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Belfast City Hall

Donegall Square North Belfast BT1 5GS

Belfast's imposing City Hall stands proudly in the centre of Donegall Square, dividing the main shopping area from the business sector, though the division has blurred in recent years.  Construction began in 1898 and was finally completed in 1906 at a cost of less than £400,000 (there is a replica of the building in Durban, South Africa).  Its lantern crowned copper dome dominates the city skyline and adorns a multitude of tourist souvenirs.  A series of floodlights project various coloured lights onto the building in the evenings, depending on the occasion – for example pink when the Giro d'Italia cycle race rolled into town in May 2014.  It's worth checking out the grand and ornate interior via one of the regular free public tours on offer.  Visitors can hear tales of the good and the great that have walked its corridors and learn about the architecture featured in the Great Hall.  There's also a wonderful little coffee and souvenir shop inside – the Bobbin.  Outside, the gardens are often a hive of activity, attracting exhibitions and seasonal open air markets (the Christmas Continental Market is a regular) as well as housing the 'Big Screen' which shows sporting events and concerts, etc, during summer months.  It's also a favourite picnic spot in the warmer months for tourists and local office workers.

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