Once an old and run down area this is now a modernised and trendy part of town, though some not very attractive new development takes away from the look of the area.
The arch was built in 1584, to give access to an extension to the Quays known, still, as The Long Walk. The origin of its name is something of a mystery, though it was probably named for the Spanish traders who frequently used the harbour.
Galway had very extensive trading links with Spain for many centuries and a Spanish influence can been seen in quite a few buildings around the city. It’s even said that the dark haired, blue-eyed Galway Girl of the song by Steve Earles (who lived for some time in Galway) and the many in the area who share her colouring, owe their looks to the ‘influence’ of Spanish sailors!
For a walking tour guide of Galway City visit http://www.dochara.com/tour/itineraries/walking-tour-of-galway-city/