Belfast

Belfast

Belfast (/ˈbɛlfæst/ ⓘ BEL-fast, /-fɑːst/ -⁠fahst;[a] from Irish: Béal Feirste [bʲeːlˠ ˈfʲɛɾˠ(ə)ʃtʲə])[5][6] is the capital city and principal port of Northern Ireland, standing on the banks of the River Lagan and connected to the open sea through Belfast Lough and the North Channel. It is second to Dublin as the largest city on the island of Ireland with a population in 2021 of 345,418[7] and a metro area population of 671,559.[8] Established as an English settlement early in the 17th century, its growth was driven by an influx of Scottish-descendant Presbyterians. Their disaffection with Ireland's Anglican establishment contributed to the rebellion of 1798, and to the union with Great Britain—later regarded as a key to the town's industrial transformation. When granted city status in 1888, Belfast was the world's largest centre of linen manufacture, and by the 1900s her shipyards were building up to a quarter of total United Kingdom tonnage.