Situated behind the famous Spanish Arch, Galway City Museum houses exhibitions which explore aspects of the history and heritage of Galway City.
Ongoing exhibitions included Routes to the Past (Prehistoric Galway); Galway Within the Walls (Medieval Galway); Pádraic Ó Conaire: the Man and the Statue, The Galway Hooker and SeaScience. New exhibitions currently running on the first floor include, Revolution in Galway 1913-1923, Galway & the Great War and GAA: The Three-in-a-Row 1964-66. There are also a number of temporary art exhibitions exploring themes associated with 1916 and the Decade of Commemoration. Visitors can interact with medieval Galway in the 3D display of the 1651 Pictorial Map on the ground floor.
Among the Museum highlights are the Galway Civic Sword and Great Mace. The Civic Sword dates from the Charter of King James I in 1610, which granted authority for the carrying of such a weapon before the Mayor. The Great Mace, a massive piece of ornamental silverwork crafted in Dublin in 1710, was presented to the town by Edward Eyre, Mayor of Galway, in 1712. The Museum is also home to two iconic symbols of the city – the statue of Padraic Ó Conaire and a traditional sailing vessel or Galway Hooker, named ‘Máirtín Oliver’, which was made especially for the Museum.
The building itself affords spectacular views of the Claddagh, the Spanish Arch, River Corrib and Galway Bay. It is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am until 5pm and admission is FREE.