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Belfast Castle looks over the city from the slopes of Cave Hill, an area which has played an integral part in the city's history. Now the hill is part of the Cave Hill Country Park.
Its most interesting historical link lies on the rocky outcrop at the top of the hill. Affectionately known as Napoleon's Nose, its real name is McArts Fort.
Dominating the Belfast skyline, it was here in 1795 that Theobold Wolf Tone, Henry Joy McCracken and other Presbyterians who formed the United Irishmen took their oath to help liberate Ireland from English rule. McCracken was captured here after their failed 1798 Rebellion.
More of a baronial mansion, Belfast Castle was built in the 1890s and is mostly used for conferences and weddings. There is a Visitors Centre upstairs, which gives a full history of Cave Hill, the country park and the castle, covering everything from the sights and sounds of the park to the social and political history of the area. The Cellar Restaurant is also popular for special occasions, while outside are pleasant formal gardens overlooking the city.
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