Much of central Belfast was affected and bombed during the 1970s and 1980s. In fact the Four Star Europa Hotel had the reputation as the most bombed hotel in the world [Not directly on every occasion but due to its central location it often suffered blast damage. ] .
In many ways the Troubles have allowed redevelopment to occur in the centre of Belfast much the same way that London , Berlin or Hamburg were redeveloped after World War II, starting from a clear slate. Belfast itself had been hit during the war, more severely than the ensuing 30 years of the Troubles, and was having to start over a second time with the affects.
The major shopping area, around Royal Avenue, was shut off and pedestrianised behind security gates during the height of the Troubles. However, certain shops and blocks were still destroyed by bombing. In the late 1980s one such site was redeveloped into Castle Court a modern shopping mall which the people of Belfast were lacking. It was a symbol of optimism as well as returning prosperity to the centre of Belfast.
A new railway station at Great Victoria Street was built and combined with a newContinued page 22/27