Belfast - the capital of Northern Ireland

Belfast is the capital, largest city, and chief industrial centre and port of Northern Ireland. The city lies on Belfast Lake, a bay at the mouth of the River Lagan on Northern Ireland's east coast.

Donegull Square lies in the centre of Belfast. In the square stands City Hall. The main street in Bel-fast's business district runs north from the square. Queen's University, to the south, is the largest university in Northern Ireland.

Next to university are the Botanical Gardens, which surround Ulster Museum. The Parliament Buildings of Northern Ireland lie just outside the city. Docks and shipyards border the harbour on the east shore of Belfast Lake.

For many years, shipbuilding and textile manufacturing provided most of the jobs in Belfast. During the mid-1900s, these two industries declined, though they remain important. Belfast shipyards have built many warships and ocean liners, including the famous British liner Titanic. Textile factories produce delicate Irish linen that is famous throughout the world. Since the 1930s, the construction of aircraft has become and important part of Belfast's economy. Other major products include clothing, machinery, processed foods, rope, soap, and tobacco.

English and Scottish settlers established Belfast as a trading centre in 1613.
During the 1800s Belfast became an industrial city and major port. In 1920, when Ireland became independent and Northern Ireland remained a part of the United Kingdom, Belfast became the capital of Northern Ireland.

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