Sculpture on the ‘crest’ of a wave

Harbour Unveils Seahorse Sculpture Linked to Belfast’s Coat of Arms

Belfast Harbour has officially unveiled a landmark public artwork as part of its 400th anniversary celebrations. The eight-metre high Seahorse sculpture has been installed at Dargan Road, where it will welcome thousands of daily visitors to the Harbour on what is the Port’s busiest entrance.

The ‘Belfast Seahorse’ is the work of internationally-acclaime

The ‘Belfast Seahorse’ is the work of internationally-acclaimed German sculptor and University of Ulster Reader Ralf Sander, whose portfolio includes major projects in South Korea, the US and Germany. Made of highly polished stainless steel and resting on an enlarged shipping bollard, the sculpture is designed to reflect the surrounding environment in a kaleidoscopic fashion.

Sculpture on the 'crest' of a wave
The seahorse has historical reference, appearing on the Belfast Coat of Arms

The Seahorse has strong connections to Belfast’s origins and maritime history, with the city’s first merchants printing the mythical creature on their coins throughout the 17th century. 

Belfast Harbour Chairman, Len O’Hagan, was joined at the unveiling by Belfast’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, and sculptor Ralf Sander. Mr O’Hagan said:

“This landmark project represents a major investment in the cultural infrastructure of Belfast. We are extremely proud of the Harbour’s contribution to the arts and we believe the Belfast Seahorse will very soon become one of the city’s most iconic images.”

Belfast Lord Mayor, Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, said:

“Belfast is developing an impressive array of world-class public artworks and this investment by the Harbour has provided the people of the city with another fantastic landmark which we can all be proud of. It will leave a lasting impression on the thousands of visitors who drive past it each day. 

The installation of the Belfast Seahorse took place at Dargan Road, the main route to the Harbour’s ferry terminals and will be clearly visible to the 1.4 million passengers travelling annually to and from Great Britain.” 

Belfast’s Coat of Arms, dating back to 1890 with its depiction of two seahorses, a ship and a ship’s bell reflects the city’s strong relationship with its Harbour