Video of Galway City, County Galway, Republic of Ireland
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 ("Fort
at the mouth of the Gaillimh"). The word Gaillimh means "stony" as in "stony river"
(the mythical and alternative derivations are given in History of Galway). Historically,
the name was written as Gallive, which is closer to the Irish pronunciation. The
city also bears the nickname "City of the Tribes" Irish: Cathair na dTreabh because
"fourteen tribes of" merchant families led the city in its Hiberno-Norman period.
The term tribes was often a derogatory phrase in Cromwellian times. The merchants
would have seen themselves as Irish gentry and loyal to the King. They subsequently
adopted the term as a badge of honour and pride in defiance of the town's Cromwellian
Galway is known as Ireland's Cultural Heart (Croí Cultúrtha na hÉireann) and is
renowned for its vibrant lifestyle and numerous festivals, celebrations
and events. Every July, Galway hosts the Galway Arts Festival which is known for
its famous Macnas parade. In 2004, there were three dance organisations, ten festival
companies, two film organisations, two Irish language organisations, 23 musical organisations,
twelve theatre companies, two visual arts groups, and four writers' groups based
in the city. Furthermore, there were 51 venues for events, most of which were specialised
for a certain field (e.g. concert venues or visual arts galleries), though ten were
described as being 'multiple event' venues. The main squares in the city are Eyre
Square (containing John F. Kennedy Park) in the centre of the city, and Spanish Parade
next to the Spanish Arch.
In 2007, Galway was named as one of the eight "sexiest cities" in the world. A 2008
poll ranked Galway as the 42nd best tourist destination in the world, or 14th in
Europe and 2nd in Ireland (behind Dingle). It was ranked ahead of all European capitals
except Edinburgh, and many traditional tourist destinations (such as Venice).
The Galway Arts Festival (Féile Ealaíon na Gaillimhe) takes place in July. It was
first held in 1978 and since then has grown into one of the biggest arts festivals
Galway (Irish: Gaillimh,) or City of Galway (Irish: Cathair na Gaillimhe) is a city
in Ireland. It is located in the West Region and is also part of the province of
Connacht. Galway City Council is the local authority for the city. It is located
on the River Corrib between Lough Corrib and Galway Bay and is surrounded by County
Galway. It is the third largest city within the state (after Dublin and Cork), though
if the wider urban area is included then it falls into fourth place behind Limerick.
The population of Galway city at the 2011 census was 75,529, rising to 76,778 across
the entire urban area.