The National University of Ireland, Galway, or Queens College Galway as it was originally known, was built on a 260 acre site on the banks of the River Corrib in 1846. It opened its doors to 68 students for the first time in 1849. The river has only a length of four miles from the lough to the sea, and is said to be the shortest in Europe. It is also among the most powerful, especially after a few days rain.
The elevation of the land on which the university is built is only slightly above the high water mark of the river. When the concourse was built in the 80's, great time and expense went into researching the impact the river would have on the proposed building and its foundation such is their propinquity. Amazingly there have been no major floods or subsidence to date but time will tell if man has conquered nature on this occasion. Ironically the geography department would be the worst hit should such a flood ever occur.
Aesthetically the location of the university on the banks of the Corrib greatly adds to the visual beauty of the campus especially before the controversial design of the concourse was incorporated. The aesthetic quality of the site was not always considered advantageous though as Sir Francis B. Head commented "It is a pity, however, that the lowness of its position prevents it from contributing as much as it ought to the beauty of the town". However, the university has... [continues]
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