Travel Guide Londonderry/Derry

Derry, Londonderry, The Maiden City, Stroke City or indeed Doire (in Irish) is one of the most historic cities in Northern Ireland, Ireland and indeed maybe even the UK. Its the second largest city in Northern Ireland and the fourth largest in Ireland as a whole.

The city is split in two by the river Foyle which brings the Waterside and City Side together by way of 2 bridges - Craigavon Bridge and the Foyle Bridge (to us folk from L'derry the new bridge!). The urban population of the city is that of approximatly 90 000.

The name of the city is contraversial in itself, traditionally those from a nationalist/republician view point would refer to the city as Derry whilst the more unionist/loyalist folk would refer to the city as Londondery giving the city its full title. The city gets the title Maiden City due to the fact that its walls were never penetrated during the siege of Derry in the late 17th Century. Whilst it was a local broadcaster - Gerry Anderson - who gave the city its more comical name of Stroke City coming from the more politically correct reference to the city as L' Derry!

The city has a long and historic past - one of the first areas to be inhabited in Ireland dating back as far as the 6th when St Columba founded a monastry in the area. Yet it was during the plantation of Ulster in the 16th century that the city properly started to form - with its now historic walls (which are still to be seen and can be walked around as they are largely intact) being built.

Major historic events such as the Seige of Derry between 1688-89 when the city folk loyal to the crown and King William held off attack from those who being loyal to King James and therefore the Catholic realm tried to breach the walls and in turn take the city.

More recent events in the cities history include that of the infamous Bloody Sunday - 30th January 1972 (made famous world wide by the U2 song of the same name). It was on this date that 26 innocent civil rights protestors were shot dead by British Army - there are lots of theories and conspisiracies surrounding these events but needless to say the deaths shocked people the world over.

The city economically was at the fore front of textiles at one time although this has since gone into decline but at one time the contribution of the city to this industry was prolific - with at one time the female population being the major wage earners in the city with more levels of male unemployment. Unfortunately this has since gone into decline - with the transfer of the shirt factories to the far east where costs are cheaper.



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