St. Nicholas' Collegiate Church

#7 in Best Things To Do in Galway
St. Nicholas' Collegiate Church
Parminder Gill/One Word Entertainment Creative/Getty Images

Key Info

7 Lombard St.

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Churches/Religious Sites, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.2scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

Completed sometime in the early 14th century, the Collegiate Church of St. Nicholas is the largest medieval parish church in Ireland in continuous use. Among its historical artifacts are a more than 400-year-old baptismal font, a grave marker that dates back to the 13th century and the misnamed Lepers' Gallery, which leads to the belfry. The most famous visitor to the church is said to be Christopher Columbus, who prayed there during a visit to Galway in 1477. In a more destructive visit, Cromwellian troops used the church to house their horses after the siege of Galway in 1652 and are blamed for the headless and handless state of most of the carved figures inside the church.

Recent visitors said touring the church is like taking a "trip back in time" thanks to its well-preserved interior. Many recommended visiting on a Saturday so that you can stop by the popular Galway Market before or after viewing the church as the market sets up right outside.

You'll find the church on the east bank of the River Corrib. The church is accessible daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (5 p.m. in January and February). Visitors can pick up a free guide with information about the church and its history. For more information about services and the church's history, visit its website.

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This western coastal route, which begins in the north of Donegal and runs 1,500 miles through nine counties ending in the south of Cork, is a breathtakingly scenic experience. No matter how much of the route you choose to experience, you'll find a wealth of attractions along the way, including the famous Cliffs of Moher, castles, golf courses and the largest stalactite in the Northern Hemisphere at Doolin Cave, among many, many others. For an on-the-go guide to the route's highlights, consider downloading the free Wild Atlantic Way App (available for Apple and Android), which also works offline.

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