Here we are with the last post about our day passed in Belfast; if you arrived here but you want to start from the beginning, read “Wandering in Belfast – part 1” 😉
Beside Queen’s University there’s another famous place of Belfast: I’m talking about Botanic Gardens, inside which there’s also the most important museum of the city, the Ulster Museum.
Remember, otherwise than for example Italy, here museums and attractions close early (5 pm): because of this we had to run to find the museum still open. It was worth the hurry, even if we couldn’t see all the exposition.
The entry at Ulster Museum is free. Along the exhibition itinerary you can give an offer to support the museum.
We started our visit with the rooms of the exhibition “Early Peoples”, dedicated to the prehistoric presence in Ireland, from over 9000 years ago until the period before the arrive of Christianity:
The next zone is dedicated to ancient Egypt with the exhibition “Takabuti: Life and Death in Ancient Egypt“; here is visible, among other finds, the mummy of Takabuti, an egyptian woman from Thebe who died at the end of the Twenty-fifth dynasty.
The following sections are the one dedicated to the exhibition “Saints and Scholars“, with finds related to the period of the conversion to Christianity on the island, of the introduction of writing and of the later Viking invasions and moving through the Medieval period:
And the one with the objects found from the shipwreck of some spanish ships which were wrecked off the North and West coasts of Ireland in 1588, during an invasion fo England: the exhibition “Armada” collects the finds coming from the three ships Girona, La Trinidad Valencera and Santa Maria de La Rosa.
The second floor of the museum is about nature marvels:
The are even some dinosaurs: Stevie was happy as a child 😉
Since, as usual, we are late and the time is not so much, we run to see the exhibition on the last floor: it’s “Art of the Troubles“, a show collecting the works of 50 artists who lived the period of the Troubles in Northern Ireland and created art on this theme.
I couldn’t take any photos, so I can only try to define with words what I saw: touching, upsetting, deep, desperate, but even full of the hope which, with the immense strenght of colour and of the artistic action, strikes out of every work.
Once out of Ulster Museum, we went (just a minute before closure) to the tropical greenhouse just beside the building: the Tropical Ravine.
In this glasshouse, created by the Botanic Gardens’ head gardener Charles Chipotle in 1889, you walk on a platform going around all the building, running along a ravine in the ground containing different species of tropical plants.
The heat inside is almost intolerable, but the plants are amazing!
After the Tropical Ravine, we move to the Palm House:
The Palm House is a big building made of glass and metal, designed by – guess who? – Sir Charles Lanyon (yes, exactly the one who made the Lanyon Bulding, headquarter of Queen’s University, of which I talked yesterday):
Inside, even in this case, there’s a big variety of esotic and rare plants, and the building is an example of how, even in cold temperature zones, with the right architecture big results in the growing of non-local plants can be achieved.
After visiting the Palm House it’s the moment to go back home; Belfast says goodbye like this, with a message of solidarity, full of many meanings: