Monuments, Museums Mark Titanic's History in Europe, North America

We all know the story of Titanic. A huge, “unsinkable” ship hit an iceberg in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and sank, taking more than 1,500 lives with it on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.

What you might not know is that a lot of locations have Titanic ties to them. From its birth in Northern Ireland to a brief stop in France to a Canadian town hundreds of miles from its final resting place, the ship has monuments and museums on both sides of the Atlantic.

We’ve created a helpful guide to Titanic-related places across Europe and North America.

Titanic’s Birth and Voyage

Titanic was built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The shipyard has undergone changes throughout the years and is now home to the Titanic Belfast museum (more on that later).

What some may not know is that the ship docked three times before  taking off across the Atlantic. After it was built in Belfast, it headed south to its first port in Southampton, England. From there, it crossed the English Channel and picked up passengers at the second port in Cherbourg, France. From France, it headed west to its last port in Queenstown, Ireland (now known as Cobh).

Titanic’s original destination was to have been New York Harbor. After that, it was to turn around and head to Plymouth, England, where it would have celebrated its first roundtrip across the Atlantic. Instead, Titanic sank 370 miles southeast of Mistaken Point, Newfoundland, and sits some 12,000 feet below the surface of the ocean. Unidentified bodies were laid to rest in three cemeteries in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Remembering the Liner

There are a several Titanic museums and memorials in Europe and the U.S.

  • Southampton: There are two Titanic memorials, one to the engineers of Titanic and the Titanic Musicians’ Memorial, dedicated to the band leader and the other musicians who played while the ship was sinking.
  • Cobh, Ireland: There is a memorial in the town center to Titanic, as the city was the last port of call for the liner.
  • Belfast, Northern Ireland: Its memorial is currently housed on the grounds of the city hall. But Titanic Belfast, a $122 million tourist attraction, is set to open March 31, 2012 to mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking. The building is located on the Harland and Wolff shipyard (see photo, above).
  • Washington, D.C.: Titanic Memorial is located outside Fort McNair in Washington Channel Park.
  • Indian Orchard, Massachusetts: Titanic Historical Society Museum is the oldest Titanic museum in the U.S. It includes original artifacts from the ship, including lifejackets, blueprints and more.

100th Anniversary Cruise

One hundred years later, a cruise line will follow the exact path Titanic took.

British travel firm Miles Morgan Travel is recreating the trek across the Atlantic, from Southampton to New York, with all the stops along the way. The ship will also hold a memorial service at the location of the sinking on April 14-15, to pay tribute to those who died. It’s booked solid, but there is a waiting list if you’re interested. And brave.

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Published: April 13, 2012