Architecture in Belfast, Northern Ireland

I don't know much about architecture. I know what I like and I know what I don't like. I like abandoned buildings. I like the grand gestures and details of Victorians. I like a good modern box. Belfast has all of these.

While walking through the city we noticed the light falling on corners and tops of buildings making them more beautiful.

This is our brief and totally incomplete overview of architecture in Belfast. We were only there for about 30 hours, so the buildings here are only what we were able to see on foot and in a short amount of time.

Empire Music Hall

This is the reason we came to Belfast - to see Kate Tempest. Lucky for us she performed in this beautiful architectural gem that was converted from an old church to a music venue in 1987.

the empire music hall, belfast

the empire music hall, belfast

Belfast Botanic Gardens

We cut through this garden a few times on our way from point A to B. There is just something so iconic about the architecture of a conservatory or a greenhouse, especially from this period.

The Botanic Gardens sits near the University, and is a nice shortcut between sections of Belfast and because of this it feels a little more like a city park than a stuffy garden. It used to be a private park until it was opened to the public (on Sundays only) in 1895.

The Belfast Botanic Gardens

The Belfast Botanic Gardens

St. Anne's Cathedral

We didn't go in because they were charging £5. Besides, if you've seen one cathedral, you've seen them all, right? Paintings and statues and high ceilings and stained glass windows, old bones, etc. I've really become burned out on going into churches and temples and cathedrals, but that's another conversation.

The way the light was hitting this cathedral was quite lovely, and it drew my attention. Then we moved on to coffee and tea. 

more belfast architecture

more belfast architecture

Belfast City Hall

The only real reason we stopped in here was to use the bathroom. But it turns out to be a magnificent piece of architecture. The center of the building was dominated by a gigantic Christmas tree and loads of tourists because of the Christmas market just outside.

Rare person free pic of the Christmas Tree at Belfast City Hall

Rare person free pic of the Christmas Tree at Belfast City Hall

The National Trust Bank Limited

I'm sure this building has a fantastic history, but again what drew me as we turned the corner on our way elsewhere was the light hitting the top of the building and highlighting the "fish scales".

The internet tells me that this is a Franco-Flemish renaissance architecture designed by the architect William Batt and was opened as a branch office in 1897. Thanks internet!

The National Trust Bank Limited, Belfast

The National Trust Bank Limited, Belfast

Nondescript Row Houses, Belfast Ireland

We didn't' want you to think that all the architecture in Belfast is amazingly beautiful gothic and doric and Victorian and what have you. Much of Belfast (and much of the world for that matter) is simple construction built with economy and speed. 

So when we took a tour of the Troubles, we saw much of this type of architecture. Low income, cheaply built, designed to house people efficiently.

Architecture in Belfast - how people live

Architecture in Belfast - how people live

I really wish we had more time to explore the buildings in Belfast. There is some spectacular architecture to be found just by wandering around the city. I know we missed a ton of stuff. Let us know in the comments what to put on our list for next time!