Our Tuesday walk began with our morning venture from our Eyre Street hotel to Eyre Square (see here) and continued down Galway’s Main Street (see here) all the way to the Spanish Arch at the mouth of the River Corrib. We then turned around and walked back to our hotel via the Riverside Walk that starts at the Wolf Tone Bridge near the Jury’s Inn hotel. This portion of our walk was for the most part quiet, calm and serene with interesting landscapes and riverscapes at every turn, a high contrast to the hustle and bustle we encountered on Williamsgate, William, Shop, High and Quay Streets.
Our granddaughters explore the Spanish Arch. There actually are two arches left in the wall but the entire wall is simply called Spanish Arch.
Click on any photo to see a larger version of that photo.
Anglo-Normans founded the city of Galway in the early 13th century and almost immediately began building a wall to surround the city and keep the Irish out. In 1584 an extension of the city wall with four arches was built to the water’s edge. They were probably called the Spanish Arches because of the Spanish ships that would be docked nearby. By this time Galway was a prosperous merchant city that traded with various European countries but especially Spain and Portugal.
Detail of old City Wall with one of the Spanish arches on lower left.
Explanation of nearby plants on terrace between the Spanish Arch and the Galway Museum.
The Galway City Museum is just a short distance from the Spanish Arch.
The Galway City Museum was founded in 2006. A prior museum was housed in the Comerford House next door to the Spanish Arch.
Looking across the Corrib at the Galway district known as The Claddagh.
View from the water’s edge at the Spanish Arch.
View across the Corrib from the beginning of the Riverside Walk near the Jury’s Inn.
The Fisheries Watchtower in front of the New Ireland building is now a museum. The bridge on the left is the Wolfe Tone.
Another view of the Fisheries Watchtower Museum on Nun’s Island. It was built in 1853 to monitor the salmon fishing on the river.
Corrib River scene with O’Brien’s Bridge in the background.
Claire likes swans.
There was water on both sides of our walkway, allowing reflections of buildings on our right.
The Il Vicolo restaurant is ranked by TripAdvisor #90 of 586 restaurants in Galway. I would rank it higher simply for its view!
O’Brien’s Bridge was built around 1880.
Colorful plants at water’s edge.
Kevin Faller’s poem “Home Town” and the scene he was writing about. One of more than 20 plaques on Galway’s Poetry Trail.
Faller (1920 – 1983) was born and raised in Galway. He lived in Dublin for most of his life as a journalist and scriptwriter but often returned to the locales of his boyhood for the scenes of his poems.
Galway Arms Inn and the dam by O’Brien’s Bridge.
Faller worked for RTE for many years as a scriptwriter and in the early 60s he produced many documentaries for Broadsheet from interviews with the salmon fishermen and others who frequented a bar once known as The Submarine and now called the Galway Arms Inn.
This channel was most likely once a mill race.
Galway Cathedral (Roman Catholic).
The official name of Galway’s Catholic cathedral is The Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas. According to Wikipedia, “Construction began in 1958 on the site of the old city prison. It was completed in 1965, making it the last great stone cathedral to be built in Europe.”
My daughter and her family were usually ahead of us on our walk. But this one time we plodded ahead and then I turned around to take their picture.
Isn’t this pretty?
St Vincent’s Sisters of Mercy Convent.
Sally Long’s Rock Bar on the corner of Newtonsmith and Mary Streets.
My daughter and her family continued on their walk but my wife and I decided to return to our hotel to rest for awhile before dinner and concert. So we exited the walkway and walked down Newtonsmith to Mary Street which becomes Eyre Street and soon we were back at our hotel.
I will cover the evening concert we attended at St Nicholas Church in my next post.
Irish Music Bonus — Galway Shawl by Finbar Furey.
The Galway shawl was popular with the women of west Ireland during the 19th century but went out of style in the 20th century and the old women who still wore them were called “shawlies.” Then Maureen O’Hara wore one in The Quiet Man and they became popular again!
This song has been around since the 1930s and has been recorded by a host of Irish bands and singers including Dolores Keane, Johnny McEvoy, the Dubliners and Dervish. This video features Finbar Furey, one of the greatest names in the history of Traditional Irish music. Finbar started out playing with his Traveler brothers in the 1960s but more recently is on his own. Sometimes he performs duets with his daughter Aine. Sometimes he sings with his son Martin who used to be a member of the High Kings. You usually find Finbar playing a low whistle or the Uileann pipes but this time he is plunking on a banjo.