A used by coach painters Linings * , a noise-damping ...

Titanic
'' Memorial Image:Belfast City Hall 2007.jpg, Front of the building Image:Queen Victoria Belfast 2.jpg, Monument to
Queen Victoria Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of En ...

Queen Victoria
Image:Frederick Temple Belfast.jpg,
Lord Dufferin Frederick Temple Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava (21 June 182612 February 1902) was a British public servant The civil service is a collective term for a sector of government composed mainly of career civil servan ...
monument Image:Edward James Harland Belfast.jpg, Statue of Edward James Harland, founder of
Harland and Wolff Harland & Wolff is a shipyard A shipyard (also called a dockyard) is a place where are and repaired. These can be s, military vessels, s or other cargo or passenger ships. Dockyards are sometimes more associated with maintenance and b ...
Image:Belfast city hall.jpg, Memorial to James Magennis VC (2004) Image:Belfast City Hall 2010.JPG, View showing Belfast City Hall with the Belfast Wheel to the side, Late March 2010 Image:James Horner Haslett Belfast.jpg, Statue of
James Horner Haslett Sir James Horner Haslett (January 1832 – 18 August 1905) was an Irish Conservative Party and then Irish Unionist Alliance, Unionist Party politician who sat in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom from 1885 to 1886 and 1896 to 1905. Has ...
, Mayor of Belfast (1887–88) Image:Sir Daniel Dixon.jpg, Statue of
Sir Daniel Dixon Sir Daniel Dixon, 1st Baronet, (28 March 1844 – 10 March 1907) was an Irish people, Irish businessman and politician. Early life Dixon was born on 28 March 1844 the son of Thomas and Sarah Dixon of Larne, County Antrim, his father was a merc ...

Sir Daniel Dixon
, first Lord Mayor of Belfast (1892–93, 1901-04 & 1905-07) Image:William James Pirrie Belfast.jpg, Statue of
William James Pirrie William James Pirrie, 1st Viscount Pirrie, Order of St Patrick, KP, Privy Council of the United Kingdom, PC, Privy Council of Ireland, PC (Ire) (31 May 1847 – 7 June 1924) was a leading British shipbuilder and businessman. He was chairman o ...
, Lord Mayor of Belfast (1896–98) Image:Robert James McMordie Belfast.jpg, Statue of
Robert James McMordie Robert James McMordie, Queen's Counsel, KC (31 January 1849 – 25 March 1914) was an Irish barrister, politician, and Lord Mayor of Belfast. Son of the Rev. J A McMordie, he was born in Cumran, County Down, and educated at the Royal Belfast Ac ...
, Lord Mayor of Belfast (1910–14) File:Belfast City Hall - Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK - August 13, 2017.jpg, At twilight


See also

*
List of public art in Belfast This is a list of public art on permanent public display in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The list applies only to works of public art accessible in a public space; it does not include artwork on display inside museums. Public art may include sculptu ...


References


External links


Belfast City Hall
* {{Authority control Buildings and structures in Belfast Parks and gardens in Belfast City and town halls in Northern Ireland Government buildings in Northern Ireland Edwardian architecture Grade A listed buildings Tourist attractions in Belfast Limestone buildings Government buildings with domes