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It is, in fact, part of a set of arches built in 1584 as an extension of the city walls of Galway and intended to protect the city’s river quays.
The Spanish Arch is located on the banks of the River Corrib directly across from The Claddagh.
In 1755, the arches were partially destroyed by the tsunami generated by the Lisbon Earthquake.
Up until very recently part of the Arch housed the Galway City Museum, though that was moved to a dedicated new building just behind the Arch in 2006.
The Long Walk is a promenade to one side of the Arches.
The Spanish Arch is, in fact, a misnomer, as there is no proven association between the Spanish in Galway and the building of the Arch.
The Arch features a wooden sculpture, called Madonna of the Quays, which was sculpted by the well known artist, Claire Sheridan, who lived in the adjacent building during the 50′s.