SAMSON AND GOLIATH CRANES IN BELFAST

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SAMSON AND GOLIATH CRANES IN BELFAST


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Samson and Goliath are the twin shipbuilding gantry cranes situated at Queen's Island, Belfast, Northern Ireland. The cranes, which were named after the Biblical figures Samson and Goliath, dominate the Belfast skyline and are landmark structures of the city.

The cranes are situated in the shipyard of Harland & Wolff and were constructed by the German engineering firm Krupp, with Goliath being completed in 1969 and Samson, in 1974. Goliath stands 96 metres (315 ft) tall, while Samson is taller at 106 metres (348 ft). Goliath, the smaller of the two sits slightly further inland closer to Belfast City. At the time Harland & Wolff was one of the largest shipbuilders in the world. The announcement that they were to be built was an important event at the time.

Each crane has a span of 140 metres (459 ft) and can lift loads of up to 840 tonnes to a height of 70 metres (230 ft), making a combined lifting capacity of over 1,600 tonnes, one of the largest in the world. Prior to commissioning, the cranes were tested up to 1,000 tonnes, which bent the gantry downwards by over 30 centimetres (12 in). The dry dock at the base of the cranes is the largest in the world measuring 556 m × 93 m.