Many of Galway’s best sights are located outdoors and without charge, with one of the most enjoyable things to do being to simply walk around the Spanish Arch and Spanish Parade, through Eyre Square and the John F Kennedy Park. An afternoon picnic on the banks of the River Corrib is likewise free, and will leave a long-lasting memory.
Galway’s Catholic Cathedral is one of the city’s largest and most remarkable buildings. Built between 1958 and 1965, it stands on the site of the Old City Jail. The cathedral’s architecture has been influenced by several eras. The dome and pillars reflect a Renaissance style, while other features including the rose windows and mosaics echo the broad tradition of Christian art. The cathedral’s dome, at a height of 145 feet is a prominent landmark on the city skyline.
St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church
This is Galway’s oldest church, and it is said that Christopher Columbus prayed here in 1477, before setting out for the New World. Established around 1320, it has changed from Roman Catholic to Church of Ireland and back again at least four times and is currently under the protection of the latter denomination.
Inside is a 12th century crusader’s tomb with a rare Norman inscription, a carved font from the 16th or 17th century and a stone lectern with barley-sugar twist columns from the 15th century. Guided tours conducted by a knowledgeable and enthusiastic church representative, depart from the south porch except on Sunday mornings.
Kirwan’s lane which can be found close to Quay Street, is one of the last remaining medieval lanes in Galway and has been transformed recently into a charming residential area. This was the place where Galway MP Richard Martin built a one hundred seat theater in 1783 as a present for his actress wife.