WATCH: First glimpse of Belfast City Hall’s new £1.3m visitor exhibition

An exciting new £1.3m visitor exhibition in Belfast City Hall was officially launched today before opening to the public on Tuesday (May 16).

The City Hall’s east wing on the ground floor has been completely revamped to house the tourist attraction.

Lord Mayor Alderman Brian Kingston, arrives in style along with Stephen Armstrong  at the opening of Belfast City Halls new �1.3 million exhibition.

Lord Mayor Alderman Brian Kingston, arrives in style along with Stephen Armstrong at the opening of Belfast City Halls new �1.3 million exhibition.

It offers a journey from the city’s past to present, showing the vibrancy and diversity of City Hall across six themed zones: The City, Growth and Governance; The City at Work and Play; City Speech and City Streets; The City Commemorates; The Reflection Space and

The City Celebrates.

The exhibition stretches over 16 separate rooms, all presented within the original architecture of City Hall as designed by Alfred Brumwell Thomas in the late 1890s.

It was officially launched today by the Lord Mayor, Alderman Brian Kingston, who said: “Belfast City Hall is one of the most iconic visitor attractions in the city and while our tours have always proved popular, we wanted to add to the visitor experience, providing more information which will help them put our city, its traditions and culture into context.

Lord Mayor Alderman Brian Kingston re-enacts an old Belfast street scene with Cara, Ava and Riona Gallagher during the opening of Belfast City Halls new �1.3 million exhibition.

Lord Mayor Alderman Brian Kingston re-enacts an old Belfast street scene with Cara, Ava and Riona Gallagher during the opening of Belfast City Halls new �1.3 million exhibition.

“One of the most important aspects of this exhibition is that the narrative was agreed by all party leaders who have been open to examining every aspect of our past.

“After learning about our history, culture, tradition and politics the reflection space offers the opportunity to quietly review the traumatic events of Belfast’s most recent turbulent history and gradual move towards peace.

“Artefacts such as the table on which the Ulster Covenant against Home Rule for Ireland was signed, as well others previously stored in various nooks, crannies and safes now have pride of place in the exhibition,” said Alderman Kingston.

“Belfast is on the cusp of something exciting. The city is ready for investment and development that will create employment, prosperity and a bright future for all and members of the council are determined to work in partnership towards those goals – as well as ensuring we continue to provide the best possible services to our citizens.

“This exhibition makes an important contribution towards not only reminding us of how far we have come but also that Belfast was, and is, one of the world’s great cities, with a great history and even better future.”

It’s free for individuals (there’s a charge for commercial groups) and there’s a small cost for headphones to listen to an audio tour, available in a range of languages.

Opening hours: Monday - Wednesday, 9.30am - 5pm; Thursday, 9.30am - 8pm; Friday, 9.30am - 5pm; Saturday and Sunday, 10am - 5pm.