Galway is enriched in history with some buildings in the city dating back to over 400 years ago. Throughout Galway there are many statues and memorial attractions for tourist and locals to see and learn and discover more about the history of Galway.
In Eyre Square stands a portrait bust of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. The park was renamed after him and the bust was erected on the spot from where he addressed the people of Galway during his Irish visit shortly before his assassination in 1963. During his visit he received a warm welcome from the local people and was made a freeman for Galway city. His visit is considered as one of the most important events that have occurred in Galway’s history. Though names Kennedy park it is better known as Eyre Square.
The Browne Doorway
The Browne Doorway is set into a paved area on the northern end Eyre Square since its removal from its original location on Lower Abbey Gate Street in 1905, the freestanding door is the former entrance to the Browne House that was built in 1627. Its structure comprises of an oriel window with a limestone doorway. The doorway is a rounded-arch, with the coat of arms of Martin Browne and Marie Lynch carved into and engraved with the date and dragons to the side between the door way and window. In recent years it has been shored up and encased in plexiglass due to neglect.
Oscar and Eduard Wilde
William Street is famous for its bench statue of the famous Irish writer Oscar Wilde who sits to the left of the monument and Estonian writer Eduard Wilde sitting to the right. Many tourists to the area are always seen taking photographs with the monument and has become a famous landmark to visit in Galway. Both statues appear to be speaking to each other when funnily enough both writers are not related though they share the same surname. Each writer is from the same generation but in fact they never met each other. Eduard Wilde was gifted to Galway after Estonia joined the EU in 2004. A similar statue of both writers sits outside the front of Café Wilde in Estonia.
The Famine Ship Memorial
The famine ship memorial is situated at Grattan Beach in Salthill in Galway. On July 4th 2012, it was unveiled as a dedication and tribute to Celia Griffin, a year old that died of starvation in 1847 and many children like her who perished in the Famine. Celia Griffin is remembered as symbol for all the children who lost their lives in the Great Famine. The memorial consists of a central piece of limestone with two sandstone monuments which are carved in the shape of a ships sail to symbolise the ships that carried thousands of emigrants from Ireland during the famine years. Each monument contains the names of the ships that carried Irish natives across the Atlantic Ocean. The ships were later nicknamed coffin ships as many died during their journeys. The failure of the potato crop brought about the Great Famine from the years 1845 to 1852. It led to mass emigration, disease and many deaths.