Put on the map for its controversy and chaos, Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, has risen from the ashes of the political and religious conflict that spurred a national identity crisis. Today, travelers book flights to Belfast to experience the city that transformed itself from chaos to current.
Northern Ireland is a member of the United Kingdom and has been since the 19th century, but turmoil has plagued the country since the first days of the British occupation in the early 1600s. The country came to blows over the Catholic and Protestant values of its citizens, as well as the question of loyalties between its Irish heritage and its British nationality. The most explosive period in Northern Irish contemporary history, known as the Troubles, is testament to the tensions that wrecked the country for centuries; from 1968 through 1998 Belfast suffered as the epicenter for persecution and destruction as the Irish Republican Army and the Royal Ulster Constabulary took matters into their own hands and turned the streets of Belfast into a combat zone.
Today, the ceasefire has long since been in effect and the Troubles are in the past, though hardly forgotten. Belfast has thrown itself into the healing process, and the constantly growing skyline of the city is proof that a period of rejuvenation and reconstruction has begun in Northern Ireland. Though a major player in the development and cultivation of invention and innovation in the 20th century, Belfast is hardly just another industrial city filled with factories, shipyards and smokestacks.
Belfast is fast becoming one of the hottest spots in Europe with its vibrant nightlife, packed cultural calendar and endless supply of fascinating attractions that have Belfast flights packed with visitors wanting to take part in all the fun.