Galway, Ireland

An historic Irish castle built along the River Corrib in 1121 grew rapidly into the city of Galway. There are two main squares in the city, Eyre Square and the Spanish Parade. At the center of Eyre Square is John F. Kennedy Park, erected in honor of U.S. President Kennedy’s visit here in 1963. A carved bust of the president was affectionately placed by the people of Galway at the exact spot where Kennedy stood to deliver his speech. Spanish Parade is the site of the Spanish Arches, two stone arches that made up the historic wall that once surrounded Galway. Remnants of medieval town walls lie between shops selling handcrafted rings, books and musical instruments. In addition to the many traditional Irish pubs, are the picturesque ancient neighborhoods of The Claddagh and Salthill. The Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven, built in 1965 in the Renaissance-style, is the last great stone-walled cathedral to be built in Europe, while Galway Cathedral is much older, dating back to 1320.