Galway City Museum - Galway
Galway Museum is located in a spacious contemporary building, in the Spanish Parade in the city centre. The entrance is through the famous Spanish Arch. The museum was established on 29 July 2006 and its purpose is to explore the rich archaeology, history and heritage of Galway, as well as providing a stage from which visitors can interact with Galway, past and present. There are fabulous views of the Claddagh area from here.
The museum is home to an interesting and unusual variety of permanent and touring exhibitions that cover a range of interests. Housed here are small displays of documents, photographs, memorabilia and medieval artefacts recounting urban life, from 1800 to 1950. Prehistoric and medieval Galway can be discovered through the many artefacts and interactive stations. Take time to see the interactive 3-D model of medieval Galway, and also the medieval stone collection. Also located here is "SeaScience", an exhibition that looks into marine life along Galway's coastline through a series of fun and interactive displays aimed at the whole family. Lawrence Gallery has a wonderful collection of old photographs of Galway dating from the late 19th century and early 20th century.
With so many interesting exhibits there are a few that really stand out, highlights include, the Galway Hooker, a traditional sailing vessel, the Galway Civic Sword this dates to the Charter of King James I in 1610 and the Great Mace crafted in 1710. A statue of Padraic O'Conaire stands proudly here, a famous Gaelic writer and a Galway icon.
With rotating displays of works by local artists there is always something new to see here.
There is no charge for entry and the museum opens throughout the year, Tuesday to Sunday. On average a visit takes between one and one and a half hours. There are multi-lingual leaflets available.
The Kitchen Cafe is welcoming and serves a nice selection of refreshments and has lovely views of the Spanish Arch.