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Colourful view of the past


City Hall,  Belfast,  March 2018

Belfast played a key role in the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, becoming the biggest linen producer in the world and winning the nickname of “Linenopolis”.  By 1910 it was also the proud home to the world’s largest tea-machinery factory, the largest dry dock, the largest single shipyard, the largest tobacco factory, the largest rope works and the largest aerated water factory.

Many of Belfast’s achievements are celebrated colourfully in the Centenary Window at the City Hall.  Unveiled by the Lord Mayor in December 2006, it was designed by Ann Smyth to trace the achievements of Belfast and its people in the 100 years since the City Hall opened.


Centenary window, Belfast City Hall,  March 2018

The multicoloured tree at the top of the stained glass window reflects the variety of traditions and cultures found in Belfast.


Look closely at the designs and you can see the Beacon of Thanksgiving (aka “Nuala with the Hula”), the Salmon of Knowledge (aka ‘The Big Fish’) and the Waterfront Hall. There’s a glimpse of the aircraft industry in the form of the Skyvan and the first Vtol aircraft in the world, products of Shorts. Achievements in sport, music and literature make an appearance, as does the splitting of the atom by Ernest Walton. Near  the bottom of the window you’ll find the more watery elements in the shape of the Titanic and the gigantic Harland and Wolff cranes.





Copyright Debbie Smyth, 21 March 2018

Posted as part of Paula’s Traces of the Past

9 replies »

  1. If it weren’t for you this work of art would have stayed unknown to me. You photographed it so well, Debbie! Honestly, I never thought I would think of visiting Belfast, but this has changed my mind.

    Liked by 2 people

    • When I was writing this I thought it would be a good place for you to visit. Obviously , it has a fascinating history, both industrially and politically, but it is also a very friendly city. The coastline is stunning, and there’s the Game of Thrones temptation for any who watch it.


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