CS Lewis' life celebrated in new Belfast space
- 23 November 2016
- From the section Northern Ireland
A new public space named after one of Belfast's most famous writers, CS Lewis, has been officially opened.
The square has been built at the intersection of the Connswater and Comber Greenways.
The opening on Tuesday evening marked the anniversary of the author's death in 1963.
Seven permanent sculptures based on characters from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe were unveiled.
Three hundred trees have been planted around the square, and there are also new railway tracks, arches, paths and art.
It can hold up to 2,000 people during public events.
Tuesday night's opening had dancers and musicians, including members of the Ulster Orchestra and harpist Nollaig Brolly, performing live.
The grand finale was a snow machine which transformed the square into a winter wonderland.
A statue of CS Lewis' most poignant character, the lion Aslan, from The Chronicles of Narnia, was revealed to the public.
Clive Staples Lewis - known as Jack to his family - died on 22 November 1963 at the age of 64, the same day President JF Kennedy was assassinated.
He was honoured with a memorial stone in Westminster Abbey later, 50 years after his death.
CS Lewis' stepson Douglas Gresham told the BBC was a "great honour" to see "Jack" being recognised in this way.
"It's about time Belfast really woke up to the fact that CS Lewis was born and raised right here and he loved the place," he said.
I have a sneaking suspicion, though he never said so, The Lion, the Witch and Wardrobe was his very favourite of all the books he ever wrote.
"I think he'd be thrilled to see the Narnia characters come to life in bronze. The secret, of course, is that on a moonlight night, if Aslan's really around they might really come to life," he added.