New Giant’s Causeway visitors’ centre opens twelve years after blaze
A NEW £18.5m (€23m) Giant's Causeway visitors' centre will open later today.
The Unesco World Heritage Site on Northern Ireland's north coast attracts 180,000 visitors every year to its thousands of basalt columns.
The National Trust interpretive centre has been designed to complement the dramatic landscape, with a sloping grass roof supported by columns similar to the world-famous attraction.
It will illustrate the story of the stones and the legend of Finn McCool - the Causeway was reputedly created by the giant to fight a Scottish rival. On seeing Finn in disguise the competitor fled, ripping up the ground and leaving the Causeway in his wake.
The centre has won an award for innovative design and sustainable features. It will particularly appeal to families and children.
It is nine miles from the seaside resort of Portrush and has approximately 40,000 hexagonal stone columns. The Olympic Flame visited the Causeway last month as part of its tour of the UK.
The previous visitor centre burned down in 2000 and a temporary building has been used since then.