Positioned on the left bank of the Corrib River, The Spanish Arch is one of Galway's historical gems, dating back to pre-medieval times.
The Spanish Arch was built in 1584 but is an extension of the 12th century Norman -built town wall, which stretched from Martin's Tower to the riverbank. It housed soldiers who kept watch and manned cannons on the roof. Constructed by Wylliam Martin, the 34th mayor of Galway, it was first known as Ceann an Bhalla ('the head of the wall') but later became known as the Spanish Arch. This misnomer is thought to be a reference to the former merchant trade with Spain and Spanish galleons, which often docked here. In medieval times, European ships carrying cargo of wine and spices sold their goods at the docks. In fact, Christopher Columbus visited in 1477.
In 1755, The Spanish Arch was partially destroyed by a tsunami. In the 1800s, the Eyre family added the Long Walk extension. Until 2006, The Spanish Arch housed the Galway City Museum, which has now moved to a new location 50 yards away behind the original museum building.
Spanish Arch Map
Book Sightseeing Tours
Connemara Day Tour
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Cliffs of Moher & The Burren Day Tour
The unmissable Cliffs of Moher & Burren Tour with Lally Tours includes up to 2 hours at the cliffs and includes stops at the lunar-like Burren region, Dunguaire Castle, Aillwee Caves & Birds of Prey Centre and the charming village of Doolin overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Cliffs of Moher Express Bus
A Non-Stop Express Shuttle Service to the Cliffs of Moher with Lally Tours. Experience Ireland’s natural, mysterious, 214m (702 ft) high cliffs and interactive visitor centre. You’ll have 2 full hours to explore on your own before heading back to Galway.
Galway City Hop-on Hop-off Tour
Explore Galway with one of Lally Tours' friendly guides to learn about this colourful city and see it from the best vantage point: an open top bus! You’ll see everything from medieval walls in the city centre to the sandy beaches of Salthill. Hop on and off as much as you’d like and your ticket is valid for 24 hours.