Both Belfast and Cobh have significant associations to the Titanic, which has brought a large number of tourists to Irish coasts to witness where it all began. The Titanic was built in Belfast's Harland and Wolff shipyards, with the first design beginning in 1907. She was eventually completed in 1912 and sold to an American company that renamed her the New York. In February of this year, she was discovered off the coast of Newfoundland by researchers using sonar equipment. Over time, she has become one of the world's most famous relics.
In fact, some claim that she is more popular in Ireland than in America! There are several locations around the country that reference events from the ship's history, such as the Titanic Museum in Belfast, which is dedicated to telling the story of the vessel and its passengers. Also in Belfast is the SS Nomadic, which is said to be the largest surviving boat from the great maritime disaster that killed over 1,500 people!
The Titanic Memorial at Cobh also brings thousands of visitors to the town each year. It is a monument designed by Thomas McBride that features three bronze figures representing life, safety, and hope. One of these figures is known as "Mother Mara", who is credited with bringing supplies on board the ship during its last voyage.
McBride also created another monument in Cobh called the Granite Star.
Alternatively, if you've been to Ireland in recent years, you'll know that the terrible narrative of the Titanic began here. In fact, the Titanic is so important to Ireland that the country's flag incorporates three red balls, one for every lost passenger.
Before it was a luxury liner, the Titanic was an ordinary commercial ship. Built in Belfast by Harland and Wolff, she was launched on April 10, 1912 and completed just four months later at a cost of $7 million (or £3.6 million). Designed for American trade, she had eight decks, was over 1000 feet long and weighed nearly 4000 tons. She was considered to be one of the most modern ships of her time.
The Titanic departed from Southampton, England on her maiden voyage on Friday, April 10, 1912. Her route took her across the Atlantic Ocean to Montreal then down the St Lawrence River to New York City. It was here that the story really starts to unfold. The ship's owner, the White Star Line, chose Canada as a starting point because it was expected to be a safe place for passengers to arrive after a long journey overseas. However, once they set off, the Titanic collided with an iceberg and sank six hours later.
The Olympic (right) and Titanic were built in Belfast, Northern Ireland, at the Harland & Wolff shipyard. Originally, both ships were to be named Britannia but when the White Star Line decided not to rename them, they were instead called Olympic-class vessels. The Olympic was completed first on April 19, 1912 and delivered to her owner three days later. The Titanic followed a few weeks later on May 31, 1912 and she began her maiden voyage a month later on June 10. Both ships were fitted out at Harland's shipyard in Belfast and both sets of passengers sailed for New York City on their maiden trips. However, only the Titanic survived her maiden voyage.
During World War I, the British government seized control of both ships and used them for military purposes. The Titanic was sunk by an American submarine in April 1915 to prevent her from being used by Germany as a warship. In 1918, the Olympic was returned to White Star Line and she continued to make voyages around the world until she too was destroyed by the Titanic's owner, J Bruce Ismay, who died aboard her.
In memory of the Titanic and Olympic, their respective countries have erected monuments in their honor. The Olympic Memorial Park is a park in Belfast that contains two monuments dedicated to the Titanic and Olympic.
The Liverpool Crew of the Titanic The Titanic was built in Belfast by Harland & Wolff and launched on May 31, 1911. She was ready for her first journey from Southampton to New York after undergoing sea testing. On April 14, 1912 she left Southampton with 1500 passengers aboard and arrived in New York on April 19. On her second voyage a few days later, she was heading for Boston when she struck an iceberg and sank six hours later at 11:40 am off Newfoundland.
Harland's yard was then taken over by Dönitz, a German shipbuilder, who converted it into a submarine factory. The Titanic was also built in Dönitz's yard. Her sister ship, the Olympic, was built in France and did not sink during her maiden voyage in 1912. However, she caught fire during World War I and had to be scrapped.
If you travel back in time on the Titanic memorial website, you can see a map that shows how many people were killed in each city the ship stopped at. London has the most deaths with 1,600 people lost. In second place is New York with 1,100 people lost. Third is Montreal with 900 people lost. The least people died in either Belfast or Liverpool - 400 each.
The name Titanic is derived from Greek mythology's Titans. The RMS Titanic was the second of three Olympic-class ocean liners built in Belfast, Ireland, in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; the first was the RMS Olympic, and the third was the HMHS Britannic. She was launched on 15 March 1910 by Mrs. William Heseltine, wife of the mayor of Belfast, who had been appointed by the British government to be the representative at the launch. The ship's maiden voyage was from Southampton to New York City via the Suez Canal and the Cape of Good Hope.
Titanics construction was overseen by John Brown & Sons, who had also built the Olympic. Like her sister ship, the Titanic was an enormous vessel for her time: she was the largest ship ever built before the onset of World War I, and her size proved to be her downfall. Constructed with advanced technology at that time, the Titanic was designed to be a luxury liner that would appeal to wealthy passengers from all over the world. However, due to financial difficulties within the company, she was sold before completing construction and therefore did not reach her intended length of 490 feet (147 m). Instead, she measured 503 feet (152 m) between perpendiculars. The ship was also too heavy for her size: she carried more than 15,000 tons of fuel and nearly 2,000 tons of cargo. This made her prone to rolling and shaking as well as poor sailing qualities.