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I am proud that Belfast has such a fantastic building as the centre piece and focal point of the city. There are many great sities around the world that do not have such a magnificent building overlooking the city.
The first stone at City Hall was laid in 1898 and the building works took a total of 8 years to complete. The building cost less than £500,000 to complete.
Belfast City Hall is located right in the centre of Belfast at the top of Donegall Place, which is the main shopping street. The City Hall is flanked by Donegall Square East and West.
Belfast City Hall is currently closed for refurbishment, but I am really looking forward to seeing it when it reopens. It is a grand building, with a beautifully ornate interior that shows off the splendour of the era perfectly.
The entrance is through a stone porte-cochere and marble-lined vestibule. In front of you when you enter through the main doors is the Grand Staircase which, like the main entrance hall and landings, uses four types of marble, three from Italy and one from Greece. This magnificent staircase is made from Carrara, Pavonazzo and Brescia marbles and links the entrance hall with the building's landings
The main feature of Belfast City Hall is the dome, which is 53 metres high. There is a whispering gallery at the top of the dome, so called because a whisper against its walls is audible on the opposite side.
There are 51 members of the City Council and they meet at City Hall. Similar to the House of Commons in Westminster, the room where the Councillors meet, the seating faces inward towards a central gangway which leads to a dais at the top of the chamber.
City Hall did not avoid the bombs during the Second World War and in 1941 the Great Hall was almost totally destroyed by a German air raid. It has been renovated beautifully and really is most impressive.
I would definitely advise visiting City Hall if you do visit Belfast.