Galway Map

Galway Map

SIGHTS

NORA BARNACLE HOUSE. The little home of James Joyce’s life-long companion has hardly changed since its famous-by-association inhabitant left. Today, a friendly staff happily discusses their favorite author while pointing out his original love letters to Ms. Barnacle. (8 Bowling Green. 564 743. Open mid-May to mid-Sept. W- F lOam-lpm and 2-5pm; off-season by appointment. ‚2.50.)

LYNCH CASTLE. The Lynch family ruled Galway from the 13th to the 18th century; their 1320 mansion, Lynch’s Castle, now houses the Allied Irish Bank. A small display relates a slightly dubious family legend: In the late 1400s, Lynch Jr. killed a Spaniard whom he suspected of trying to steal his potential bride. Junior, sentenced to hang, was so beloved by the populace that no one would agree to hang him. Lynch Sr. was so determined to administer justice that he hanged Junior himself. As various versions of the episodes were passed along, the term Lynch’s Law came to refer to execution without legal authority, and later came to be known as lynching. (Market St. Exhibit open M-F 10am-4pm, Th until 5pm. Free.)

CHURCH OF ST. NICHOLAS. With any luck, your prayers will be answered here; St. Nicholas is the patron saint of travelers. A stone marks the spot where Christopher Columbus supposedly stopped to pray before bursting onto the New World scene. Note the three-faced clock on the exterior; local folklore claims that the residents on the fourth side neglected to pay their taxes. (Market St. near Lynch Castle. Open May-Sept. daily 9am-5:45pm. Free.)

MENLO CASTLE. For a taste of the natural beauty that surrounds urban Galway, hire a boat and row up Lough Corrib to visit the ruined seat of the Blake family. What the castle lacks in majesty it makes up with its breathtaking location. Frank Dolan’s boats will take you away from the crowds and up a gorgeous stretch of the lough. (Dolan’s is located at 13 Riverside, Woodquay. 565 841. Tours ‚4 per hr.)

ATLANTAQUARIA. Recently opened as the National Aquarium of Ireland, the museum features all things aquatic, with a particularly interesting tank filled with rays and ridiculous-looking dabs. For those looking for even greater oddities, check out the jar upstairs holding the gigantic peepers of a fin whale. C585 100. Open daily 10am-8pm.)

ENTERTAINMENT

The free Galway Advertiser provides listings of city-wide events, and can be picked up at the Galway Advertiser office at the top of Eyre Sq. In mid-July, the Galway Arts Festival (a 583 800) attracts droves of trad musicians, rock groups, theater troupes, and filmmakers. Unofficial performers flock to the streets, which are cleared only for incredible parades.

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