February 13, 2008
Peace Lines (peace walls) of West Belfast are barriers separating Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods in the area. I took this photo when I visited there during the black taxi tour of Belfast. I leaned that Derry and other towns in Northern Ireland have similar peace lines, too.
There are more than 20 Peace Lines in Belfast, and many of them extend for miles. The wall was built to minimize the violence between the neighborhoods, and it also has gates, where military security guards used be posted. Now, the gates are left opened, but the Peace Lines are still there. I asked our taxi driver why they didn’t take the wall down, too. He responded that it would immediately cause troubles and people would start to kill each other again…
The Peace Lines are filled with graffiti by the locals and tourists. Some hoping for the peace in future, some crying about the tragic past. While Belfast and Northern Ireland is have become much safer place to visit in recent years, these walls are undeniably still important parts of their daily lives.