Fodor's Expert Review Katie’s Claddagh Cottage and Claddagh Arts Centre
On the west bank of the Corrib Estuary, this district was once an Irish-speaking fishing village outside the walls of the old town. The name is an Anglicization of the Irish cladach, which means "marshy ground." It retained a strong, separate identity until the 1930s, when its traditional thatched cottages were replaced by a conventional housing plan and its unique character and traditions were largely lost. One thing has survived: the claddagh ring, composed of two hands clasped around a heart with a crown above it (symbolizing love, friendship, and loyalty), was designed some 400 years ago by a goldsmith in this village, and is still used by many Irish, and Irish diaspora, as a wedding ring. Reproductions in gold or silver are favorite Galway souvenirs. Katie's Cottage, a replica of a typical claddagh home, is open as a café and exhibition center.