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Sightseeing in Londonderry - what to see. Complete travel guide

Londonderry is the second-largest city in Northern Ireland. This is also a large and important port. Local people love their homeland and usually informally call the city “Derry”. Tourists are always welcome in this part of the country. Derry gladly reveals its history and culture to guests of this charming region. Guests can learn more about the Siege of Derry, find out how local people survived in this tough period in the history of the city, and listen to many interesting details about the Battle of the Bogside. The city still has walls of the old fortress that dates back to the 17th century. Overall, Londonderry is a pleasant and hospitable city with friendly people, and this fact makes a stay here even more enjoyable.
First mentions of Derry appeared in the 6th century. This is the time when St. Columba built the first monastery on the bank of the River Foyle. Starting from that moment and during the next five centuries, Derry was a monk settlement. In 1608, the Irish coastal city capitulated to Sir Cahir Rua O'Doherty, the ruler of Inishowen. He later burnt Derry and killed its governor. However, the rebellion was put down later. Starting from 1613, a massive reconstruction took place in Derry. The building works lasted six years. During the period of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, the city suffered much damage and many of its people were killed.
When World War I started, more than 5,000 men from Londonderry became soldiers and joined the British army. With the emergence of the independence movement in Ireland, battles between Catholics and Protestants became quite frequent in the city. They caused many deaths, and many people were forced to leave their houses. World War II, which started soon after that, affected Londonderry as well. The city played an important role in the Battle of the Atlantic as it was a major naval base. When the war ended, the city’s level of life decreased. All attempts of the local authorities to restore the former importance of Derry didn’t succeed. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
Do you want to see British shrines? An Anglican church dedicated to St. Columba opened its doors in Londonderry in the 30s of the 17th century. For a long time, this was the residence of the Bishop of Londonderry. After many years of the Reformation, this building was the first shrine on the British Isles. The church maintained its original look until 1776. After that, it was decided to add a tower to the church, and its height increased to six and a half meters. Several years later, a spire made of stone decorated the building.
Twenty years later, the tower became deteriorated and was at risk of falling. To prevent this, it was decided to remove the added part. The dilapidated part of the cathedral was rebuilt at the beginning of the 19th century. Another twenty years later, the cathedral finally got a spire. The portico in the southern part of the cathedral was removed, and the east tower was renewed. The cathedral’s inner decor got an update in the 60s of the 19th century. After extensive restoration works, the church got a new altar. Finally, the chapter house was added to the building at the beginning of the 20th century. St. Columba’s Cathedral hosts daily masses and is open for visitors.
Mussenden Temple is one more notable religious landmark in County Londonderry. This is an interesting old church that is a popular attraction in the region nowadays. Mussenden Temple is a moderately sized round-shaped building that stands proudly near a cliff that faces the Atlantic Ocean. Tourists can visit this popular historical building free of charge all year round. The temple was built in 1785. Initially, the church belonged to Frederick Augustus Hervey, 4th Earl of Bristol who also was the Bishop of Derry. He ordered to build it in the memory of his cousin whose name was Mussenden.
Local people say that the bishop at first didn’t consider the temple a sacred place. It looked more like a summer library and not as a place where the bishop could talk to God. The building was called a “temple” and not a “church” because it was modeled from the Temple of Vesta in Italy. In modern days, the building is at risk of ruining because the cliff is not stable, and the whole construction can fall to the water. That is why builders continuously strengthen the temple’s foundation and the cliff to save the popular architectural landmark. In recent years, Mussenden Temple has become a popular wedding location and tourist attraction.
There is an airport twelve kilometers from Londonderry. This airport regularly serves domestic flights from the airports in London, Dublin, Liverpool, and Nottingham. Having landed in the Irish city, tourists can reach the center of Londonderry by bus that takes passengers to the destination in half an hour. There are also bus routes from Belfast. The journey time is almost two hours in this case. A ride from Dublin will be even longer – roughly four hours.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Londonderry and surroundings

Reference information
Map of all castles
Survived castles around Londonderry
♥   Castle 'Roughan Castle' , 22.4 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Limavady Castle' , 24.7 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Dungiven Castle Ireland' , 26 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Greencastle' , 30.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Stewart Castle' , 31.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo

Sights around Londonderry from our guide 'Extreme places on Earth'

Dark Hedges

From the series “Fabulous Nooks of the World with Striking Colorful Shades”
More than a hundred years ago, a young girl died under mysterious circumstances in one of the houses close to the alley. Locals claim that its restless soul settled among ancient beech trees and usually comes for a walk after sunset. The place where the Dark Hedges is located, was officially recognized by the scientists as an anomalous zone. Plenty of unexplained things are happening there. … Read further

Giants Causeway Coast

From the series “Top 15 Unesco Sites in Europe”
Locals mention the unusual lava plateau in the amazing legend, according to which the road was built by the hero, Finn Mac Koeman. He had to fight with the one-eyed giant named Gall. The hero managed to frighten the giant with his wit so much, that the ogre broke the bridge, leaving only part of it at the coast. Some incredible historical events are also associated with the lava plateau. During the war with Spain, one of the ships of Invincible Armada has taken high basalt columns for huge chimneys of the castle. The Spaniards tried in vain to fire non-existent castle, until their ship crashed on the rocks located close to the coast. Treasures that were collected from that ship can be seen today in the Ulster Museum in Belfast. … Read further
Car rental on OrangeSmile.com Rentals in Londonderry

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Sightseeing in regions nearby Londonderry

All about Londonderry, Great Britain - sightseeings, attractions, touristic spots, architecture, history, culture and cuisine. Prepare your trip together with OrangeSmile.com - find out the 'must see' things in Londonderry, which places to visit, which excursions to take, where the breathtaking views are waiting for you. Planning your trip with this travel guide will help your to get the most out of Londonderry in few days.
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