Insider's Guide to Galway

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Galway Cathedral

A spectacular feat of Hiberno-Romanesque architecture, Galway Cathedral, or the Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St. Nicholas, has a regal presence, perched on the banks of the River Corrib. The masterful building - the largest in the city and the last stone church to be built in Ireland - was constructed in 1965, revivifying the plot where one of the county’s most notorious jails once stood. Designed by J.J. Robinson and overseen by Bishop Michael Browne, the cathedral was built with locally sourced materials and workers, as well as featuring native Irish decorations and carving designs, bringing a uniquely all-Irish quality to the finished product.

The cathedral’s copper domed roof, visible for miles around, has become one of Galway’s most beloved landmarks, but it’s the resplendent interiors that visitors find most impressive. An eclectic blend of artistic and ceremonial decorations, the lavish cathedral hall draws inspiration from a myriad of architectural styles including gothic-style rose windows by George Campbell, Romanesque stone carvings and a Renaissance-style Crucifixion mosaic by Patrick Pollen. Above all though, it’s an incredible achievement of artistry, from the intricate woodcarvings to the vast wall paintings, seamlessly blending generations of Irish art and design styles.

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