Irish: Gaillimhe means "stony"
Galway is a city, a county, and an experience to be savored and remembered. The historic city of the tribes dances to a beat uniquely its own. There is certain chemistry and vibrancy to this friendly University City, which many delight in, and few forget. Music, festivals,
horse racing, pubs, restaurants, shops, theaters and most of all Galway people, combine to create this atmospheric Mediaeval city of culture. From this pulsating heart the rest of the county flows. Galway Bay, immortalized in song, its beauty unchanging. Scenic Gaelic areas including the Aran Islands.
Connemara, with the picturesque town of Clifden as its capital. Mountains, castles and stone walls, banks of turf, long sandy beaches, clear lakes, joyful leaping streams and flowing rivers. Delightful countryside punctuated by pretty villages, and traditional pubs.
Galway is the friendliest city in Ireland. Situated at the mouth of the River Corrib and upon the Western reaches of the Republic of Ireland is Galway. Founded by Anglo-Norman settlers in the 12th century and incorporated as a city in 1484, the city is as rich in heritage as it is in modern attractions. The 1996 census revealed Galway to be one of the fastest growing cities in Europe, rising from 50, 853 inhabitants in 1991 to 57, 241 in 1996.
Often referred to as the 'Capital of the West', Galway is a cultural Mecca of sorts, attracting thousands every year to the many lively festivals hosted by the town. A few of the biggest attractions are the Galway Film Fleadh, the Galway Arts Festival, the Galway Races and the Oyster Festival. In addition to its status as a centre of language, art and culture.
The city takes its name from the Gaillimh river (River Corrib) that formed the western boundary of the earliest settlement, which was called Dún Bhun na Gaillimhe, or the fort at the mouth of the Gaillimhe. The word Gaillimh means "stony" as in "stony river". (Alternative, more mythical, derivations are given in History of Galway). it also bears the nickname The City of the Tribes, because fourteen1 "Tribes" (merchant families) led the city in its Hiberno-Norman period. The term Tribes was originally a derogatory phrase from Cromwellian times. The merchants would have seen themselves as English nobility, and hence were loyal to the King. Their uncertain reaction to the siege of Galway by Cromwellian forces earned them this label, which they subsequently adopted in defiance.
Language, music, song and dancing traditions - It is often referred to as the 'Bilingual Capital of Ireland'. The city is well known for its ‘Irishness’, and mainly due to the fact that it has on its doorstep the Galway Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking area). The language is visible in the streets, with bilingual signage on display on shops and road signs, and can be heard by locals around the city. Irish theatre, TV production and Irish music are an integral part of Galway city life, with both An Taibhdhearc, the National Irish Language Theatre, and TG4 headquarters in Galway. This has brought an Irish-speaking young professional population to the city and county, and has generated a renewal of interest in the language and in language-related activities and social events.
Galway is the second largest county in Ireland; Its 5939 square kilometers are surpassed only by County Cork and because nearly one-half of its 132, 000 inhabitants live in the County Borough (Galway City) the area retains an old -world charm.
The region features many attractions, including the single largest Gaeltacht in Ireland - an area in South Connemara where Irish has always been the first language. As the nation's centre for the Irish language, Galway was the natural choice for the all Irish radio station Radio na Gaeltachta and TG4 the Irish television station. Other enticements include the stunning landscapes of Connemara,
the celebrated Aran Islands, and the many lakes throughout the countryside; the largest of which, Lough Corrib, is over 43 kilometers long.
Because of the unique combination of a vibrant and growing city in Ireland, robust with thriving universities and a booming economy, and the surrounding County that has remained remarkably unchanged through a storied past, the Galway area has something to offer each of us.
Galway (official Irish name: Gaillimh) is the only city in the province of Connacht in Ireland and capital of County Galway.
It is located on the west coast of Ireland. In Irish, Galway is also called Cathair na Gaillimhe, which is a translation of "City of Galway".
Galway river: Galway takes its name from the Gaillimh river (River Corrib) that formed the western boundary of the earliest settlement, which was called Dún Bhun na Gaillimhe, or the fort at the bottom of the Gaillimh.
The word Gaillimh means "stony" as in "stony river". (Alternative, more mythical, derivations are given in History of Galway). Galway also bears the nickname City of the Tribes / Cathair na dTreabh, because fourteen  "Tribes" (merchant families) led it in its Hiberno-Norman period.
