Top 10 fun and interesting facts about Galway you (probably) never knew

Think you know Galway? Think again! Here are ten fun and interesting facts about Galway you (probably) never knew.

Galway is a dynamic city, home to culture, and community vibrancy that is world-renowned. So here we go with ten fun and interesting facts about Galway you (probably) never knew.

Although its merits are many, and its claims to fame are numerous, there is also a wealth of lesser-known elements of this city worth noting.

10. Home to Europe’s second-fastest flowing river – the River Corrib

One of the Galway facts is about the River Corrib.
Credit: Fáilte Ireland

Did you know that the River Corrib is a super-fast flowing river? Indeed, it runs at a whopping 9.8 feet (3 meters) per second.

The River Corrib stretches 6 kilometres (3.7 miles) from Lough Corrib through Galway to Galway Bay and is listed as the second-fastest in all of Europe.

9. Galway is home to the longest place name in Ireland – it’s a real tongue-twister

Galway is home to the longest place name in Ireland.
Credit: Instagram / @luisteix

Another one of the facts about Galway you probably never knew is that Galway is home to the longest place name in Ireland.

Muckanaghederdauhaulia – which means “piggery between two briny places” – is a 470-acre townland located in Kilcummin Civil Parish in County Galway.

8. Home to merchant families – 14 to be exact

One of the facts about Galway you never knew is that it was once home to 14 tribes.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Galway has always been a vibrant city; this characteristic is certainly not a recent development.

In fact, in medieval times, Galway was controlled by 14 merchant families, or ‘tribes’. This is where Galway earned its nickname: the ‘City of the Tribes’ or ‘Cathair na dTreabh’.

These tribes included Athy, Blake, Bodkin, Browne, D’Arcy, Deane, Ffont, Ffrench, Joyce, Kirwan, Lynch, Martyn, Morriss, and Skerrett.

7. Home to Irish marble – one of Ireland’s most authentic natural products

Connemara Marble.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Ireland is renowned for many things, from Guinness, Waterford Crystal and, of course, the almighty craic.

Another one of Ireland’s, or more specifically Galway’s, claims to fame is Connemara marble.

At around 600 million years old, this is one of the city’s most precious natural products and is used in many of Galway’s most recognisable buildings, such as the Gothic Church in Kylemore Abbey.

6. The Claddagh Ring – a symbol of love, loyalty, and friendship

One of the Galway facts you never knew is that it is the home of the Claddagh Ring.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Another one of the facts about Galway you (probably) never knew is that the Claddagh Ring comes from the city in question.

This design was first produced in Galway in the 17th-century. And today, it remains everpresent as a symbol of love, loyalty, and friendship.

The hands represent friendship, while the heart and crown represent love and loyalty, respectively.

5. A sexy city – as voted by many

Galway is a sexy city.
Credit: Fáilte Ireland

Perhaps you may not know, but Galway was once voted one of the sexiest cities in the world.

Yes, you heard right! It’s not all about culture in this cosmopolitan city. In 2007, it was also deemed one of the top eight “sexiest cities” in the world.

4. An Irish speaking region – the largest in Ireland, to be more specific

One of the facts about Galway is that it is an Irish speaking region.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Galway may be known for its contemporary atmosphere and vibrant youth culture. But did you know that Galway has the largest Gaeltacht (Irish speaking community) in all of Ireland?

Indeed, as much as Galway may be one of Ireland’s most progressive cities, it is also a welcome portal to the island’s ancient past.

3. Galway was the capital of culture – an impressive title

Galway was the 2020 European City of Culture.
Credit: Instagram / @galway2020

Unsurprisingly, in 2020, Galway was named the European Capital of Culture.

With such epic energy, amazing nightlife, a vibrant music scene, and a fantastic schedule of annual festivals – such as the world-renowned Galway International Arts Festival – Galway will forever be Ireland’s capital of culture.

2. Once home to the plague – a near city wipeout

One of the Galway facts you never knew is that the Bubonic plague caused a near city wipeout.
Credit: Flickr / Hans Splinter

In 1649, the Bubonic plague made its way by Spanish ship onto the Irish mainland via Galway City.

The disease killed nearly 4,000 Galway locals and forced many city residents out of the centre temporarily until the plague was brought under control. Luckily it didn’t lead to a citywide wipeout, as was feared at the time.

1. Home to Nora Barnacle’s House – Ireland’s Smallest Museum

One of the facts about Galway you never knew is that the city is home to Nora Barnacle's House.
Credit: Instagram / @blimunda

Another one of the facts about Galway you (probably) never knew is that Galway is home to Nora Barnacle’s House, Ireland’s Smallest Museum.

Housing a wealth of treasures, trinkets, photos, and memorabilia of James Joyce’s wife Nora Barnacle, the museum offers great insight into one of Ireland’s most world-renowned artists.

Related Posts

Disclosure

Ireland Before You Die is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Send this to a friend