Culture & Heritage
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. The Westwood Hotel is the closest Hotel to the University juts a 5 minutes Walk from the Hotel to North Campus. It is a ten minute walk from the city centre, the University plays an important role in the cultural life of Galway. It is a major venue for conference as well as many musical, literary and sporting events. The campus houses a museum, an art gallery & a theatre.
Located on Nun's Island, on the west bank of the River Corrib near Salmon Weir Bridge, Galway Cathedral is one of the largest and most dominating buildings in Galway. Construction of the Cathedral began in 1958 and was completed in 1965. It is located on the site of the former city jail and features a dome at a height of 145ft. It was the last large church in Ireland to be made from stone, and features a huge octagonal dome that complements the skyline of the City of Galway. Inside the visitor will find the rose windows and wall paintings, which echo the broad tradition of Christian art, particularly impressive.
Situated behind the famous Spanish Arch, Galway City Museum houses exhibitions which explore aspects of the history and heritage of Galway City, focusing on the medieval town, the Claddagh village & Galway, 1800-1950. In addition, the Museum mounts temporary exhibitions & hosts a variety of exhibits from other museums, galleries & special interest groups. The building itself affords spectacular views of the Claddagh, the Spanish Arch, the River Corrib & Galway Bay
St. Nicholas' Church
St. Nicholas is the largest medieval parish church in Ireland in continuous use as a place of worship at the heart of Galway's life. The early sections of the church date from 1320, although tradition tells us that St. Nicholas was built upon the ruins of an older structure, and part of the chancel's south wall may incorporate some of this earlier material. it's said that Christopher Columbus prayed here in 1477 before sailing away on one of his attempts to reach the New World. A tour through the Church will allow you to glimpse the part of its rich history. The church is open all day, every day, and visitors are most welcome.
Galway's famous Spanish Arch is located on the left bank of the Corrib, where Galway's river meets the sea. The Spanish Arch was originally a 16th century bastion, which was added to Galway's town walls to protect merchant ships from looting. At this time, it was known as Ceann an Bhalla (Head of the Wall). Its current name "Spanish Arch" refers to former merchant trade with Spain, whose galleons often docked here. In 1755, the arches were partially destroyed by the tidal wave generated by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. In recent times part of the Arch has been converted into the Galway City Museum.
“Connemara is a savage beauty” Oscar Wilde
From the rugged Twelve Bens mountain range in the north through lake-rich Roundstone Bog to the golden beaches reaching out into the Atlantic Ocean, you'll know you're in Connemara by the light that constantly changes the mood and tone of the landscape.
Connemara has long been regarded as the real emerald of Ireland.
This natural terrain and unspoilt environment offers the visitor a wonderland of sights, experiences, adventure and activities. The people are warm, friendly and extend a hospitality which is the essence of Ireland.
The beautiful spring flowers, buds on the trees, newborn lambs dancing on the hills and the call of the cuckoo all make Spring time a very special and magical time in Connemara. This is an ideal time to take a break as the countryside is totally renewed. On mellow Autumn days, one can enjoy the Connemara countryside, now clothed in different colours with each passing day. In the evening enjoy lovely warm turf fires after a day spent walking, cycling, painting, shooting, fishing or golfing.
Some of the gems in Connemara would be...
This Connemara village is beautifully set on one of the most spectacular coastal drives in Ireland overlooking the Atlantic at the foot of Errisbeg Mountain.
In Roundstone you will find a busy harbour where local fishermen prepare and return with the day’s catch, featuring a mix of Lobster, Crab, Shrimp, Mackerel, Cod plus a wide variety of other fish
Bird watching on bofin a breeding ground for many of Irelands most threathened species
Story of Kylemore Abbey Connemara
The story of Kylemore – both Castle and Abbey – is a truly remarkable one. The twists of fate which have marked its history at crucial moments from its beginning to the present day combine to create a colourful and moving history. Kylemore is located in Connemara, in the west of Ireland and its greatest attraction is its location.
Nestled at the base of Druchruach Mountain (1,736ft) on the northern shore of Lough Pollacappul, the heart of the Connemara Mountains, it is regarded as one of Ireland’s most romantic buildings. Originally built in 1867 as a romantic gift, Kylemore Abbey and the surrounding mountains and lakes are steeped in history including engineering initiatives, model farms, tragedy, royal visits, gambling debts, a hideaway during Ireland’s troubled history as well as excellence in education.
Today Kylemore Abbey and the estate are open to visitors all year and the main areas to be visited are; the Abbey, the Gothic Church, the Victorian Walled Gardens, the Craft Shop, Pottery studio, Restaurant and Tea Rooms as well as the Lake and Woodland walks
At the heart of Connemara you have the bustling town of Clifden, Its the kind of place that warms your heart and steals your soul. A place that fuels the fondest of memories and beckons you back year after year. One trip and you’ll never forget it.
In 2012 Clifden will celebrate 200 years a fine achievement. ‘Celebrating Clifden’ Is a week-long festival planned to run from 25th May to 4th June 2012 the aim of which is to celebrate our town and its founding father John D’Arcy. This will be an action packed week with activities including talks, walks, documentaries, dramas, exhibitions, traditional boats regatta, street market, street theatre and street party, to name but a few. The first half of the week will focus on the early history of the town, its founder, John D’Arcy, the town’s early citizens and life as lived in Connemara in the early years of the 19th century. The second half will explore more modern times, with emphasis on Clifden’s Diaspora and Friends. It is anticipated that the organizations, associations, clubs and societies that contribute so much to the culture of our community will share in this special commemorative event by recording and registering, in appropriate ways, their own history, heritage and contribution to the ‘story of Clifden’
Be sure to visit Ej Kings bar & restaurant, where the pints taste like cream, the seafood is fresh from the quay & the entertainment will have you singing and dancing as you go on your way. www.ejkings.com
Galway’s Latin Quarter
Galway can now boast its own Latin Quarter, which encompasses some of the city's most historic landmarks.
Starting at St Nicholas' Church, the Latin Quarter runs through the city's Saturday market and onto O'Brien's Bridge. From there it follows the River Corrib down to the Spanish Arch where the Galway City Museum is located and then swings back up along Middle Street and turns up Buttermilk Lane where it joins the starting point.
The area is identified by its meandering pedestrianised streets, largely locally owned businesses and some of Galway's best-loved pubs and restaurants including the well known Busker Brownes Bar & Kirbys Restaurant.
"Failte Ireland are involved in the promotion of the Latin Quarter, which will further develop the range and quality of the tourism product in the West.
"We have developed a customer-centred training programme specifically for the staff of local businesses and, with customer service such a vital part of the visitor experience, we are hoping that through this initiative visitors to Galway City, and in particular the Latin Quarter, are guaranteed not only a high level of customer service but a genuine Irish welcome.