26 Facts About Belfast City

1. Belfast City is one of the most visited cities in the UK, and the second most visited on the island of Ireland.

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2. Belfast City produced the Formula One racing stars John Watson who raced for five different teams during his career in the 1970s and 1980s and Ferrari driver Eddie Irvine.

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3. Belfast City is home to one of the biggest British ice hockey clubs, the Belfast Giants.

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4. Belfast City is home to the Stormont cricket ground since 1949 and was the venue for the Irish cricket team's first ever one day international against England in 2006.

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5. Belfast City is home to over twenty Gaelic football and hurling clubs.

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6. Belfast City was the home town of Manchester United legend George Best who died in November 2005.

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7. Belfast City has several notable sports teams playing a diverse variety of sports such as football, Gaelic games, rugby, cricket, and ice hockey.

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8. Belfast City has become a popular film location; The Paint Hall at Harland and Wolff has become one of the UK Film Council's main studios.

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9. Belfast City is the home of the Belfast City Telegraph, Irish News, and The News Letter, the oldest English-language newspaper in the world still in publication.

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10. Belfast City has the highest concentration of Irish speakers in Northern Ireland.

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11. Belfast City has a longstanding underground club scene which was established in the early 1980s.

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12. In 2003, Belfast City had an unsuccessful bid for the 2008 European Capital of Culture.

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13. Belfast City has a direct rail connection with Dublin called Enterprise which is operated jointly by NIR and Iarnrod Eireann, the state railway company of the Republic of Ireland.

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14. Belfast City is one of the constituent cities that makes up the Dublin-Belfast corridor region, which has a population of just under 3 million.

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15. In 2008, Belfast City was named a finalist in the Large City category of the RHS Britain in Bloom competition along with London Borough of Croydon and Sheffield.

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16. Belfast City remains segregated by walls, commonly known as "peace lines", erected by the British Army after August 1969, and which still divide 14 districts in the inner city.

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17. Belfast City is flanked on the north and northwest by a series of hills, including Divis Mountain, Black Mountain and Cavehill, thought to be the inspiration for Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels.

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18. Belfast City is at the western end of Belfast City Lough and at the mouth of the River Lagan giving it the ideal location for the shipbuilding industry that once made it famous.

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19. The first Lord Mayor of Belfast City was Daniel Dixon, who was elected in 1892.

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20. Belfast City is represented in both the British House of Commons and in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

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21. Belfast City was granted borough status by James VI and I in 1613 and official city status by Queen Victoria in 1888.

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22. Belfast City blossomed as a commercial and industrial centre in the 18th and 19th centuries and became Ireland's pre-eminent industrial city.

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23. Belfast City became a substantial settlement in the 17th century after being established as a town by Sir Arthur Chichester.

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24. Belfast City is still a major port, with commercial and industrial docks dominating the Belfast Lough shoreline, including the Harland and Wolff shipyard.

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25. Belfast City remains a centre for industry, as well as the arts, higher education, business, and law, and is the economic engine of Northern Ireland.

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26. Belfast City suffered greatly in the Troubles, and in the 1970s and 1980s was one of the world's most dangerous cities.

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