Titanic Belfast is a distinctive silver-clad edifice perched on Belfast’s docklands near where the Titanic was built. The White Star Line insignia, ship hulls and ice crystals inspired its unique architecture. An aerial view reveals its star-shaped design, while those approaching it on foot will be impressed with its four jutting faceted aluminum prows that look like abstract sculptures. Locals have nicknamed it “the Iceberg”.
Throughout its six stories the exhibit explores the iconic doomed ship, the Titanic, from its creation in Belfast, through its launch and maiden voyage to its tragic fate and aftermath. The main focus though is the building of the behemoth ship.
You start in boomtown Belfast with an overview of how it changed from a small town to bustling industrial city. Shipbuilding, the linen trade, ropeworks, tobacco, tea and engineering each added their own layer of enterprise. Then a ride takes you through the shipyard, showing the innards of the Titanic, how it was built and depicting the stories of the men who built the colossal ship.
Storyboards, photos, films, models of the ship’s interiors, interactive exhibits and the graveyard of the Titanic displayed under a glass floor flow throughout the exhibit. Every aspect is explored: Belfast City, the shipbuilders, the construction, launching and sinking of the “unsinkable” Titanic to the aftermath that gave way to countless myths and legends. There is a replica of the Titanic’s staircase, which is only open periodically.
The philosophical Belfast residents sum up the catastrophic sinking with, “She was fine when she left here”. For all its razzle-dazzle the experience was a bit of a letdown. I felt it needed an infusion of heart and spirit to enliven one of history’s most fascinating tragedies.
Café, gift shop and convention rooms available. The exhibit can be extremely crowded and you may want advance tickets for prime times. Admission charge. Open daily Mon-Sat 9 am-7 pm; daily Oct-Mar 10 am-5 pm. Closed: December 24, 25, 26. Phone: 028 9076 6399 Web: titanicbelfast.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2013 Michele Erdvig
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