When you go to a mall you expect to see many things. Probably a Starbucks, a bunch of stores selling items, long hallways that are easy to walk down, people avoiding the heat or bad weather, teenagers being teenagers, and a Medieval wall that is from the medieval period of a city… Today I would like to introduce you to one of the weirdest things I saw when I was in Ireland. The medieval wall of Galway, that are inside a shopping mall.
I found out about these walls from the tour guide we were with. He basically said it will be one of the most unique things we will see in Galway, he was fairly right. I don’t know about the mall where you live, but the oldest thing at my local mall tends to be the people. This wall is hundreds of years old, and dates from the medieval settlement of Galway.
When they wanted to build the mall on this site they had a problem. They could not tear down this historical landmark to build a mall. So they did the logical thing and built a mall around the wall. This act of preservation is something that happens far more often in Europe than elsewhere. As a Dutch engineer once told my high school science teacher “In The Netherlands we have toilets older than your country.” He is right about that, the United States is less than three hundred years old, and European settlement of North America still only dates back to the 1500s. In Europe they deal with far older monuments, and cities have to grow around them.
This is actually a very nice example of preserving history while letting the future still carry on. It will become even most essential the further into time we go. We don’t want to destroy our past, but land is a finite resource and whether we like it or not development will happen. Building around a structure and making it part of the design of your building should remain an acceptable way of preservation. We won’t stop developers from developing land. Re-purposing land though will need to be done, because we can’t let things lay abandoned.
On a side note, in London and some other UK cities if you have had a certain view for a long enough period of time it is against the law for someone to obstruct your view with new construction. This has led to engineers changing plans for buildings to accommodate what are called ancient lights. Historical considerations in Europe is why many cities are still only a few stories high, with no giant sky scrapers. It is a major issue in zoning.
This wall is quite impressive, and stands out in start contrast to what is around it. There is information on the families of Galway, and the history of Galway on plaques attached to the wall. It is something interesting to see in what would otherwise be another monument to capitalism. It is also something you simply won’t find back at home .
I would never have found this site if it was not pointed out to me. I don’t typically go walking around shopping malls when traveling. There did not seem to be many people coming to check out this wall, and that is a shame. According to trip adviser it is the 24th largest attraction in all of Galway.
If you are in Galway and looking to get out of a sudden rainstorm, or need to pickup a souvenir; It is worth the visit the the Eyre Square Shopping Center to see a bit of history and get some unique photographs in the process. This is something you can see in like 20 minutes just to say you saw it.
As always hope you enjoyed reading,
Go With The Winds.
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