Northern Lights: New Titanic Walkway and 'Great Light' open in Belfast
A new Northern Light is shining as Belfast's Titanic Quarter unveils two new maritime heritage and tourist attractions this week.
From this morning, March 9, visitors can walk a new, 500m Titanic Walkway on Victoria Wharf. Connecting the Titanic Slipways to HMS Caroline and the Thompson Dock, it is dotted with educational panels on the area's shipping heritage.
Also up and running is the "exceptionally rare" Great Light, one of the largest optics of its kind ever built in the world.
“At around 130 years old, weighing 10 tonnes and standing seven meters tall, the Great Light is a unique heritage object," said Kerrie Sweeney, Chief Executive of Titanic Foundation, a charity preserving Belfast’s maritime and industrial heritage.
The Great Light's huge Fresnel Hyper-Radial lenses produces "one of the strongest lighthouse beams ever to shine", the Titanic Foundation says.
Dating from 1887, the optic shone from Tory Island and Mew Island lighthouses, until it was replaced in the latter by a solar-powered LED in 2014.
Titanic Foundation worked together with the Commissioners of Irish Lights to secure its future locally, and it is now housed in an interpretive structure (above).
Belfast’s 185-acre Titanic Quarter is one of Europe’s largest urban-waterfront regeneration projects. Encompassing the original space where RMS Titanic was designed and built, today it includes the iconic Titanic Belfast attraction, Gateway Offices, the restored HMS Caroline, and a new, 120-bed Titanic Hotel Belfast.
Three further hotels are planned for the Quarter in the coming years.
The launch event for the Walkway and Great Light was selected to mark The European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 in Northern Ireland.
Belfast Harbour Commissioners providing the site on which the Great Light is located and Titanic Quarter provided assistance in developing the Titanic Walkway.
The projects are funded by Tourism NI, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Belfast City Council and Ulster Garden Villages and the Commissioners of Irish Lights.