The Walls of Derry were completed in 1619 and are 8 meters high by 9 thickness and 1.5 km in circumference - they are the only ones in Ireland that have been preserved virtually intact. They have 4 original doors and 3 new ones were added in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The nickname "maiden city" is that no invador has managed to breach its walls. It's worth a walk around the ramparts for its magnificent cannons.
The Anglican Cathedral was built between 1628 and 1633. The wonderful effigies are carved in stone and marble and the cathedral itself is built in stone gray and green schist walls. It was the first Reformist church to be built in Britain and Ireland and is the oldest building in Londonderry-Derry. By the entrance to St Columb's Court under the steeple, you can see an original stone that was laid in 1633. It commemorates the completion of the temple with the inscription: "If stones could talk they would sing praises from London for those who built this church and city of nothing. " In 1689 during the siege of the city, the Cathedral of St. Columban became the center of resistance of the besieged protesters inside the city walls. You can still see the hollow bomb with the terms of surrender that was dropped inside the cemetery walls during the siege.
Everything is very close, within 400 meters. This neighborhood is known for having been the scene of numerous events during the conflicts in Northern Ireland in the 1960s and 1970s, like the Battle of the Bogside, Bloody Sunday, Operation Motorman, and the establishment of the "no-go area" known as Free Derry. The 12 murals that decorate the homes on Rossville St. are known as the People's Gallery and were made by Tom Kelly, Will Kelly, and Kevin Hasson, who bore witness to the worst moments of The Troubles The murals, painted largely between 1997 and 2001, pay tribute to Bloody Sunday, Operation Motorman, and the hunger strike of 1981. Do not forget to take a walk by the People's Gallery & Studio, the Free Derry Museum, and monuments to the strikers and Bloody Sunday memorial, Free Derry's corner, and the Celtic cross in memory of volunteer Oglaigh na hÉireann , Seán Keenan.
Recently opened by Nobel laureate John Hume, the studio is the nerve center of the Bogside Artists' activities, and the place where they conduct workshops and give talks on their murals and works. The artist tours usually starts here. It also holds important exhibitions. There is a shop selling various kinds of merchandise (posters, books, and even t-shirts, all original and designed by the artists). This gallery also exhibits the work of young people who would otherwise not have the opportunity to display their work in a proper gallery. This is a free service to the community to which the artists have been contributing for years.
This is yet another monument dedicated to the people that were killed during the two World Wars. This time it is located in the center of the walled city of Derry, in the Diamond Square. It appears that the monument was rejected by the Scots because it was too expensive, and finally it was erected in the town of Derry, that is, it is second hand.
It is close to the River Foyle, in the center of the city, outside the walls and dates back to the year 1887. The original building, named in honor of the guilds of London , cost about 19.000 pounds and was opened in the year 1890 as the administrative heart of Londonderry Corporation. In the year 1908 it was razed to the ground. The structure stands on land reclaimed from the River Foyle. It is home to Guildhall, the mayor's office and conference rooms. The structure is of red sandstone, red brick in a neo-Gothic architectural style with Tudor dyes. In the year 1972, the city was destroyed by a series of bombings and restored and reopened in the year 1978. Inside are some of the best examples of stained glass in one can find in Ireland. The council room on the ground floor and is the seat of the City of Derry. The Guildhall has monthly meetings of the Council, and sometimes a musical recital. Behind the building, along the river, is Derry Quay, a starting point for many people who emigrated to America in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
The gateway into the Bogside district of the old city of Derry is on Butcher Street. It´s accessible by stairs at the top of the wall and is the perfect start for a 30 minute walking tour around the wall. In the worst period of problems, the Troubles, the gate regained its former role as controller of access into the old city from the Bogside.
The Tower Museum is located within the historic walls of the city, opposite the Powder Gate. Since its opening in October of 1992, it has won four major awards. The Tower Museum houses two permanent exhibitions. The first one, "The Story of Derry," tells the story of the town from prehistoric times to the present. It uses panels and audiovisual projections to present information on the founding of the St. Columban Monastery in the sixth century to the Battle of the Bogside. The second, "Armada Shipwreck - La Trinidad Valenciera," tells the story of one of the largest ships of the Spanish Armada, La Trinidad Valenciera. This ship sank off the coast of Donegal in 1588 and was rediscovered by divers from Derry in 1971. On the top floor there is an exhibition about the Spanish army in addition to artifacts from a ship which sank in a bay nearby the Gulf of Kinnagoe. From the very top of the tower, there´s a beautiful view of downtown and the Foyle river. The complete tour of the museum takes a couple of hours. It´s open all year from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 to 5 pm (with the last entry at 16:30). Admission costs £ 4 for adults and £ 2 for children. Groups can get a discounted price at £ 2.50 (1.50 pounds for school groups) and family tickets cost £ 9 (for 2 adults and 3 children).
