|By Conor2k10 - Wikimedia|
Belfast is the capital of, and largest city in, Northern Ireland. By population, it is the fourteenth largest city in the United Kingdom and second largest on the island of Ireland. It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly. The city of Belfast has a population of 267,500 and lies at the heart of the Belfast urban area, which has a population of 579,276.
Today, Belfast remains a centre for industry, as well as the arts, higher education and business, a legal centre, and is the economic engine of Northern Ireland. The city suffered greatly during the period of conflict called the Troubles, but latterly has undergone a sustained period of calm, free from the intense political violence of former years, and substantial economic and commercial growth.
Belfast city centre has undergone considerable expansion and regeneration in recent years, notably around Victoria Square. Belfast is served by two airports: George Best Belfast City Airport in the city, and Belfast International Airport 24 km west of the city.