QUADRANGLE AT THE NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND, GALWAY
If you have ever visited the University of Galway, you have probably seen or taken a photo of the Quadrangle, the most iconic building on campus. The Quadrangle, or the Quad for short, is not only a beautiful example of Tudor Gothic architecture, but also a witness to the history and evolution of the University since its foundation in 1845.
The Quad was the first and only building of the University when it opened its doors to 68 students on October 30th, 1849, as one of the three Queen’s Colleges in Ireland, along with Cork and Belfast. The Quad was modelled on Christ Church, one of the colleges at the University of Oxford, and built with local limestone by architect John Benjamin Keane.
The Quadrangle housed all the teaching and research activities of the University for decades, as well as the library, the museum, and the chapel. The original faculties were Arts, Medicine and Law, with schools of Agriculture and Engineering added later. The Quad also welcomed female students in the late 19th century, and one of them, Alice Perry, became the first woman in the world to graduate with a first class honours degree in civil engineering in 1906.
Today, the Quad is mainly used for administrative purposes, and hosts the offices of the President and the Vice-Presidents of the University. It also contains a public venue called the Aula Maxima, which is used for official receptions and events throughout the year. The Quad is still a favourite spot for tourists and wedding photographers, as well as for students and staff who enjoy its serene atmosphere and historic charm.
The Quad is not only a symbol of the University of Galway, but also a testament to its past and its future. It reflects the University’s commitment to excellence in teaching and research, as well as its engagement with society and culture. The Quadrangle is a building that inspires pride, admiration, and curiosity among all who visit it.
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