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Botanic Gardens is a public garden occupying 28 acres (110,000 m2) of south Belfast. They are located on Stranmillis Road in Queen's Quarter. The gardens opened in 1828 as the private Royal Belfast Botanical Gardens, only opening to members of the public on Sundays prior to 1895 when it became a public park.
The gardens' most notable feature is the Palm House conservatory which was designed by Charles Lanyon and built by Richard Turner and completed in 1840. It is one of the earliest examples of a curvilinear cast iron glasshouse in the world. The gardens contain another glasshouse, the Tropical Ravine House. It was built by head gardener Charles McKimm in 1889 and features a sunken ravine which runs the length of the building, with a balcony at each side for viewing. The Palm House and the Tropical Ravine House were symbols of Belfast's growing industrial might and prosperity in the Victorian era and attracted over 10,000 visitors a day.
The gardens have hosted several concerts and music festivals in recent years, including Kings of Leon, Kaiser Chiefs, Snow Patrol and The White Stripes as part of the Tennents ViTal Festival between 2002 and 2006. On 26 August 1997 40,000 witnessed U2 playing their first Belfast concert in over a decade in the gardens as part of the PopMart tour.