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Belfast
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Belfast (UK: /ˈbɛlfɑːst/ BEL-fahst, elsewhere /ˈbɛlfæst/; from Irish: Béal Feirste [bʲeːlˠ ˈfʲɛɾˠ(ə)ʃtʲə], meaning 'mouth of the sand-bank ford') is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland

Belfast (UK/ˈbɛlfɑːst/ BEL-fahstelsewhere /ˈbɛlfæst/; from IrishBéal Feirste [bʲeːlˠ ˈfʲɛɾˠ(ə)ʃtʲə], meaning 'mouth of the sand-bank ford'[4]) is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, standing on the banks of the River Lagan on the east coast. It is the 12th-largest city in the United Kingdom[5] and the second-largest on the island of Ireland. It had a population of 343,542 in 2019.[2] Belfast suffered greatly during the violence that accompanied the partition of Ireland, and especially during the more recent conflict known as the Troubles.

By the early 19th century, Belfast was a major port. It played an important role in the Industrial Revolution in Ireland, becoming briefly the biggest linen-producer in the world, earning it the nickname "Linenopolis".[6] By the time it was granted city status in 1888, it was a major centre of Irish linen production, tobacco-processing and rope-making. Shipbuilding was also a key industry; the Harland and Wolff shipyard, which built the RMS Titanic, was the world's largest shipyard.[7] Belfast as of 2019 has a major aerospace and missiles industry. Industrialisation, and the inward migration[8] it brought, made Belfast Northern Ireland's biggest city. Following the partition of Ireland in 1921, Belfast became the seat of government for Northern Ireland. Belfast's status as a global industrial centre ended in the decades after the Second World War.

Belfast is still a port with commercial and industrial docks, including the Harland and Wolff shipyard, dominating the Belfast Lough shoreline. It is served by two airports: George Best Belfast City Airport, 3 miles (5 kilometres) from the city centre, and Belfast International Airport 15 miles (24 kilometres) west of the city. The Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) listed Belfast as a Gamma + global city in 2020.

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