This arch is one of the oldest buildings in Galway, dating back to 1584. Although the name suggests a connection to Spain, no real link has been ascertained. It was originally known as the 'head of the wall' or 'ceann an bhalla' in Gaelic so I can understand why the name 'Spanish Arch' became more popular.
Galway city is one of the most beautiful where one would definitely like to visit and see all the places which are known to be the best attractions of Galway city. You may find various places where one never wants to miss it. Let us have a short discussion on the attractions of Galway city.
Galway cathedral is an amazing building and the dome around it can be seen from miles away by the people. Galway cathedral took 8 years to complete the construction and finally in 1965 it was made which had a magnificent beauty in it. Nun’s Island is the place on the River Corrib where Galway Cathedral is located.
Galway cathedral is generally said “the cathedral of our lady assumed into heaven and saint Nicholas”. But this name was quite difficult to pronounce, thus it was called “Galway Cathedral” in short which was even easy for people to remember it.
Spiddal is a place which is found approximately 12 miles away from the Galway city. People at Spiddal speak both Irish and English. This place is really a wonderful place where one always likes to be with. Teenagers who come to learn the other language here enjoys the place and feels its beauty to its maximum. The beaches at Spiddal are worth seeing. A mind blowing place.
The other attractions at Galway City are:
The Spanish Arch.
So one should not miss to visit Galway city and the popular attractions found there
Lynch's castle can clearly be seen on the famous map of 1651, and still stands to this day. It is actually the oldest commercial building in Ireland - in that it is used by a business. The forerunner to the AIB bank bought the place in the 1930's, and in their infinite wisdom ripped out all the interiors. The only exception to that was the magnificent fireplace that stands in the entrance lobby. I suspect that it was only saved as it was too much effort to move the damned thing. It was a tradition that when two of the great families in Galway inter-married the wedding gift would be a fireplace - with the two sides symbollically meeting with a joint crest in the middle.
Boards in the lobby area give a full account of the building history. Although called a castle it was really a rich merchants house, and the outside is adorned with some fine features, including the arms of Henry VIII. The lynch's were the most successful of the city's 14 'tribes' (merchant families) and provided 84 of the town mayors.
Located on the corner of Abbeygate Street and Shop Street, Lynch's Castle is a fine example of the fusion of new and old in Galway. The building has been cited as one of the finest examples of a town castle in the country. Town castles were popular homes for wealthy merchants in Ireland in the 15th and 16th centuries and Lynch's Castle dates back to this time. Over the years the castle has been modified, even though the original structure remains intact and beautifully preserved. It is particularly notable for the quality of stone carving on the exterior which features the Lynch coat of arms and a number of decorative windows. The building is now occupied by AIB Bank and features a mini-museum at the front which is open during normal banking hours.
Mitchell Henry built the Neo-Gothic Church as a memorial to his wife who died tragically in Egypt in 1874. The Church was constructed between 1877 and 1881 by J. F. Fuller (who had earlier constructed the Castle). He incorporated many elements from the great English medieval cathedrals and the Church is an accurate replica of Norwich Cathedral. There are fantastic walking way between gothic church and Klymore Abbey.
Picturesque Kylemore Abbey, the home of the Benedictine nuns, stands at the edge of the lake surrounded by woodlands. The gothic castle was built by Mitchell Henry, an English businessman in 1865. After the tragic death of his wife about a decade later he lost interest in the estate and it was eventually bought by the Benedictine order after fleeing their convent in Ypres during World War One. The grounds and part of the Abbey are open to the public. Kylemore Abbey is a must for tourist.
Dunguaire Castle, near Kinvara was built in 1520. It was owned by the Marytns of Galway, between the 17th and 20th century. It is a good example of a 16th century tower house built for protective purposes.
This picturesque castle, situated on the shores of Galway Bay, has been completly restored and it is possible to visit it during the day of enjoy a medieval banquet at night. Open daily from May to end of September from 9.30am to 5.30pm (last admission 4.30pm).
The Spanish Arch, which is located on the banks of the river Corrib, was built in 1584. It was originally an extension of the famous city walls, designed to protect the quays. The Spanish Arch is, in fact, a misnomer, as there is no proven association between the Spanish in Galway and the building of the Arch. In the past it was known as The Blind Arch and it is located on the site more appropriately known as Ceann na Bhalla (The Head of the Wall). The Arch features a wooden sculpture, called Madonna of the Quays, which was sculpted by the well known artist, Claire Sheridan, who lived in the adjacent building during the 50's. Today The Spanish Arch is home to the Galway City Museum, which nestles into one of its impressive walls.
The Spanish Arch stands on the left bank of river Corrib. It was built in the 16th century to protect the port which was located outside the of the city walls. Back then it was called Ceann an Bhalla (Head of the Wall). The name Spanish Arch is much younger, it derives from the 19th century when Spanish merchants landed here with their boats.
Synonymous with Galway, the Spanish Arch stands on the left bank of the Corrib, where Galway's river meets the sea. The arch is the remainder of a 16th century bastion, added to the town's walls to protect merchant ships from looting. At this time, it was known as Ceann an Bhalla (Head of the Wall).
There were alot of people hanging out in the area and it had nice views of Galway Bay. There are also many pubs and restaurants in the area.
Delightful group of islands just off the western coast of Ireland. The Aran Islands are the source of the famous Aran sweater, and more importantly, the host of several well-preserved ring forts and some early Irish churches. We visited the ring forts in the fog, which added to the mystery, but foiled our photos.
I was expecting something more, perhaps. Not that there is anything wrong with the arch...but it gets just a tad overhyped in guidebooks. Pretty and interesting, but not really something that takes more than twenty minutes (tops!) to see.
However, I didn't get a chance to tour the museum. Perhaps there's more to the arch than can be seen from outside.
This museum is a bit of a jumble but has lots of bits & pieces from days gone by. A good place to spend an hour or so - especially if you need to shelter from the Irish weather!!! Be sure to check out the view from roof which is worth the entrance fee by itself.
Visit The Old Quays Spanish Arch. This photo is from the inside of the arch.
At this place the Spanish traders loose their goods and merchendaies to sell inside the town of Galway.
It is unfortunate that one of the only remaining parts of the city’s midieval wall is incorporated into a mall. It is near Eyre Square.