Surrounded with a wooden fence, Eyre Square pronounced as "the
Square" was officially presented to the city in 1710 by Mayor
Edward Eyre, from whom it took its name.
During the late 1700s, the wooden fence was replaced with iron railings
and subsequently removed. However, in the 1960s the square was re-erected
around St Nicholas' Collegiate Church.
In 1965, the square was officially renamed "Kennedy Memorial
Park" in honour of US President John F. Kennedy, who visited
here shortly before his assassination in 1963.
The famous stone facade Lynch's Window stands in Market Street at
the side of St. Nicholas' Church and is said to memorialize as one
of Galway's most enduring legends.
Stories have it say that the mayor of Galway, James Lynch FitzStephen,
hanged his son from the window of his home in 1493 as the son had
murdered a Spanish man in the care of the family.
The oldest of the parish churches in Ireland, this Collegiate Church
has been a place of worship since the 14th Century. Recent researches
show that Columbus visited St. Nicholas' in 1477. The church was
dedicated to the patron saint of sailors by Galway.
Today, St. Nicholas' is still at the heart of the city's activities.
Every Saturday, the main Galway market is held outside its gates.
In addition to its regular services, St. Nicholas' hosts concerts
throughout the year.
Built between 1958 and 1965, the Galway Cathedral is one of the
largest and most impressive buildings in the city. Located on the
site of the old city jail, the cathedral draws visitors all through
the season with its astounding architecture.
The building architecture reflects a renaissance style with dome
and pillars, including the rose windows and mosaics, echo the broad
tradition of Christian art.
Today, the Cathedral dome, at a height of 145 ft, is a prominent
landmark on the city skyline.
Based on the Irish word "cladach”, the name denotes stony
beach. Historically, the stony beach has been there since the arrival
of Christianity in the 5th century. The beach has been commemorated
in the song "Galway Bay", and internationalized through
its traditional jewelry, the Claddagh Ring, which is popularly sold
all over the world.
For millennia, people out here have been gathering seafood and fishing
and throughout the centuries, the Claddagh people have been supplying
fish to Galway city.