In the 1500s, Galway was a walled medieval city, and in the 18th century two Spanish Arches were constructed along the River Corrib as the getaway to Galway. The arches and the Long Walk on the other side of the arches were an extension of the city and allowed better access from the city to the river docks.
The Spanish Arch was the exit to the Long Walk for many immigrants departing Ireland. During Ireland’s poverty-stricken times and the Potato Famine, mostly children would say goodbye to their families at the Spanish Arch and then take the Long Walk down to the docks to board a ship for the United States.
Today, the colorful homes and buildings that line the Long Walk are now the iconic photos of Galway. One of these homes was even used in Ed Sheeran’s video “Galway Girl” (filmed throughout Galway).
Things to Know/Bring
The Spanish Arch may appear smaller than one may expect. It’s situated near Quay Street so it makes for a good first stop before exploring Quay Street.