Belfast City Hall (Irish: Halla na Cathrach Bhéal Feirste;
Ulster-Scots: Bilfawst Citie Haw) is the civic building of Belfast
City Council located in Donegall Square, Belfast, Northern Ireland. It
faces North and effectively divides the commercial and business areas
of the city centre.
3 Illuminate project
7 External links
The White Linen Hall, or the
Linen Hall Library
Linen Hall Library as it was in 1888. Now
replaced by the City Hall.
The site now occupied by
Belfast City Hall was once the home of the
White Linen Hall, an important international Linen Exchange. The
street that runs from the back door of
Belfast City Hall through the
middle of Linen Quarter is Linen Hall Street.
Plans for the City Hall began in 1888 when
Belfast was awarded city
status by Queen Victoria. This was in recognition of Belfast's rapid
expansion and thriving linen, rope-making, shipbuilding and
engineering industries. During this period
Belfast briefly overtook
Dublin as the most populous city in Ireland.
Construction began in 1898 under the supervision of architect Sir
Alfred Brumwell Thomas
Alfred Brumwell Thomas and was completed in 1906 at a cost of
Belfast Corporation, now the council, its their profits
from the gas industry to pay for the construction of the
Hall. Local firms H&J Martin and WH Stephens were among the
companies involved in the construction. James G. Gamble, architect,
was the clerk of works.
The city hall in Durban, South Africa is almost an exact replica of
Belfast's City Hall. It was built in 1910 and designed by Stanley
G. Hudson, who was inspired by the
Belfast design. The Port of
Liverpool Building, designed by Arnold Thornley and completed in 1913,
is another very close relative.
On 1 August 2006 the City Hall celebrated its centenary with a
"Century of Memories" exhibition and family picnic day.
On 3 December 2012, the City Council voted to limit the days that the
Union Flag flies from City Hall to no more than 18 designated days.
Since 1906, the flag had been flown every day of the year. The move
was backed by the Council's Irish nationalist Councillors and by its
Alliance Party Councillors. It was opposed by the unionist
Councillors, who had enjoyed a majority on the council until the
Northern Ireland local elections of 2011. On the night of the vote,
unionist and loyalist protesters tried to storm the City Hall. They
held protests throughout Northern Ireland, some of which became
The grounds of City Hall are popular for relaxation during the summer.
In the background are the dome at
Victoria Square Shopping Centre
Victoria Square Shopping Centre and
The exterior is built mainly from
Portland stone and is in the Baroque
Revival style. It covers an area of one and a half acres and has an
Featuring towers at each of the four corners, with a lantern-crowned
173 ft (53 m) copper dome in the centre, the City Hall
dominates the city centre skyline. As with other Victorian buildings
in the city centre, the City Hall's copper-coated domes are a
The Titanic Memorial in
Belfast is located on the grounds of Belfast
The pediment sculpture is by F. W. Pomeroy, assisted by local carver
J. Edgar Winter, and features on the reverse side of the current
series of £10, £20, £50 and £100 sterling banknotes issued by the
The design of the building is reminiscent of the
Old Bailey in
Floodlights have been added to City Hall to light up the building in a
variety of colours and combinations. Using the same technology as the
Empire State Building in New York, a white illumination will be
applied to the building, after dusk, and it will also be
'colour-washed' on special dates.
Belfast City Hall illuminated green for the annual St Patrick's Day
Saturday 6 July 2013
Friday 12 July 2013
Orange and purple
Polish Independence Day
Monday 11 November 2013
Red and white
Chinese New Year
Friday 31 January 2014
Red and yellow
St Valentine's Day
Friday 14 February 2014
International Women's Day
Saturday 8 March 2014
St Patrick's Day
Monday 17 March 2014
Monday 5 May 2014
Mark of respect to victims of attacks in Brussels
Wednesday 23 March 2016
Black, yellow and red
Queen Elizabeth II Birthday
Saturday 11 June 2016
Red, white and blue
Northern Ireland's opening match in UEFA Euro 2016
Sunday 12 June 2016
Green and white
Mark of respect to victims of the shootings in Orlando
Monday 13 June 2016
(10pm to midnight)
Tuesday 14 June 2016
(midnight to dawn)
Mark of respect to those who lost their lives in Istanbul
Wednesday 29 June 2016
Red and white
Mark of respect to those who lost their lives in Iraq
Friday 8 July 2016
Red, black and white
Tuesday 12 July 2016
Orange and purple
Mark of respect to victims of attacks in Nice
Friday 15 July 2016
Blue, white and red
Saturday 6 August 2016
The interior has a number of notable features including the
Porte-Cochère and Grand Entrance, the Grand Staircase, the Reception
Room and the Great Hall. The latter was destroyed during the Belfast
blitz and was subsequently rebuilt.
Carrara, Pavonazzo and
Brescia marbles are used extensively throughout
the building as are stained glass windows featuring among others the
Belfast Coat of Arms, portraits of
Queen Victoria and William III and
shields of the Provinces of Ireland.
Various memorials are located in the building, including ones to
Frederick Robert Chichester, Earl of Belfast, Sir Crawford and Lady
McCullagh and the 36th (Ulster) Division.
