Waterford is Ireland’s oldest city and the seaport is in the southeast of the country. It was founded in 914 A.D. by the Vikings and still, today parts of the ancient walled core are in existence still. Local archaeological finds are on display in the circa-1003 fortification within the Reginald’s Tower of the Waterford Museum of Treasures. Waterford Crystal is in existence since 1783 and remained famed for glass manufacturing, currently, the company offers historical tours.
Waterford is an area of around 48.3 km², while its population according to the census in 2016 is 53,502. As the oldest city in Ireland, Waterford’s history stretches across more than a thousand years, although it has never stopped the city of revealing more surprises. What makes this city truly special is the Norman contractions, Ancient Viking creations and expansions of the impeccably created crystal, which makes it feel like you are setting foot in a gleaming gem in the Ancient East of Ireland.
Waterford Crystal City
At the core of Waterford is Waterford Crystal, it is the heart of this magically history-rich area, a world-renowned factory that started in 1783 and currently the host of craftsmen, class cutters, engravers and glass blowers craft the most amazing crystal creations. Two tons of molten crystal is shaped every day, into the magnificent objects, which is part of the reason why Waterford crystal has a reputation for the finest artistry around the world.
At the centre of Waterford lies Reginald Tower, an impressive fortress built in stone, named after the founder of Waterford, Ragnall. It hosts a wide variety of impressively wrought iron metalwork, including the ancient Kite Brooch well-maintained through the ages. At the top of the spiral staircase you can enjoy a view of Waterford, and if you survive the narrow staircase you get to imagine it as it was, back in the 13th century.
Not far from the tower, the Medieval Museum hosts a variety of treasures, these include the Great Charter Roll dating back to 1373, it depicts Waterford in the medieval ages. The must-see treasures also include the cloth-of-gold, embroidered in Bruges and woven in Florence finally finding its home in the museum in Waterford. The most elegant townhouse in Waterford is Bishop Palace offering visitors the change to explore the Georgian period.
After enjoying a fair share of the Waterford history, you get to return to the present during the Spraoi festival taking place in August, which is named and inspired by the Irish word fun. Street performers light up the streets with live music and everyone enjoys the carnival atmosphere where some of the biggest bands participate.
A relaxed experience is also offered in this truly interesting place, the annual food festival offers the most delicious treats in Ireland. Get a taste of blaa a homegrown delicacy, enjoy all the cheeses and homemade jams you can eat and make sure you shop for the week as the farmers market is open every Saturday.
Waterford Politics and Local Government
Colloquially, Waterford is known as The Deise, it is believed that between the fourth and eighth century the tribe of Gaelic people driven from north Kildare and Meath settled in the area. Today the Deise’s ancient principality is conterminous with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lisbmore and Waterford, which includes the southern part of Tipperary. The Drum-Fineen hills separate the Decies without Drum and the Decies within Drum. In the county, there are many ogham stones and megalithic tombs, while the Viking influence is still most visible in one of the oldest buildings, the Reginald’s Tower, which was the first to use the brick and mortar method of building in Ireland.
Waterford County and City Council, since the 1st of June 2014 is the governing authority for the area formed via the merger of the Waterford County Council and the Waterford City Council following the Act2014 Reform Act of the Local Government. In the Republic of Ireland, there are thirty-one LAU 1 entities and each of the local authorities rank equally as an administrative unit. The local authority is responsible for services such as libraries, local roads, collecting automobile taxation, real-estate planning and development, social housing and sanitation.
Waterford remained Ireland’s second city throughout the medieval period with Dublin the first. It was governed from 1642 up to 1649 by an independent Catholic government, which was ended by Oliver Cromwell when he reinstated the county to be under English rule. Huge prosperity was enjoyed by Waterford in the 18th century when the city’s greatest architecture appeared, and the permanent military base was established.
Waterford is the fifth most populated city in the state and the local government’s thirty-second most populous area. Waterford is home to 53.502 people and the metropolitan area population is almost 83.000. Bus services are available across the region and throughout the city, while a regular service to Dublin is offered via bus route 4 provided by Bus Eireann. Only 9km from the city centre the Waterford airport is located and car rentals can be obtained from Enterprise, Hertz, Europcar and Budget. Euro lines operates the daily coach service to the United Kingdom calling at Carmarthen, Kilgetty, Pembroke Dock, Cardiff, London and Pont Abraham. The longest greenway in Ireland is the Waterford Greenway that connects the city with Kilmacthomas, Kilmeaden, Mount Congreve and Dungarvan.
Like the rest of Ireland, Waterford’s climate is mild, lack’s extreme temperatures and has abundant rainfall. The hottest months in the county starts in June to Augusts and with the temperature around 17 up to 22 degrees it is often referred to as the Sunny Southeast. While the county enjoys a great rainfall right through the year, January, December, November and October are the wettest months.
Waterford offers a variety of different transport options including motorways, bus services, rail, daily coach services, car rental, cycling and air.