Northern Ireland: the traditions, culture and sights with photos
Northern Ireland is a rare guest in the tourist brochures, do not go here for a beach vacation or shopping trips. However, this country has something to surprise and interest the tourist, tired of the mundane areas.
About the country
According to British customs Northern Ireland is traditionally called a country, although not an independent state. With 1921, is part of the United Kingdom of great Britain and Northern Ireland. After independence of Ireland from Britain in the 6 counties of the historic province of Ulster was granted the right to self-referendum on secession from the British Empire.
The locals, mostly Protestants, voted to remain part of Britain.
And formed an administrative part of the United Kingdom — Northern Ireland.
The population of Northern Ireland is 1 million 800 thousand people and is a mixed:
- 55 % — a Protestant of British descent who migrated from England and Scotland;
- 45 % — the Irish-Catholics, the indigenous people of the island.
The main resort areas and cities
The main resort and tourist areas of Northern Ireland are:
- The capital city of Belfast with its numerous historical and resort sites;
- The city of Londonderry (local Irish-Catholics prefer to call it just Derry) will suit lovers of the sea coast;
- The small town of Antrim in the same County is the center of ecotourism.
Traditions and culture
Culture Northern Ireland is mixed. On the one hand, this is a traditional British culture with English traditions and customs, with other Irish, originating in ancient Celtic history of the indigenous inhabitants of the island. For example, in Northern Ireland St. Patrick's Day is a public holiday, unlike the UK.
In Northern Ireland very fond of Monday, almost every month on this day of the week is marked off, for example:
- June - the first Monday of the first summer month;
- August - first day of the week the first of the month of August;
- October - on the last Monday of this month;
- Easter Monday - celebrated on the first day after the Resurrection.
Read our article about the location of great Britain and Northern Ireland on the world map and Europe.
In all cities, basically, are two-storey houses, as the residents claim that above the second floor they dizzy.
Even if you perfectly speak English, still with a translation of the Irish accent can be a problem. Residents of the emerald country is very badly mispronounced words, for example, the name of a popular beer bars in English is pronounced as "pub", and the Irish have a different opinion about the pronunciation - they say "pub".
Attractions - photo with names
Despite its modest size and population, Northern Ireland has retained many interesting historical sites.
In addition, the country cultural developing in the last time there was a lot of interesting items recommended to visit.
In Northern Ireland most famous monuments and artworks, executed in the context of contemporary art.
- Big fish in Belfast — one of the most famous monuments of the city. Installed in 1999, its author is John Kidness. 10-meter long fish is covered with "scales", which is a tile with text and images about the history of Belfast.
- A striking example of modern art — metal sculpture "Girl on a ball", located in the centre of Belfast on the river Lagan. The monument is loved by the tourists for its originality and impressive dimensions — height "girls" is more than 19 meters.
An unusual historical monument of Belfast are numerous streetgraffitipainted on the walls of the buildings of this city.
Most of the paintings dedicated to the political and armed confrontation between the two communities in the city: Catholics-Irish and Protestant-unionists. Although the confrontation of communities ended almost 20 years ago, Belfast is still decorated with more than 2 thousands of images dedicated to this tragic page in the history of Northern Ireland.
Throughout the UK are ancient castles. Read about the most beautiful castles of England here.
Temples, cathedrals, and castles
Northern Ireland is a real country locks. A turbulent history with many invasions and internal strife of clans has contributed to the construction and preservation of these defensive buildings.
- The castle of Carrickfergusin County Antrim on the shores of Lough neagh — one of the best preserved medieval castles of Northern Ireland. It was built in 1177 and during his life was repeatedly rebuilt and reconstructed.
- Dundrum castle was erected by the famous Norman knight Jean De Corsi to them after the conquest of Ulster. During its existence, has changed a lot of owners from different clans, while in the 19th century passed into the possession of the family of the Marquis of Downshire. In 1954, the castle passed into state ownership.
- Cathedral of St. Anne is the main Church of the Protestant community of Belfast. The temple was built in the late 19th century in neo-Romanesque style.
- The temple Mussenden, built in the neoclassical style, is located in the County Londonderry, on the coast of the Atlantic ocean. It was built in 1785 by the Bishop of Derry, and in appearance resembles the Church library in Rome. Currently the Church building is used for wedding ceremonies.
As part of the British Empire, Northern Ireland has passed the same way in the development of architecture, and the UK. Lovers of architecture will find many interesting for yourself.
- Tower Scrabo is located in County Down near the town of Newtownards. Erected in 1857 in honor of Charles Stewart, General of the Napoleonic wars. Attracts the attention of a strict, ascetic beauty of the architectural style.
