is one of these must-visit places.
Built just over 140 years ago, this castle is hardly an important historical and architectural monument. But, thanks to its picturesque location and special romantic mood, it has a special place in people's hearts. The
, rising over Belfast, has long attracted the attention of people. There are preserved buildings of a few thousand years old. Local caves have more than once saved the local population from threats from outside. A large part of the population of Belfast was hiding there during the bombings of World War II.
The first wooden fortress appeared there in the times of the Normans. The structure of those times is preserved as a model in the castle museum (entrance to which, by the way, is free).
The English settlers were seriously engaged in the strengthening of this strategically important place. Unfortunately, the first stone fortress was completely destroyed by fire a little over a hundred years after the construction. Only the street name "The place where a castle was located" remained of that time.
Only in the late 19th century, the famous in the city Donegall's family decided to build a modern castle made of red sandstone, which was supposed to be a country residence for hunting. This construction had so depleted the finances of the Donegall's family that soon the castle became the property of the genus Shaftesbury. This family then passed the ownership of the castle to the city and all its inhabitants before the war in 1934.
The six-storied building of the castle and the beautiful park now host numerous weddings and receptions. It offers a beautiful view of the bay and the city port. In addition, there is an antique gift shop and a small restaurant in the basement of the castle.
Cat's theme is also popular there.
Their figures are everywhere - in the form of the delicately cut bushes, on the mosaic floor, in the relief of the grating of the benches.
I was personally struck by another story I heard during the tour of the castle's museum. US military Boeing B-17 crashed somewhere not far from the castle in July 1944. The entire crew of 10 people died.
Many locals and visitors of the city were on the crash site. More surprising was the fate of Mongomerri Alfie, who discovered a golden wedding ring with an engraving inside "Ruth-Larry 10-21-1993" there in 1993. This resident of the city of Belfast decided to find out who owned that ring, and if someone was alive from the family of its owner.
The search took nearly two years, and Alfie found out that there was a widow of the deceased bomber pilot Larry Dendon, Mrs. Ruf, living in the American town of Louisville Kentucky. The ring was given back to the widow after more than 50 years, and now the day of Alfie Mongomerri is solemnly celebrated every year in Louisville.
In Ireland, Belfast Castle, with its legends and stories, is a symbol of love and faith for each of its new visitors.