A POEM A DAY - SPANISH ARCH



I am still stuck indoors and today was thinking of Galway and looking at my photographs from my visit in September.  This is a photograph of the Spanish Arch, built in 1584 as an extension to the 12th century Norman city walls to protect the quays and merchant ships from looting. It was once known as Ceann an bhalla (the head of the wall) and was extended by the Eyre family in the 17th century with the addition of the Long Walk, following the left bank of the River Corrib to the sea. It became known as the Spanish Arch in the 19th century, thought to be a reference to the Spanish merchant trade. 


My mother told me of the Spanish Arch and her walks along the Corrib. When I walked around Galway I felt her presence in the stories we had shared. From my home in Spain I am fascinated in the historical links of the west coast of Ireland with Spain, of seafarers from the Spanish coasts and their trade across the Bay of Biscay and the Celtic sea to Ireland.

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