The term Tribes was originally a derogatory phrase from Cromwellian times. The merchants would have seen themselves as English nobility, and hence were loyal to the King. Their uncertain reaction to the siege of Galway by Cromwellian forces earned them this label, which they subsequently adopted in defiance.
The population of Galway and environs, as of 2006, is 72,729, of which 72,414 live here and 315 live in the environs in County Galway. It is Ireland's fastest growing city.
Galway, like the whole of Ireland, experiences a year-round mild, moist and changeable climate, due to the prevailing winds of the Gulf Stream. It experiences a lack of temperature extremes, with temperatures below 0 °C (32 °F) and above 30 °C (86 °F) being rare, though not unheard of. It also receives an average of 1,147 mm (45.2in) of precipitation annually, which is evenly distributed throughout the year. Rain is the most common form of precipitation - hail, sleet and snow are rare, though will sometimes be experienced during particularly cold winters. Galway is also consistently humid, with humidity normally ranging from 70% to 100% every day, and this can lead to heavy showers, and even thunderstorms breaking out when drier east winds, originating in the European continent, clash with this humidity in the late Summer in particular.
The average January temperature in the city is 6.8 °C (40.6 °F) and the average July temperature is 16.0 °C (60.8 °F). This means that Galway is said to have a Maritime Temperate climate (Cfb) according to the Köppen climate classification system.
Extreme weather is rare, though the county can sometimes experience severe windstorms that are the result of vigorous Atlantic depressions that occasionally pass along the north west coast of Ireland. For example, during a minor storm on the 25th November 2006, the air pressure reading in Galway city fell to 965 hPa  on the morning of the 25th before winds picked up to 112 km/h (70 mph) for a short period. Most of these storms, however, happen between late autumn and early spring inclusive, being quite rare at other times of the year.
Due to it's north-westerly location, Galway boasts long Summer days, with it daylight at around 04:00 and not getting truly dark until after 23:00 during the midsummer period; however, the opposite is true in midwinter, when daylight does not truly start until 09.00, and is gone by 17:00.
Due to the mild, moist climate, Galway is able to support plantlife not usually found at such high latitudes, such as palm trees and even fig trees.
Galway boasts a very rich and textured musical scene, that gives the city a lot of life. Like most Irish cities there is a large traditional music scene which is kept alive in pubs and street performers. Galway is most notable for its youth music scene, with emphasis placed mainly on rock and metal bands. Although some gig go'ers have voiced their dissaproval of some of these groups shameless self promotion. Well known bands from Galway include Toasted Heretic, The Stunning, The Saw Doctors and many other bands in a wide variety of genres.
In addition Galway also does an annual music festival. Starting in 1996 the "Early Music Festival" has been incorporating European Music fromt he 12th-18th century. It encourages not only music, but dance and costumes as well for the events. The festival invivtes not only professional musicians yet, amateur's as well.
The Galway Arts Festival (Féile Ealaíon na Gaillimhe) takes place in Galway, Ireland every July. It first began in 1978 and since has grown into one of the biggest arts festivals in Ireland. It attracts international artists as well as providing a platform for local and national performers also.
The Festival includes parades, street performances and numerous plays, musical concerts and comedy acts. Over the years it has developed a reputation to rival the near-hedonistic atmosphere which envelopes the city of Galway during those weeks. The Highlights tend to be Macnas and Druid performances, two large local performance groups.
Probably the finest medieval town house in Ireland, Lynch's Castle is in Shop Street; it is now a branch of the Allied Irish Bank.
Largest remaining medieval church in Ireland:
The Church of Ireland St. Nicholas Collegiate Church is the largest remaining medieval church still in use in Ireland. It was founded in 1320 and enlarged in the following two centuries. It is a particularly pleasant building in the heart of the old city. Its Roman Catholic counterpart, the Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas, which was consecrated in 1965, is a far larger, more imposing building constructed from limestone. It has an eclectic style, with renaissance dome, pillars and round arches, and a Romanesque portico that dominates the main facade — an unusual feature in modern Irish church building. It was suggested by a church in the city of Salamanca in Spain. Not far from the cathedral stands the original quadrangle building of National University of Ireland, Galway which was erected in 1849 (during An Gorta Mór, the Great Famine) as one of the three colleges of the Queen's University of Ireland (along with Queen's University Belfast and University College Cork). The university holds the UNESCO archive of spoken material for the Celtic languages.
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