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Belfast is recognised as having a vibrant, revitalised cultural life. The growing energy within the culture and arts sector is clear to see. There are eight major annual festivals, key concert and performance venues, and award winning theatres. In the past decade Belfast’s cultural renaissance has witnessed the arrival of a new generation of visitor attractions, hotels, restaurants and bars.
The proud heritage and history of Belfast is important and is celebrated through the eight museums and heritage centres across the city. There are 1,040 listed buildings, 13 designated areas of conservation and 20 designated areas of townscape character.
The newly defined Cathedral Quarter and Titanic Quarter have derived their strong identity from their rich traditional heritage. Belfast is punctuated by beautiful Victorian and Edwardian buildings which continue to enhance the lives of today’s citizens with a rich architectural heritage.
Queen’s University is the most important custodian of listed buildings in Northern Ireland, after the National Trust. The University estate, located within three different conservation areas comprises more than 250 buildings, of which almost half are listed as being of special architectural merit.
Belfast’s rich cultural traditions and communities have produced a wealth of diverse artistic expression. The city has produced some internationally renowned artists such as Grammy award winner Van Morrison, pianist Barry Douglas and Oscar nominated Kenneth Branagh.