“A vibrant and dynamic city” – Galway

“A vibrant and dynamic city” – Galway

Galway is the largest city in Ireland’s western province of Connacht. It is a lively university town and is considered to be one of the main centre of Irish folk music.

Today, with a population of 65,000, it is the fastest growing city in Europe and is still adhering to its traditions. It is well known for its art galleries and shops, most of which are located in the charming medieval quarter of the city. Several artists and writers have been inspired by the city’s unique atmosphere. Galway is a popular seaside resort with beautiful beaches, long, winding promenades, cobblestone streets and colourful houses. The port city is one of the few places in Ireland where Irish language is spoken in the streets. Because of its history, culture and many attractions, Galway is the ideal destination for any visitors who want a true Irish travel experience.

Due to its favourable geographical location, Ireland was one of the busiest and richest cities in the Middle Ages. Galway was an important trading station during the Anglo-Norman era. Christopher Columbus also visited the city several times as a merchant. Locals say that he was praying at St. Nicholas Church before his first cruise westward for its success. To commemorate this, in 1992 the Irish and Italian states erected a small statue in the city harbour.

The city received a letter of privilege in 1396, and over the next two centuries it was led by 14 merchant families or tribes. During the English rule, Galway flourished, but this alliance made them pay dearly for their whistle. During the English Civil Revolution, the city on the side of the monarchy was besieged by Oliver Cromwell.

After the Battle of Boyne, Galway was unable to compete with the East Coast trade and began to decline. After the Revolution, the English forbade the city to trade with the Spanish and Portuguese, and due to this the economy of the town nearly collapsed. Finally, fishing, light industry, education and tourism have revitalized Galway’s economy. Recently, it has become a developing centre of the high-tech industry.

Galway is the third Irish holder of the European Capital of Culture title sharing its nomination for 2020 with Rijeka in Croatia. From early February on, to tie in with the ancient Celtic calendar, the Galway 2020 program will be built around four Celtic festivals: Imbolc, Bealtaine, Lughnasa and Samhain. In a city where one in four inhabitants was born outside Ireland, migration alongside landscape and language is one of the core themes for the Galway 2020 program. According to Mairead McGuinness, the First Vice-President of the Parliament, whose constituency includes Galway, the city embodies culture itself:

“Galway has a rich tradition in literature, the arts and music – the home of the Irish language – while being fully modern and global at the same time, a hub for medical devices and technology. I’m delighted that this vibrant and dynamic city on Europe’s edge will get the chance to showcase itself to the whole continent.”

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