Belfast Castle Cat Garden

  • 01 of 09

    The Feline Protectors on Cave Hill

    A Shrub Trimmed Into The Shape Of A Cat At Belfast Castle
    ••• Getty Images/John Kroetch

    The Belfast Castle in Ireland, built in 1870, is only 10 minutes from the center of the city just below Cave Hill. The unique garden contains nine cats in the form of sculptures, mosaics, and manicured shrubbery. According to legend, visitors to Belfast Castle will have good fortune as long as there is a cat residing there -- preferably a white one. This myth led to the creation of the Cat Garden, which boasts nine cats for visitors to discover. All are clearly visible, but some are hidden in plain sight. Great for kids and cat lovers, the garden will occupy you for some time.

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  • 02 of 09

    Let Sleeping Cats Lie

    Let Sleeping Cats Lie
    ••• Belfast Castle Cats - The Feline Protectors on Cave Hill Let Sleeping Cats Lie. © Bernd Biege 2010

    Visitors to Belfast Castle go on a quest to find nine cats in the Cat Garden. If you need hints to find all nine cats, the reception desk will provide a map of their locations in the garden.

     

     

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  • 03 of 09

    This Cat Got the Cream!

    This Cat Got the Cream!
    ••• Belfast Castle Cats - The Feline Protectors on Cave Hill This Cat Got the Cream!. © Bernd Biege 2010

    "Before a Cat will condescend to treat you as a trusted friend, some little token of esteem is needed, like a dish of cream." This plaque in the Cat Garden is in honor of T.S. Eliot's famous poem, "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats." 

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  • 04 of 09

    Mosaic of a Sitting Cat

    Mosaic of a Sitting Cat
    ••• Belfast Castle Cats - The Feline Protectors on Cave Hill Mosaic of a Sitting Cat. © Bernd Biege 2010

    Take the hop-on-hop-off bus to the castle; hike up Cave Hill from the castle, then relax in the Cat Garden and search for this mosaic cat.

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  • 05 of 09

    Snoozing Bronze Cat

    Snoozing Bronze Cat
    ••• Belfast Castle Cats - The Feline Protectors on Cave Hill Snoozing Bronze Cat. © Bernd Biege 2010

    This life-sized bronze cat taking a nap is a favorite with children. While visiting the castle, enjoy a snack in the on-site restaurant, The Cellar. 

     

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  • 06 of 09

    A White Cat Sat in a Wall

    A White Cat Sat in a Wall
    ••• Belfast Castle Cats - The Feline Protectors on Cave Hill A White Cat Sat in a Wall. © Bernd Biege 2010

    Hidden away a bit, this requisite white cat is charming in its simplicity. The castle is owned by the city of Belfast and the interior of the castle may not always be open to visitors when there are special events. You can even get married here. 

     

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  • 07 of 09

    Cat Playing With a Ball of String

    Cat Playing With a Ball of String
    ••• Belfast Castle Cats - The Feline Protectors on Cave Hill Cat Playing With a Ball of String. © Bernd Biege 2010

    This bench is made of fine metalwork of a cat playing with a ball of string. It may be the most elusive of the nine cats in the Cat Garden. Entry to the castle and Cat Garden is free. 

     

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  • 08 of 09

    Reclining Cat Mosaic

    Reclining Cat Mosaic
    ••• Belfast Castle Cats - The Feline Protectors on Cave Hill Reclining Cat Mosaic. © Bernd Biege 2010

    There seems to be more than a hint of a tiger here in this mosaic of a reclining cat. When visiting the garden, be sure to take in the views of Belfast from the top of Cave Hill behind the castle. 

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  • 09 of 09

    Has This Cat Spotted a Mouse?

    Has This Cat Spotted a Mouse?
    ••• Belfast Castle Cats - The Feline Protectors on Cave Hill Has This Cat Spotted a Mouse?. © Bernd Biege 2010

    When you come across this cat statue, you wonder whether there should also be a mouse to go with it. The Cat Garden is in full bloom in summer, and there is a pretty pond in the center of the garden.