- City walls in Londonderry erected in 1618. With a height of 8 meters and a width of 9 meters of the walls of this city are the most surviving in Europe, a complex of fortifications of the city.
- City hall in Belfast located in the heart of the city. The building of eclectic architecture built in the early 20th century, are impressive by their monumentality and rich decoration. Near the town there are numerous monuments to figures of the city and province of Ulster.
- An unusual example of the industrial architecture — rope bridge Carrick-a-Rede bridge near the village Ballycastle. First built more than 350 years ago, the bridge connects the coast with a small island of Carrick. Every year here comes more than 300 thousand tourists to walk the swinging bridge at a height of about 30 meters above the sea abyss.
If you overcome all the 122 steps to the top of the tower, you can admire the surrounding scenery from a height of 41 meters.
In Belfast and in other towns in Northern Ireland you can visit interesting museums such as:
- Museum "Titanic", opened only a few years ago, has already gained huge popularity. Located in an impressive building of modern construction, the Museum is the Earth's largest exhibition dedicated to the sunken British ship. The presence of this Museum in Belfast should not be surprising, because in this city the ship was built and launched in 1911;
- The Ulster Museum in Belfast dedicated to the history of Ireland, archaeological finds, jewelry, objects of art and science. In the international Department of the Museum of particular interest is the Egyptian room with a mummy Princess Tackabury;
- Museum of Irish lace Shilin is located in the village of Ballinalack. The Museum houses over 700 exhibits of vintage handmade lace, including the 19th century. The Museum operates a shop where you can buy clothes and handmade lace.
See the most famous sights of the planet in this article, from what I have seen is breathtaking!
Gardens and parks
To relax from the bustle of the city in local parks, gardens or alleys.
- The Botanical gardens in Belfast covers an area of over 100 thousand square meters and operates nearly 180 years. Mainly this Park is famous with its Palm house, one of the first greenhouses in history. Inside the Palm house in bloom 11-metre Australian Lily, also the pride of the garden is a herbal tree, whose age is about 400 years old. Botanic gardens Belfast — a popular site for concerts and events.
- Beech "Dark alley", or the Dark Hedges, is now considered one of the most photographedthe attraction of Northern Ireland. Despite the age of the alley, planted about 300 years ago, the world fame came to her recently. Located near the village of Armoy in County Antrim. Now alley is popular for its spectacular and mysterious look.
- Garden mount Stewart is situated on the banks Strangford Bay in County Down. Considered one of the best in Europe private gardens. Created in the first half of the 20th century by the Marchioness of Londonderry, the garden is situated on 32 hectares and includes the regular and landscape parts with flower beds, terraces, sculptures and a picturesque lake. Is currently in state ownership and is open to tourists and locals.
In particular, In a Dark alley were shooting one of the episodes of the famous TV series "Game of thrones".
The nature of Northern Ireland is a raw, somewhat monotonous beauty of the heaths and rocky sea shores. At the same time, there are some very interesting natural sites.
The most popular natural site in Northern Ireland — giant's Causeway, or Bridge of Giants, a UNESCO world heritage site. This unique natural monument more than 40 thousand basalt columns formed by volcanic eruption.
The height of the largest column reaches 12 meters. A large part of the columns are hexagonal, although there are columns with different number of corners. United together, they form a road leading from the edge of the cliff to a cliff. Giant's Causeway located near the town of Bushmills in the North-East of the island.
On the Isle of rathlin island in the Irish sea can be reached by ferry from Ballycastle. In this special protected area in Northern Ireland you can watch the birds and seals, explore sea caves or go diving among the 40 sunken ships.
Caves marble Arch are under UNESCO protection. The tour inside the caves takes more than an hour, part of the way is overcome by boat on the underground river. Marble Arch is also famous for its stalactite larger than 2 meters.
Any visit to the caves is only possible with a specially trained guide, because there you can easily get lost.
Some recommendations when visiting Northern Ireland:
- Not to be confused with Ireland and Northern Ireland, even though they are on the same island, but it's a completely different country.
- Summer is the best time to travel to Northern Ireland. In local winter, there is nothing wrong, but rains and strong wind will add to the comfort during winter travel;
- If you happen to get to Northern Ireland in the summer don't miss the annual Orange marches of the Protestants, held on 12 July. The spectacle is impressive and our time is almost safe;
- British cuisine is unlikely to surprise you exquisite taste, but in the local Irish is quite possible to find something interesting, well, at least Irish bread or bacon with cabbage;
- Visit the town of Bushmills and its the oldest distillery in the world, izgotavlivaem whiskey for centuries. Tasting of products of the distillery attached to the tour.
See interesting facts about the sights of Northern Ireland in this video: