The Belfast Waterfront borders the river Lagan and consists of the area north and south of the modern Lagan Weir on the County Down side.
Known as Donegall Quay, this areas was dominated by docks as Belfast was a global import and export hub for much of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
The area is mostly built on reclaimed land and the river Farset that empties into the Lagan on the north side of the current Lagan Weir and was culverted over during Victorian times.
The area immediately south of the old docks is now occupied by the Waterfront Hall was the ‘Markets’ area, named on account it was dominated by the abattoirs, animal and farm markets.
In the last 30 years the area has seen a major regeneration which has run in parallel to that of the Titanic Quarter across the river. It is now a location of public art by the Lagan Weir, where Big Fish (below), Sammy the Seal and the Bouys are located.
In 1994, The Lagan Weir was built. Prior to its construction the River Lagan was tidal and at low tide would expose mudflats which stank in the summer months. The weir also incorporates a footbridge which allows easy access to the Titanic Quarter.
In January 1997, the Belfast Waterfront building had successfully established itself as Northern Ireland’s premier conference and entertainment centre. It has a 2,200-seat auditorium and hosted acts and artists like U2, Chuck Berry and B.B. King, Westlife and Katherine Jenkins.