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.