Ulster (The North)
Proud. Fierce. Independent. Ulster has been set apart from the rest of Ireland since ancient
times, when the warriors of this northern kingdom proved themselves on the battlefield and
became some of the most feared on the island. Today, the ancient kingdom is split in two by
the line of partition separating the Republic of Ireland from Northern Ireland. When Ireland
launched its War of Independence against Great Britain (see p. 18), Protestant Unionists in
the North refused to join in, preferring to remain as part of the United Kingdom. This com-
munal split has affected the history of Ulster ever since, and there's no mistaking it when
you visit the major cities of the North.
But, despite its reputation for violence, Ulster has much to offer the traveler - Belfast is a
large, cosmopolitan city much like many others in the United Kingdom, and the northern
coast has some of the most dramatic geological formations in Ireland. And as the wounds of
the war begin to heal, Northern Ireland is blossoming into a stable, peaceful community.