Belfast Castle

Castle in Belfast

Image by Design Pics / The Irish Image Collection Getty Images

Built in 1870 for the third Marquess of Donegall, in the Scottish Baronial style made fashionable by Queen Victoria's Balmoral, multiturreted Belfast Castle commands the southeastern slopes of Cave Hill. It was presented to the City of Belfast in 1934 and is now used mostly for weddings and other functions. Downstairs there's a small exhibition on the folklore and history of the park and the Cellar Restaurant; most of the castle is closed to the public.

Legend has it that the castle's residents will experience good fortune only as long as a white cat lives there, a tale commemorated in the beautiful formal gardens by nine portrayals of cats in mosaic, painting, sculpture and topiary – a good game for kids is getting them to find all nine.


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