The Linen Quarter is the area of Belfast south of the City Hall bounded by Donegall Square South/May Street, Bedford Street, Ormeau Avenue and Cromac Street. The name is derived from the great many linen manufacturers that made their homes in the area and which were so influential in the development of Belfast, a city once referred to as the "Linenopolis".
The site now occupied by Belfast City Hall was once the home of the White Linen Hall, an important international linen exchange. The street which runs from the back door of Belfast City Hall through the middle of the Linen Quarter is known as Linen Hall Street.
The Linen Hall Library, one of Belfast's oldest cultural institutions, that occupies a site in Donegall Square North in front of today's City Hall, started life within the walls of the White Linen Hall.