Saturday, September 24, 2016

Queen's Island

Belfast's 19th and 20th century shipbuilding legacy was built on Queen's Island. The general area is now referred to as the Titanic Quarter, after the shipyard's most famous legacy. We arrived late in the afternoon, which allowed us to visit the Titanic Belfast museum without the crowds being so bad. We were back the next morning, using this as the starting and ending point for our Belfast bus tour.

Titanic Belfast is a large, well-done, and architecturally fascinating monument to the building of the Titanic back in 1912. It focuses on the role of the city of Belfast in its construction and the impact of the ship's sinking on individuals from Belfast who had worked on building the ship or who had been aboard. Of course, it also has a very large store selling all sorts of Titanic merchandise.

The museum consists of several prow-like wings which look out on the city and on the now filled in dock in which the Titanic was built. Harland and Wolff, which built the Titanic and continued to build ships until after 2000, is now focused more on things like offshore wind turbines, but their gigantic cranes still loom over the area. The Titanic Quarter is the locus of major redevelopment schemes, although it seems like it's biggest claim to fame at the moment, besides the Titanic, is the huge warehouses being used to film HBO's Game of Thrones (which also uses a number of other coastal and medieval locations around northern Ireland).

No comments: