If you are visiting Belfast any time soon, do not be alarmed. A giant seahorse statue has just been unveiled in the heart of the city, made entirely from stainless steel. The sculpture was commissioned and created by Ralf Sander to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Belfast Harbour.

Standing proud at 26 feet tall (that’s 8m, folks!), the statue is placed on Dargan Road and is yet another attraction for residents and tourists alike to see on any number of informative Belfast tours.

shutterstock_246812653The Seahorse has held a long standing connection with the city of Belfast, as something of an emblem due to its use on coins used during the 17th century by merchants. The seahorse has since been incorporated into the official coat of arms for the city and more recently, has been used on the kits for Belfast’s many sports teams.

With hopes of inaugurating the seahorse as a unifying mascot for Belfast, Sanders spent four years crafting the sculpture. Utilising a combination of unconventional metal casting, the statue was finalised in a South Korean metalworking factory by the very best team of experts.

According to mythology, the seahorse is symbolic of many things, including health, protection and recovery, which only adds to the air of mystery surrounding the creature. The cultural importance of the seahorse when connected to Belfast is that it was entrusted to protect merchants and passengers that departed from the city’s harbour from the 17th century to the present day.

In addition to the history between the city of Belfast and the mystical sea creature, it will also be a visitor’s attraction for tourists when visiting the city. The historical Port of Belfast and its history was exactly why it was selected as docking city for the world famous RMS Titanic before setting sail in 1911.

Belfast is an excellent starting point for those that wish to further explore Northern Ireland and surrounding areas. There are many places of interest and historical sites nearby, including the incredible Giants Causeway just a few hours away on the Antrim coast.