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Galway

Country
Ireland
State
Galway
City
Galway
Type of Location
Multiple
About Location

Galway (Gaillimh, "Gailleamh's Place") is picturesquely situated at the northeast end of Galway Bay, at the point where the short tidal River Corrib, coming from Lough Corrib, pours its abundant flow of water into the Atlantic.

Galway is the see of the diocese of Galway county, and has a university (part of the National University of Ireland),in which much of the teaching is in Irish (summer courses for visitors in July and August). Irish culture and language are also promoted by the Irish theater, An Taiohbhearc. For centuries Galway had active trading relations with Spain, and it has preserved something of this Spanish influence. In the field of architecture, for instance, it is seen in the houses built round an open courtyard.

There was a settlement on this site from the earliest times. After the building of a castle in 1124 and its capture by Richard de Burgo in 1232 Galway rapidly developed into a flourishing Anglo-Norman town. The "Fourteen tribes of Galway" - aristocratic merchant families - made the town a kind of city state and held to the English connection in spite of all the attacks by the Irish (the latter being barred from entering the town). Galway was destroyed by a great fire in 1473 but was soon rebuilt. Trade with the countries of western Europe, particularly Spain, brought wealth and prosperity. During the 16th and 17th century there was a celebrated grammar school here which is said at one time to have had 1,200 pupils. In the 17th century the town supported the Irish cause, and suffered extensive destruction at the hands of Cromwell's forces; and there was further damage when it was taken by William of Orange's troops in 1691.



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How to Reach

By Air

Over the past two decades, Galway Airport has developed from a small air strip to a fully-fledged regional airport. The airport now offers daily services to Dublin, Cardiff, London Luton, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Belfast City, Birmingham and Cork as well as Lorient, in France.

By Rail

Train is the ideal way of travelling from Dublin to Galway. The journey time is about 3 hours and a bar and restaurant service is available on most trains. Irish Rail runs a regular train service to Dublin stopping off at major towns. Advance booking is not usually necessary.

Towns serviced along this route include Athenry, Ballinasloe, Athlone, Tullamore and Kildare. There are no direct routes to other cities. Ceannt Station in Galway City is just off Eyre Square in the centre of the city.

By Bus

There are frequent daily services to Galway from Dublin. There is also a special service to and from Dublin Airport. The journey takes 3 hours, 25 minutes. The main bus station in Galway is in Eyre Square.

Key places to visit
Eyre Square, Galway Harbor, Salmon Weir Bridge, St Nicholas's Church, Lynch's Castle


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Places to Visit

Lynch's Castle

Lynch's Castle (16th C.: National Monument), a large gray building with coats of arms on the facade, now occupied by a bank, was the residence of the Lynches, an aristocratic family which provided several mayors of Galway. One of the Lynches, while in office as mayor, condemned his own son to death for the murder of a young Spanish visitor and carried out the sentence with his own hands when no one else was willing to do it: hence the origin of the term "lynch law." A black marble tablet on the wall of the old prison in Market Street marks the spot where the execution is said to have taken place.

St Nicholas's Church

St Nicholas's Church (National Monument), in Market Street in Galway's central area, was built in the 14th C. and, although much altered in later centuries, has preserved the aspect of a medieval parish church. Notable features are the triple gables of the west front, the gargoyles (rare in Ireland) and, in the interior, a number of tombs and a reader's desk.

Salmon Weir Bridge

The River Corrib is spanned by three bridges. The one farthest upstream, built in 1818, is the Salmon Weir Bridge, where hundreds of salmon can be seen in spring on their way up river to the huge expanse of Lough Corrib - a journey of only 4mi/6km from the sea.

There is a strong tidal movement on the river here, with a rapid ebb at low tide and an equally rapid flow upstream when the tide changes.

The middle bridge, O'Brien's Bridge, is the oldest, its existence being first recorded in 1342. The Claddagh Bridge (a swing bridge) at the south end of the town takes its name from an old fishermen's quarter on the right bank of the Corrib which was occupied for centuries by a fishermen's guild but has now given place to modern buildings. The only relic of the old guild is the "Claddagh ring," a traditional form of wedding ring with two hands clasping a heart which was worn as an amulet and handed down from mother to daughter.

Galway Harbor

Near the Spanish Arch is the busy Galway harbor. The boats to the Aran Islands sail from the east side of the harbor, at the end of Lough Atalia Road

Eyre Square

n the central area of Galway is Eyre Square (18th C.), now landscaped as a memorial to U.S. President J. F. Kennedy (J. F. Kennedy Memorial Garden) who was of Irish descent.

Right Time to Visit

June - September

Temperature

July - August -> 19(°C) - Summer
January - February -> 2(°C) - Spring


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