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Belfast Travel Guide
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Belfast History

Belfast History

First inhabitants occupied the site of Belfast since the Bronze Age; Belfast is a very historic city, dating back at least 1000 years. It's said that Belfast's name comes from AD 666 when a battle was recorded at the site of "Béal Feirsde" (Celtic) that means "approach to the sandbank ford"; after centuries of usage, the Celtic name "Béal Feirsde" has evolved into the word "Belfast" as we know it today.

Lord John de Courcy built a castle here in 1177, and a small community developed around it; Belfast has been influenced since the early 17th century by Scottish and English colonist, followed by an influx of Huguenots (French Protestants).

With its textile factories, shipyards, rope-making and tobacco, Belfast city felt the full influence of the Industrial Revolution. With the partition of Ireland in 1920 Belfast obtained a new role as the capital of Northern Ireland.

In one raid, in 1941 during World War II, German bombers killed around one thousand people and left tens of thousands homeless. Outside of London, this was the greatest loss of life in a night raid during the Blitz.

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