The fountain at Eyre Square is a fine example of one of the more modern additions to Galway's artistic and architectural heritage. It was built in 1984 and it manages to embrace Galways' traditions in a contemporary fashion. The fountain centrepiece consists of a copper-coloured representation of the sails of the Galway Hooker. This was a traditional fishing boat, unique to Galway, which has gained fame because of its widespread use in times past, its importance to the port of Galway , and its unusual and attractive appearance. It has long been used as a symbol for the county of Galway and it appears in the coat of arms, emphasising the importance of the maritime influence on the community. It marks the pivotal point in the city and is well worth seeing.
Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights. In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. Text by Steve Smith.