City Hall Dome
First floor Rotunda
Sculpture of the Earl of Belfast
Garden of Remembrance and The Cenotaph in Belfast
The gardens surrounding the City Hall are a popular with office
workers taking their lunch in the summer months, as well as tourists
and teenagers gathering in their dozens to enjoy the green.
Various statues stand in the grounds, including one of Queen Victoria
by Sir Thomas Brock. There is also a granite column dedicated to the
American Expeditionary Force, many of whom were based in
Brock also designed the marble figure of Thane, the Titanic Memorial,
in memorial to the victims of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. The ship
was built in Harland and Wolff's shipyard located in the east of the
city. The monument was originally located at the front gate of City
Hall, at the junction of
Donegall Square North and Donegall Place.
There is a memorial to Sir Edward Harland, the former head of the
Harland and Wolff
Harland and Wolff shipyard and Mayor of
Belfast from 1885 to 1886. It
too was sculpted by Thomas Brock.
The grounds also house Northern Ireland's main war memorial, the
Garden of Remembrance and Cenotaph, at which wreaths are laid on
James Magennis VC, the only Northern Irish recipient of the Victoria
Cross during World War II, is also commemorated in the grounds. The
Leading Seaman won the medal while serving in the Far East in 1945. A
6-foot-high (1.8 m) memorial to Magennis, made from Portland
stone and bronze, stands in front of the City Hall. It was erected in
On 3 January 2006
Belfast City Councillors ratified a plan to erect a
statue to the late
George Best in the grounds of
the City Hall. Following approval from the Best family, the George
Best Memorial Trust was created in December 2006. The trust's patron
David Healy contributed £1,000 to the estimated total cost of
In October 2007 a 60 m
Ferris wheel was constructed in the grounds,
giving passengers panoramic views 200 ft (61 m) above the
city. The wheel had 42 air-conditioned capsules, which could hold up
to six adults and two children. The wheel finally closed at 6:00pm on
11 April 2010 and was removed during May 2010.
In 2008, the Imjin River Memorial was relocated here when the St
Patrick's Barracks in
Ballymena closed. The memorial commemorates
Irish troops lost in the Battle of Chaegunghyon in January 1951
during the Korean War.
Belfast's - Titanic Memorial
Front of the building
Monument to Queen Victoria
Lord Dufferin monument
Statue of Edward James Harland, founder of Harland and Wolff
Memorial to James Magennis VC (2004)
Belfast City Hall with the
Belfast Wheel to the side,
Late March 2010
Statue of James Horner Haslett, Mayor of
Statue of Sir Daniel Dixon, first Lord Mayor of
1901-04 & 1905-07)
Statue of William James Pirrie, Lord Mayor of
Statue of Robert James McMordie, Lord Mayor of
^ Brett, C.E.B. Buildings of
Belfast 1700–1914. Page 67. Friar's
Bush Press, Belfast, 1985.
^ The Linen Hall Library, one of Belfast's oldest cultural
institutions, that occupies a site in Donegal Square North in front of
today's City Hall, started life within the walls of the White Linen
^ The Victorian Web, National University of Singapore.
Victorianweb.org (12 September 2006).
^ BBC Schools website. Bbc.co.uk.
^ Brett, C. E. B. Buildings of
Belfast 1700–1914. Belfast: Friar's
Bush Press, 1985; p. 65.
^ BBC news. BBC News (1 August 2006).
^ "Violence in
Belfast after council votes to change Union flag
policy" BBC News 3 December 2012 Retrieved 5 December 2012
^ "Northern Ireland". Ron Wise's Banknoteworld. Archived from the
original on 8 October 2008. Retrieved 30 October 2008.
Belfast City Hall –
Belfast City Council. Belfastcity.gov.uk (1
^ "City Hall in lights -
Belfast City Council".
www.belfastcity.gov.uk. Retrieved 2016-09-20.
Belfast City Council. Belfastcity.gov.uk.
^ BBC. BBC News (30 January 2007).
Belfast City Council Archived 17 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
^ "Royal Ulster Rifles Korean Memorial". Retrieved 18 April
^ "War Memorials Trust". Retrieved 18 April 2014.
Belfast City Hall
Media related to
Belfast City Hall at Wikimedia Commons
Home of the
Parliament of Northern Ireland
Assembly's College Building
Coordinates: 54°35′47″N 5°55′48″W / 54.596484°N
5.930053°W / 54.596484; -5.930053
Belfast City Council
Belfast City Hall
Coat of Arms
Coat of Arms and Motto
Deputy Lord Mayor
District Electoral Areas
St George's Market
Parks and gardens
Cave Hill Country Park
Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park
Belfast City Cemetery
Clifton Street Cemetery
See also: Local government in Northern Ireland
Government buildings in Northern Ireland
Parliament Buildings ("Stormont")
Maynard Sinclair Pavilion
Great Northern Tower
Royal Courts of Justice
Belfast City Hall
Newry Town Hall
Irish parliament houses (1600s–present)
Chichester House (1600s–early 1700s)
Blue Coat School (early 1700s–1729)
Parliament House (1729–1800)
Mansion House (1919), (1922)
UCD (Earlsfort Terrace) (1919–1922)
Royal College of Science (1921)
Leinster House (1922–present)
Belfast City Hall (1921)
Union Theological College
Union Theological College (1921–1932)