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A visitor to Galway in 1614 noted the city's prosperous appearance. He was especially struck by the elegant townhouses with finely cut stone facades, fortified with "faire battlement, in an uniform course". These houses would have been owned by Galway's leading merchant families, the "fourteen tribes of Galway". The Lynch family were one of the leading "tribes". Lynch's Castle (now an Allied Irish Bank) is one of the best examples of a 16th century townhouse. The finely cut stone lintels, coat of arms and fine stone fireplaces in the interior are well worth a look.
Originally called the "Fair Green," in 1710 Mayor Edward Eyre, who had inherited this area of land from his father, donated it to the city. The square named in the former mayor's honor is in the heart of Galway city and is one of its largest open spaces. In the center of the square is the John F. Kennedy Memorial commemorating the president's visit in 1963. It was here that the president addressed the people of Galway and there is a bronze plaque commemorating his visit. In fact, the square was officially renamed in his honor, but locals continue to call it by its more popular name.
Located in the old quarter of the city, this laneway has recently been restored to its former glory, using original stones. The windows and doorways overlooking the lane have been rebuilt in the style of the 17th century. It was here that Richard Martin built a 100-seater theater for his wife in 1783. The republican patriot Theobald Wolfe Tone was among those who acted here. However, Richard Martin lost his wife to an Englishman in 1791, and lost interest in the little theater soon after, allowing it to fall into disrepair. The Martin Crest can still be seen on a 17th century window at the far end of Kirwan's Lane.
Possibly the most impressive building in Galway, this was the last great stone cathedral constructed in Western Europe. The Cathedral is dedicated to Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and overlooks the Salmon Weir Bridge. The Renaissance-style building was opened and consecrated by the late Cardinal Cushing in 1965 and stands on the site of the old city jail. It is not particularly antiquated, yet still corresponds with conventional church design and features a marble floor and brown cedar ceiling. The woodwork, stained glass and mosaics were all handcrafted by Irishmen.
Highlighting the Celtic culture and its heritage, Brigit's Garden is an award-winning themed park that is a local favorite, as well as a quite popular spot with tourists. Located in Galway, the popular garden features structures that are characteristic of Celtic architecture like the fairy fort, roundhouse and the stone chamber, to name a few. Apart from the cute, fairy tale locations within the site, the programs and games organized to benefit the children also attracts many visitors. Big on magical grandeur and old world charm, you'd definitely love it here, no matter what your age is.