The World’s Tallest Round Tower
The round tower at St. Colman’s monastery in Kilmacduagh is famous for being one of the most perfectly preserved round towers still in existence in Ireland. Measuring at 110 feet high and with a circumference of 56 feet, Kilmacduagh Round Tower is the world’s tallest round tower. It has been compared for centuries with the leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy due to its own visible lean. Round towers were used as the fortress within monasteries and were very important in the event of an attach as monks would use the round towers for the defences and ensuring the safety of their treasures such as rich manuscripts, jeweled crozieres, chalices etc..
Seal Colony, Inis Mór
The shores of Inis Mór have become famous for their well established home to colony’s of seals. With a favourable tide you will sight numerous seals, up to maybe 15-20 bathing on the rocks in their natural habitat. It can be quite an enchanting and beautiful sight. The seals are grey in colour and can often weigh up to 507lbs (230kg). They are both calm and quiet. In high tide the seals often hunt for fish such as Salmon and Pollock. In recent years, the seal colony has become popular with many tourists looking to catch a glimpse of the rare sight.
The Worm Hole, Inis Mór
Poll na bPéist or the Worm Hole as it is otherwise known is a striking natural rectangular shaped pool at the bottom of the cliffs, south of Dún Aonghasa. It gets it name from ‘péist’ which is the reptilian seamonster from Gaelic folklore. The unusual rock formation also has underground channels which link up to the sea. The water rushes into the Wormhole through an underground cave, or when the tide is high, spills over and fills it up from above. Since 2012, the wormhole has been used as a venue for the popular Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series.
Brigit’s Celtic Garden & Calendar Sundial
Located in Brigit’s Garden, the calendar sundial is the biggest calendar sundial in Ireland. Constructed in 2006, the sundial tells both the time of day and the month of the year. In order to retrieve this information, it uses very simple but at the same time beautiful techniques. A five-foot spike of bog oak is embedded near the centre of a stone circle which casts a shadow across the stone circle. The stone circle has elliptical lines carved in the stone which highlight the month of the year though the use of the shadow. The length of the shadow is then used to determine the different times of the day. Although what seems a very simplistic technique, the calendar sundial provides great accuracy in its times and dates using these centuries year old methods.
Kirwan’s Lane is Galway’s best example of it’s old medieval lanes and dates back as far as the 16th century. It is believed to be one of only 5 remaining medieval lanes in the City, of which there were originally 14. Many relics of 16th and 17th century architecture still remain on Kirwan’s Lane, highlighting the medieval layout and design of the street plans back in the 16 century. The lane received its name from the Kirwan family, one of the 14 tribes of Galway. In 1783, Dick Martin (whom married a Kirwan) opened a 100 seater theatre on the lane, which played host to many famous actors, most notably, the patriot Theobald Wolfe Tone. Today, Kirwan’s lane, which still holds it medieval qualities, is home to a number of unique craft shops.
Fairy Fortress, Knockma
It is believed that the cairns a top of Knockma hill are not only the burial ground of the legendary Queen Maeve of Connacht, but also home to Finvarra (Finnbheara), the fairy king of Connacht, who is believed to have built his fortress and holds court on the hill. It is believed Finvarra lives in his castle, Finvarra’s Castle (one of the 3 cairns a top of the hill), with his queen Oona. Finvarra is a benevolent figure in Gaelic folklore for ensuring good harvests, strong horses and great riches to those who assist him. Further to this, legend suggests that the 1846-47 potato famine was caused by Finvarra as people did not assist him and rather caused disturbances by moving the stones on his hill. At the top of Knockma hill you will see mysterious fairy forts which are built among the trees and stone walls – caution is advised however – do not move any stones.
Irish Skydiving Champion
A statue dedicated to the ‘Irish Skydiving Champion’ in 1976 is located at the entrance to Cluain Mhuire college (GMIT). This humorous statue is believed to have been erected by students of GMIT college.
The unusual statue of a Golden Pillow located in Briarhill, is a curious and somewhat simple statue. It is unknown whether the statue is related to the hotel which is located nearby, but people often wonder whether or not it is the worlds largest Golden Pillow.
Blue Man & His Dogs
No one really know’s how the blue man and his dogs (there are 6 dogs) statues came about, but they certainly make for an amusing site. The statues are located on the green of a local housing estate in Briarhill. It is wondered whether the statues are somewhat related to the nearby Golden Pillow statue.