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Aran Inspired

Galway City Museum

Located near the Spanish Arch, the museum was founded in 1976. Its structure was formerly a private house, home to sculptress Clare Sheridan. The museum site is also located near the place where the original city docks were built in 1270. In addition to the Spanish Arch, there were three others - only the Blind Arch remains. The missing two arches were located at the spot where the museum now stands. A speculation is that the Arches were used to store imported goods and avoid taxation. Galway City Museum contains a variety of Irish artifacts from historical events, including the Connaught Rangers, the Civil War, and the Insurrection of 1916.

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Connemara National Park

This protected wilderness area is a region of great, remote natural beauty, in one of the most westerly regions of Ireland. Near the Village of Letterfrack, the National Park at Connemara contains an assortment of geological formations, wildlife, and plant life, all gathered into one area for an exhilarating outdoor experience. Located on the slopes of the mountain range known as the Twelve Bens, the plant life is plentiful.

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The Aran Islands

Over the centuries, these barren limestone islands, located about 30 miles offshore in Galway Bay, have been transformed into beautiful but isolated farmland communities. There are three islands – Inishmore, Inishmaan, and Inisheer. The presence of Iron Age Forts on two of the islands indicates that humans lived here from around 3000 B.C. In the 1800’s, the population was decimated by famine and emigration. Early in the following century, novelists revived interest in the Arans, and American film director Robert O’Flaherty filmed the classic documentary, Man of Aran, on Inishmore.

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Claddagh

This area of Galway city, once a fishing village, is renowned as the origin of the traditional Claddagh ring. Its design, two hands together upon a heart with a crown on top, signifies love, loyalty, and friendship.

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Eyre Square

Eyre Square is the site of the crossroads of the Galway area and Galway city. It contains a number of attractions on the east shore of the River Corrib. Kennedy Park is located on the green lawn portion of the square, named after the late American president, who visited here in June of 1963. At the entrance to the park sits the Browne Doorway, taken from Browne family townhouse in 1905.

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Salmon Weir Bridge, Galway City

Outside of salmon season, this 200 year old bridge offers nothing more than mildly pleasant views of Galway Cathedral and the River Corrib. Between April and July however, you can peer over the bridge edge into the fast-moving water and watch the silvery salmon fight their way upstream, back to their traditional spawning grounds on Lough Corrib. At the height of the season, crowds gather on the bridge and watch the salmon stream past.

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Salthill

Salthill is a popular, old-fashioned seaside promenade and resort connected to Galway city, complete with a beautiful long, sandy beach along Galway Bay. The resort area still maintains traditional amusement arcades, a small fairground, cafes, pubs, eateries, hotels and B&Bs. On hot summer days, especially weekends or public holidays, the beaches can get extremely busy and, while there is a free car park, spaces are at a premium.

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Spiddal

Located around 10 miles west of Galway city on the coast road, Spiddal is a small village, overlooking Galway Bay and the Aran Islands. It has two fine beaches, one by the roadside and directly visible from the village, the other behind the pier, accessible via a narrow road west of the village. The latter is known as Trá na mBan (Traw-na-man), meaning Ladies Beach, and is one of six Blue Flag (EU-approved) beaches in County Galway. Spiddal forms part of the Gaeltacht region of Connemara, where Irish (Gaelic) is still spoken.

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Galway City

Galway City prides itself on being the bohemian Irish city, where people can let their hair down. Galway is Ireland's city that never sleeps, alive with cultural heritage and celebration. With a population of about 65,000, it is considered one of the fastest growing cities in Europe. It is also the ancient capital of Connaught province, and the current capital of what is known as the Hidden Ireland. Galway stands in contrast to some of Ireland's eastern cities, which many say have been "Europeanized" by recent development efforts. Galway City has earned the distinction as the keeper of the traditional customs and culture of Ireland.

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Lynch's Castle

This Town Castle is Galway's best example of a fortified house, built by the prosperous Lynch family in the 16th century as protection from the raids of the chieftains of the 14 Tribes. Spanish decorative motifs are visible on its stones, along with decorative windows and the Lynch family coat of Arms. The Lynches were a wealthy family, many of whom served as Galway mayor.

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