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The skyline of Port Londonderry Northern Ireland

Londonderry, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Divided by the River Foyle in Northern Ireland, Londonderry, or Derry as it’s commonly known, has also been riven by sectarian politics. During the Troubles, Protestants and Catholics migrated to opposite sides of the river and the British Army patrolled the streets. In January 1972, 13 unarmed protesters were shot and killed by soldiers, a day that became known as Bloody Sunday. But in the years since the Good Friday peace accords, signed in 1998, Londonderry has become known for its redeveloped riverfront, great restaurants and cultural events. In fact, the city was named the UK City of Culture 2013, which spurred new initiatives and fostered a feeling of civic pride—and unity.The city’s history is on display in the compact center. Walk the 17th-century city walls, the only completely intact ones left on the Emerald Isle, and visit the Guildhall with its amazing stained glass windows. The open-air People’s Gallery includes 12 murals that were painted by the Bogside Artists to commemorate the Troubles, and the Peace Bridge, built in 2011, connects the city center to Ebrington Square, a former military parade ground that’s now a communal public space. Derry is also the perfect jumping-off point for trips to nearby castles and the coast.