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The Giant's Ring, a 5,000-year-old henge, is located near the city, and evidence of Bronze and Iron Age occupation have been found in the surrounding hills.
based around the marshy ford where the River Lagan met the River Farset, which today would be where High Street meets Victoria Street.
Until the late 16th century most of the land surrounding Belfast was still in the hands of the O'Neill clan.
In recent years the city has been relatively peaceful and major redevelopment has occurred, especially in the inner city and dock areas.
The Belfast area has been occupied since at least the Bronze Age.
George's) is built on the site of an ancient chapel used by pilgrims crossing the water.
but its status as a major urban centre dates to the 18th century. Belfast was throughout its modern history a major commercial and industrial centre, but the late 20th century saw a decline in its traditional industries, particularly shipbuilding.
The city's history has been marked by violent conflict between Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants which has caused many working class areas of the city to be split into Catholic and Protestant areas.