Salmon Weir Bridge
The Salmon Weir Bridge crosses the Corrib from the Cathedral on one side to the courthouse on the other. Many people gather on this bridge in summer to see the shoals of salmon make their way up the Corrib river to spawn. During the salmon season, people stop to watch anglers fishing in the waters below, applauding each catch. There is a magnificent view of the Cathedral from the bridge itself, and the view remains impressive all the way down to Wolfe Tone Bridge. The bridge was originally granted by Henry III to the Earl of Ulster. The Franciscans later held the fisheries until the suppression of the monasteries under Henry VIII, when they were given to the Lynch family. It is now the property of the state.
National University of Ireland, Galway
National University of Ireland, Galway stands on the banks of the river Corrib. Its stone quadrangle is one of the city's most famous landmarks. A ten minute walk from the city centre, the University plays an important role in the cultural life of Galway. It is the venue for many musical, literary and sporting events. The campus houses a museum, an art gallery, and a theatre, as well as cafes and restaurants.
Courthouse & Town Hall
The county courthouse was built in 1818 and has received much acclaim for its design and architecture. Next door is the former Town Hall, which was originally used as a courthouse. In 1901 it became the Town Hall, Theatre and occasional cinema. More recently it was used as a cinema but now it houses the Town Hall Theatre, the most popular theatre in the city.
Eyre Square is the centre piece to Galway City and was officially presented to the city in 1710 by Mayor Edward Eyre, from whom it took its name. Originally surrounded with a wooden fence, it was enclosed with iron railings in the late 1700s. These were removed in the 1960s, and subsequently re-erected around St Nicholas' Collegiate Church. In 1965, the square was officially renamed "Kennedy Memorial Park" in honour of US President John F. Kennedy, who visited here shortly before his assassination in 1963. The Browne doorway is another notable feature in Eyre Square as it was originally the doorway of the Browne families home on Lower Abbeygate Street and it was moved in 1905 from Abbeygate street to Eyre Square.
The name of the Claddagh area is based on the Irish word "cladach", meaning a stony beach. People have been gathering seafood and fishing from here for millennia. Historically, its existence has been recorded since the arrival of Christianity in the 5th century. Throughout the centuries, the Claddagh people kept Galway City supplied with fish, which they sold on the square in front of the Spanish Arch. The area has been immortalized through its traditional jewellery, the Claddagh Ring, which is worn by people all over the world.
One the finest medieval laneways in Galway, Kirwan's Lane, located in what is now referred to as the Latin Quarter of Galway contains many relics of 16th and 17th century architecture. It is at the centre of the area that was originally within the city walls, and is named after one of Galways fourteen "tribes" - the families who ruled the town for several centuries. The area has been significantly restored over the years and has rejuvenated the heart of Galway’s historical town centre. It is now home to many bohemian styles cafes, restaurants, bars and craft-shops.
Lynch Memorial Window
This window commemorates one of Galway's most enduring legends. According to local tradition, the mayor of Galway, James Lynch FitzStephen, hanged (or lynched as the practice became known after this event) his son from the window of his home in 1493. Lynch's son had murdered a Spanish man in the care of the family. Lynch's Window stands in Market Street at the side of St. Nicholas' Church.
The Bridge Mills
The Bridge Mills is a commanding building on the banks of the Corrib. Restored a few years ago with high regard for its aesthetic and historical features, the 430 year old Bridge Mills is now a centre of art, culture and specialised skill-based commercial projects within Galway City. Visitors and locals alike delight in the distinctive, finely crafted gifts, clothing, cuisine on offer.
Nora Barnacle House
Wife of James Joyces, Nora Barnacle House was the Barnacle family home from 1894-1940. It is now a small private museum, faithfully restored to its former character. It is open to the public during the summer months, with guides available to show you around. It contains many interesting photographs, objects and articles.
Saint Augustine’s Hill, now Fonthill Cemetary was the location where in 1589 Sir William Fitzwilliam, decrying the leniency of the city, ordered over 300 men from the Spanish Armada to be put to death, by beheading. Fitzwilliam perpetrated these murders as a result of not finding gold or silver in possession of the sailors.
Later in 1602 a fort was built here, after a calamitous defeat of the Irish & Spanish forces at the Battle of Kinsale under orders from Queen Elizabeth I. The purpose of the fort was to protect the town and its harbour while also dominating its citizens. The fort was dismantled by the townspeople in 1643 for fear of reprisals on the largely Catholic and pro-Royalist townspeople by the Protestant and pro-Parliamentarian commander of the garrison. Having been originally been used by the Augustinians the local Catholic population regarded the site as sacred and gradually began to use it as a place of burial in the 18th century. Today a plaque set in the east boundary wall commemorates the greatest act of mass murder in Galway’s history. Erected in 1988 by members of the La Orden Del Tercio Viejo Del Mar Oceano, the oldest marine corps in the world, the memorial is only written in the Irish and Spanish language as an intended snub to the language of the perpetrator.
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