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Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland, situated on the banks of the Lagan River on the east coast of Ireland. It is the largest city in Northern Ireland and the second largest city on the island. It had a population of 333,871 in 2015. In the early 1800s, the former city was an important port. Belfast played a key role in the industrial revolution of the 19th century and became the largest linen producer in the world, earning it the nickname "Linenopolis". Declared a city status in 1888, it was an important center for the Irish linen, tobacco, rope and shipbuilding industries.