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10 Best Things to Do in Derry (Northern Ireland)

Beautiful city with a turbulent history Derry’s name itself is the subject of debate.

Its official title is Londonderry However, due to evident reasons Derry was always favored in the local Republican communities and is more frequently used today.

One of the flashpoints in Derry’s history is Derry’s 1689 Siege of 1689 by the Jacobites against the Williamites that placed the 1.6-kilometre wall to the test. The defenses defended them well, and remain in good condition to this day.

Derry was for a long time an uneasy city, with the minority of Protestants as well as a history of discrimination from the Unionist government, the Catholic community of Derry was able to symbolize that movement for civil rights.

It was in this area that the famous Bloody Sunday took place in 1972. The healing process is still ongoing today.

Let’s take a look at the best activities while in Derry:

1. Walls of Derry

Walls Of Derry

Derry was the first planned city in Ireland. Derry was granted a set of defensive walls shaped like diamonds in the 1610s to safeguard the newly arrived English as well as Scottish colonists (planters). These Walls of Derry have the unique distinction of not being breached and enduring the 105-day siege that took place that took place in the year 1689, during the Williamite War.

Derry is a stunning example of a city walled as well as also the last town in Europe to have a defense system.

They’re 1.6 km in total and visitors can stroll across the ramparts and view the landscape by the guns’ embrasures. You can also take a look at The Inner City, which still is a Renaissance grid arrangement.

The gun positions are protected with 24 cannons. Many that were fired in the 17th century. They can be traced back to their manufacturing facilities.

The most famous of them is the recently rebuilt “Roaring Meg”.

2. Guildhall


The building was completed in 1890. Guildhall was ordered from the Honourable Irish Society and has Neo-Gothic and Tudor Revival architecture.

Derry and Strabane District Council Derry and Strabane District Council is located within this red sandstone structure easily identifiable by its windows that are traceried and its clock tower that has arches and jambs carved in its gateway.

The first stage of the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday was held in the Guildhall in the beginning of 2000. The building is also a popular tourist attraction and cultural centre. visitors.

Visit the gallery to view the stained glass windows, which include one piece that commemorates Bloody Sunday, and to visit an exhibition about the rich history of the city dating through the colonisation period of the 17th century. Plantation of Ulster.

3. Bogside Murals

Bogside Murals

A powerful memory about Derry along with Northern Ireland’s turbulent recent history The Bogside Murals comprise 12 huge artworks in the Bogside neighborhood.

It was in this area of the city where Bloody Sunday took place, and in 1993, two brothers, Tom as well William Kelly, and their friend Kevin Gasson, collaborated to capture the event, promote civil rights and share their desire for peace.

Together, the paintings are referred to in the People’s Gallery, and depict the Battle of the Bogside in 1969, the 14 deaths in Bloody Sunday, Operation Motorman in 1972, a dove symbolizing peacefulness and an antisectarian message in 2004. For more information, go on a guided tour of the Bogside.

4. St Columb’s Cathedral

St Columb's Cathedral

In the Northern Irish style known as Planter Gothic, St Columb’s Cathedral was constructed inside the walls of the Honourable Irish Society in the early 1630s.

The tower and the nave are dating from the very beginning of construction, which makes it an ancient monument that is still standing in Derry, and it was the chancel, the spire, and chapter house appeared during the 19th and 20th centuries.

The porch has an foundation stone which is derived from the former Big Church dating to the 1100s, and then the town was reconstructed to make Derry’s ramparts.

This is an inscription from the dedication ceremony of the church in the 17th century.

In the collection there are pictures from William of Orange, Derry’s city keys as well as a collection of artifacts from the 1689 siege.

5. Tower Museum

Tower Museum

A historic tower is located in the Derry’s City Walls, this museum explores Derry’s history and the development of Derry’s city.

The award-winning exhibit begins in prehistory and continues all the way to the 1960s.

In a separate room, you can view artefacts from La Trinidad Valencera, a Spanish Armada ship which was sunk in the waters off of Donegal coastline in 1588. Then, you’ll continue your voyage through the dramatic second part in the early 20th century in the cinema, where you will be able to understand the history, the causes, and the outcome from the Troubles.

At the top of the hill, the tower also provides the best vantage point over Derry’s Inner City and the River Foyle.

6. Peace Bridge

Peace Bridge

A landmark of the 21st century for Derry The Peace Bridge spans the Foyle River that runs between Ebrington Square and the remainder of the city’s central area.

The site is more than symbolic, as the crossing is actually a bridge connecting both the Waterside as well as the Cityside communities that are typically Unionist and Nationalist and Nationalist, respectively.

The serpentine pedestrian bridge measures approximately 235m long. It was the result of a partnership between AECOM along with Wilkinson Eyre Architects, the company behind Gateshead Millennium Bridge. Gateshead Millennium Bridge.

Derry has adopted The Peace Bridge to heart and it will be the backdrop for the celebrations that will take place at New Year.

7. Free Derry Museum

Free Derry Museum

Derry’s turbulent time from the 60s until the 90s are nicely summarized in the museum, which opened in the year 2006. Its Free Derry Museum tells you all you should be aware of about The Battle of the Bogside, Bloody Sunday and Operation Motorman and its exhibits include more than 25,000 pieces of artifacts.

Alongside letters and personal items, as well as posters In addition to personal effects, posters and letters, there are also photos and footage from archives.

The most important aspect to understand the events is to learn about the oppression that was imposed on the working class community, and the internment program that caused tensions to rise.

The museum strikes a positive note, setting out the idea that Free Derry as a universal campaign for equality and civil rights.

8. Free Derry Corner

Free Derry Corner

In the Bogside neighborhood, there’s a memorial near the intersection between Rossville Street, Lecky Road and Fahan Street.

Its phrase “You Are Now Entering Free Derry” was painted in 1969 by an activist from the city and marks the beginning of what was then a self-declared autonomous Nationalist section of the city during the early days of the Troubles.

At first, it was part of the terraced houses in the row however, they have since been destroyed, leaving just one standing wall in the central part in Lecky Road, which is now an expressway with two carriageways.

On the green next to the gable wall, there is an obituary to the victims of The 1981 Irish Hunger Strike, and an honorary monument to those who were part of the Irish Republican Army’s Derry Brigade that died fighting during the Troubles.

9. St Columb’s Park

St Columb's Park

In Waterside located on the left bank of the River Foyle is a rolling park that was once a prestigious estate, before it was purchased for the citizens from Derry through the Londonderry Corporation in 1845. It is tucked away in the riverbend. it’s a peaceful spot to stroll around or enjoy an afternoon picnic. It is accessible on an excursion along the river following the crossing of the Peace Bridge.

The manor house in St Columb’s Park House was constructed during the 1800s. It is used today for accommodation and also as a conference center which has a cafe on the first floor.

10. Siege Museum

Siege Museum

In 2016, an extension of the Apprentice Boys of Derry Memorial Hall was completed by a new exhibition about The 1688 Siege of Derry.

There are artefacts , as well as firsthand accounts of this city in the time of the battle along with information about excavations in the city, which revealed tools, weapons, and ceramics.

It is possible to also read up on the background that is the Associated Clubs of the Apprentice Boys of Derry and during a tour, you’ll be guided through the meeting space of this particular order along with The Orange Order, Women’s Orange and the Royal Black Institution.

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