You want a summary of Ireland? The right place is there: it’s Galway, the city by the seawrapped in the west wind, between cliffs and castles. Where to find that beyond Dublin there is so much more. And where, with all due respect to the capital, you can easily feel like in a Gaelic tale. Almost that a song of the Pogues had turned to stone and people on earth. Galway in fact perfectly embodies the charm of the emerald island. Small to tour but full of life thanks to the many students, things to see in Galway are more than you expect.
What to see in Galway: flavors of the sea and ancient buildings
Cozy pubs and in the old style, where, however, you can taste the increasingly interesting craft beers of the area alternate with shops of all kinds, often bordering on kitsch, a stone’s throw from restaurants that reproduce the flavors of the sea. Always daring new variations. In the oldest palaces and surroundings of powerful beauty, cliffs and islands on the horizon. In short, leave without hesitation the usual glimpse, the one between Temple Bar pub and the austerity of the Trinity college. And head for Galway Bay.
The reasons, as mentioned, are different. Galway, former fishing village, has become one of the fastest growing cities in Ireland. A place to go from the narrow alleys between old houses to places full of life and students with a rich musical and cultural offer. Not surprisingly she was designated as European capital of culture for 2010. But it is also the place where you shouldn’t miss one Guinness is a dish of the famous oysters of the bay. Overhearing the impossible sound of Gaelic.
During the day, those arriving from afar should not miss a visit to the castles of Dunguaire and Lynch and then pass under the ancient Spanish arch: dates back to 1500, it is a stone’s throw from the sea, and is the most evident legacy of the ancient walls that surrounded the city. Then it will be the turn of the dutiful stop at the cathedral. It is named after Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St. Nicholas (which in Gaelic sounds, more or less: Ard-Eaglais Mhaighdean na Deastógála agus Naomh Nioclás) and is not, as one might expect centuries old: it is made of stone but dates back to the mid-1900s. one of the frequent organ concerts you can think of being plunged back into a bygone era. Between kings and clan fights.
What to see in Galway: relax in the square
So, after the castles and the church on the list of things to see in Galway, the square awaits us. To be precise Eyre Squarethe true heart of the city. It is the right place to admire the palaces with austere facades but above all to watch people go by and chatter while having a cup of coffee in a bar. Or a pint in a pub. And if, as often happens, it rains, there is also a shopping center with the same name that has incorporated part of the old city walls. The square, which was built over three centuries ago, has recently undergone a complex redevelopment work that has also earned it awards for architectural innovation. And in fact it fully condenses the contrast between new and old typical of Galway. And if you really can’t resist the shopping spree, the two shopping streets start from here: Shop Street and William Street.
Aren’t we tired yet? So before dedicating ourselves to the surroundings let’s go to Kirwan’s Lane, a narrow street that was once the center of the walled city and which takes its name from one of the fourteen “clans” of Galway – the families who ruled the city for several centuries. Its complete restoration brought life back to the heart of the historic city center and now it houses cafes, restaurants and craft shops. But above all he tells how the city was once when there was also a theater here where he gave his speeches about him in 1790 Theobald Wolfe Tone, one of the fathers of the Irish revolt. Around here i rebel patriots they are still looked upon with great sympathy.
What to see in Galway: a dip in the sea
After so much history, it’s time to dedicate yourself to nature. And get out of the center to see the other side of things to see in Galway. The goal is there bay that extends around the city. And it’s a really big bay as it measures over 50km wide and nearly 30km wide. Along the coastal road that follows it you can enjoy always exciting views of the stormy Atlantic and you will meet fishing villages that appear painted while they stand in the background Aran islands. But not just wild enough nature.
This is a special place for Irish culture as it recurs in many songs and legends and some have called it the more Irish place d‘Ireland. Perhaps it is a myth: but in the morning, when the dew shines and you see them set sail Galway Hooker, a type of boat that exists only here, it seems possible to encounter gnomes. And may the west wind come down to tell us stories.