From Rivets to Requiem, Belfast Commemorates the RMS Titanic

by M-Gillies

The 150,700 sq.ft. venue includes nine galleries of interactive exhibition space, including a dark ride, underwater exploration theatre and recreations of the ship's decks and cabins.

Everyone has heard the story of the RMS Titanic. It’s a bold statement to claim that everyone knows of the story, but for the last century the fate of the Titanic has gone down in history as the deadliest peacetime maritime disaster ever. But if that wasn’t enough to enlighten a person on the tragic tale of the Titanic, surely the 1997 movie directed by James Cameron and staring both Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet would. At least, it should, the movie alone won eleven Oscars and also earned the tile of being the highest-grossing film in history for the next twelve years since its release.

But if those two feats of historical facts haven’t stirred the slightest inclination of recognition, perhaps the month of April will peak one’s curiosity as cities, organizations, celebrities and voyage liners (among many others) prepare to honor the 1,514 people who died on the Titanic’s maiden voyage as the once dubbed unsinkable ship of dreams approaches its centennial year.

Two years before the world would be devastated by the plights of war, North America was developing into a country many dreamt of living in – cinema was becoming increasingly popular, ragtime music was all the rage, homes were soon blessed with indoor plumbing, the bicycle and motor cars were slowly replacing the horse-drawn carriage, and in order to travel internationally, passenger liners were the primary source of connecting countries via oversea voyages.

To become the first choice for passengers crossing the Atlantic, White Star Line commissioned shipbuilders Harland and Wolff of Belfast, Northern Ireland to design and construct an Olympic-class vessel that could accommodate all classes, be it rich or poor. As Belfast quickly aligned itself as a global leader in engineering, ship-building and linen manufacturing, it only seemed proper to use the largest shipyard in the world to craft such a luxurious vessel.

Claire Bradshaw Head of Sales and Marketing at Titanic Belfast, and Judith Owens, Operations Director at Titanic Belfast at the opening on March 31, 2012.

Now, after 100 years, to memorialize Belfast’s’ significant history and linkage to the Titanic, the city has commemorated the RMS Titanic with her very own six-storey glittering edifice known as Titanic Belfast. Built on the same location of the Harland and Wolff shipyard, where the ship was first birthed, visitors have been given an opportunity to explore the experience and the historical impact of the Titanic with nine exhibits telling the tale from rivets to requiem.

Using interactive media, including CGI, film, audio, artifacts and full-scale replicas of the Titanic, visitors of the Titanic Belfast will learn the history of the thriving industries and the design innovations that led to the creation of the RMS Titanic.

To celebrate the official opening of Titanic Belfast (which opened its doors Saturday March 31, 2012), the city of Belfast will be hosting the Titanic Belfast festival which will continue on to Sunday April 15, 2012.

Read more:

Visit the birthplace of the Titanic | Titanic Belfast

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