'The Big Fish' – Belfast, Northern Ireland - Atlas Obscura
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'The Big Fish'

A giant sculpture of the legendary "Salmon of Knowledge" celebrates the return of fish to Belfast's River Lagan. 


“The Big Fish,” also known as “The Salmon of Knowledge,” is a sculpture made from a mosaic of ceramic tiles. You’ll find it along the banks of the River Lagan in Donegall Quay, Belfast

The giant sculpture is based on a character from the tale “The Boyhood Deeds of Fionn.” The story tells of a fish that eats some hazelnuts that had fallen into the Well of Wisdom. After devouring the nuts, the salmon gained all the knowledge in the world. According to the tale, the first person to eat the fish would then inherit all of its knowledge. 

This sculpture of the legendary salmon was constructed in 1999 to celebrate the return of fish to the River Lagan. Each of its tiles is decorated with texts or images that relate in some way to an aspect of Belfast’s history. According to local folklore, kissing the fish envokes wisdom.

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