The 12 murals that adorn the houses on Rossville St. are commonly known as the "People's Gallery". The murals were done by Tom Kelly, Will Kelly, and Kevin Hasson, 3 artists who experienced the worst moments of the period known as The Troubles. The murals, created largely between 1997 and 2001, pay tribute to the events that marked the Troubles: Bloody Sunday, the Motorman operation, and the hunger strike of 1981. The most striking images are: Operation Motorman, which depicts a British soldier breaking down a door; Bloody Sunday, where a group of men carry the body of Jackie Duddy, the first fatality of the day; Petrol Bomber, which shows a young man with a gas mask and a pipe bomb in hand; The Death of Innocence, which shows the figure of Annette McGavigan, 14, who died in the crossfire between the IRA and the British army. It's impacting to see the murals and know that the whole area was a battleground.
The monument, a simple granite obelisk, was erected in memory of the 14 Derry residents who died on that tragic Sunday, January 30, 1972. The Memorial is located in Free Derry's Bogside area, where the events of Bloody Sunday took place. Local residents regularly go to the place and leave wreaths at the foot of the monument. It's one of the city's most important monuments.
The museum and archives focus on one of the most important periods in the history of this city - the civil rights era of the 1960s and Free Derry. The archive (The National Archives Civil Rights) covers the following areas: The history of the area of Free Derry - the Bogside, Brandywell, Bishop Street and Creggan. Stormont, the Corporation and the South District, 1920-1960, setting the stage for conflict. Revitalization of local community spirit and self-help in the mid-1960s. On the streets - October 1968-July 1969. Battle of the Bogside. Internment and Free Derry. Bloody Sunday. Motorman and the invasion of Free Derry. The museum has an archive of over 25,000 individual items on this part of the city's history and virtually all of these items have been donated by local residents that include some items of enormous historical importance. Without support from the local community this museum wouldn't have been possible.
At the junction of Rossville Street and Fahan st., you come across a monument with the slogan "You are entering Free Derry" written on it. In 1969 the Bogside residents declared themselves independent of the civil authorities and made a barricade. This area is known as Free Derry, as it was beyond the control of the military and the police, as the IRA volunteers patrolled here. In January 1972, the vicinity of Rossville St witnessed the terrible events of Bloody Sunday, when 14 civilians were killed, and U2 dedicated a song with the name of Sunday Bloody Sunday to this horrific event.
This curiously modern building in terms of architecture (1908) now serves as the home for city council meetings. A commission of inquiry into Bloody Sunday worked here for several years from 1998, reopened by Tony Blair at the request of the victims' families. What really impressed me was the gigantic organ that sits on the floor: It has 3132 pipes and everyone can come to play it! This public organ also attracts many music students from all over Europe.
Located in the central, Diamond Square of the walled city, this is one of the oldest department stores in the world. It's 15 years older than Harrods of London and 25 years older than Macy's in New York. In the historic centre of Derry, Austin is an imposing five-story Edwardian building with its cluster of large windows, columns, pedestals, balconies and is covered with a copper dome. The third floor houses the Roof Top restaurant with 150 seats offering a simple, tasty menu. We ate there for 5 euros and it offers excellent city views from the windows.
Located in the central square of the walled city, Diamond Square, is one of the oldest stores in the world. It's 15 years older than Harrods of London and 25 years older than Macy's in New York. Located in the historic center of Derry, is an imposing 5-story Edwardian building with its large windows, columns, pedestals, balconies and covered with a copper dome. The 3rd floor houses the Roof Top restaurant - a restaurant with 150 seats offering delicious food. We ate for 5€ and it offers excellent views of the city from the windows of the restaurant.
The second largest city in Northern Ireland, Londonderry is divided into 2 sections, with green and orange on one side and red and white on the other. It has played an important role in Irish history, with the conflict here between the Catholics and Protestants, and the troubles began here in 1969 with the barricades going up in the Bogside, causing a fight with the British army that lasted several days. One of the murals in the Bogside shows a young man wielding a petrol bomb. Everyone knows the U2 song Sunday Bloody Sunday, which tells the story of 14 people being killed by the army on Sunday, 30 January 1972, in a civil rights demonstration. The murals around the city show the history of the clashes.