Explore Waterford City - Waterford
Waterford is Irelands oldest city dating back to 914 A.D when it was founded by the Vikings, remnants of the ancient walled core still exist. It is a seaport located in the south east of Ireland. It has a long and rich history that is evident as you stroll around and see the monuments dating back to this era. It is also known as the "Crystal County" owing to its long and strong ties with this industry.
A great way for visitors to get to know the city is by taking a walking tour, during this interactive tour guides will divulge the history of the city and its people in an engaging and and entertaining way, with lots of stories along the way.
Waterford Viking Triangle is the city's, "old town" and cultural and heritage quarter, named because of the Viking walls that enclose it. It is a compact and quirky area, featuring narrow streets, lots of nooks and crannies to explore, atmospheric public places and a wealth of cultural and heritage attractions, as well as lots to see and do. Located here are craft studios, cafes and coffee shops and some excellent restaurants. It is here that visitors will discover many of the city's main attractions, including the medieval mayor's wine vault. The Greyfriar's Church is also referred to as the French Church and was a Franciscan Monastery dating to the 13th century, it was one of the first friary's in Ireland and was the scene of the surrender of four Irish Chieftains to Richard II in 1395. In 1544 Henry VIII granted a charter to turn it into a hospital-cum-alms-house. At the Victorian Theatre Royal visitors can relax and listen to stories about Ireland's best and most flamboyant operatic composer, William Vincent Wallace. Bishop' Palace is a real gem, it is a stunningly preserved and extremely elegant 18th century townhouse. It houses some lovely treasures of Georgian and Victorian Waterford. The palace was the home of the Anglican bishops of Waterford from 1743 to 1919, it then became a boarding school until 1967. Today it is a popular tourist attraction offering guided tours by guides in historic character costumes, it is open daily throughout the year. Reginald's Tower is a fortification that dates to around 1003, and the city's most famous landmark. The tower is the oldest urban civic building in Ireland as well as the oldest monument to keep its Viking name. This circular defence tower has served as a mint, a prison and a military store. It now houses the Waterford Museum of Treasures, an imaginative and clever facility where history is brought to life through a series of displays, genuine artefacts and other media tools. It tells the history of the city from its early beginnings through to present day.
Waterford Medieval Museum narrates the story of life in historic Waterford City and includes a number of preserved medieval structures within its walls, including the gorgeous 13th century Choristers Hall. It is also home to a number of unique and wonderful artefacts that were discovered during excavation works.
Christ Church Cathedral is an important landmark here, it has been at the centre of the city since the 1773, although there has been a church on this site since the 11th century. It was here that Strongbow the English knight married the Irish Princess Aoife in 1170. As well as being historically import, it is also architecturally important, it was designed by the renowned architect John Richards and is the sole neo-classical Georgian Cathedral in Ireland. The interior is beautiful with its stucco plaster ceiling, elaborate stained glass window and a pillar that remains from the medieval cathedral. It is open to the public throughout the year.
The Clock Tower is located along Merchant's Quay, it is a Victorian Gothic structure that dates back to 1861. It was original purpose was to provide water for the horses, the clock was not added until 1864.
The world renowned glass manufacturers Waterford Crystal is located here, in the historic district, the factory began producing glassware back in 1783. Visitors can take a guided tour of the facility for a detailed look at the making of this famous crystal. The Visitor Centre is home to the biggest collection of Waterford Crystal in the world.
When it comes to dining out visitors are spoilt for choice with a wealth of cafes, bistros and restaurants to choose from. There is an eatery to cater to all tastes and budgets and visitors will not be disappointed with the choice available. Likewise when it comes to nightlife the city has it all from swanky lounges to nightclubs and from modern to historic pubs, it is all here. Many of the venues will feature live music.
The city hosts a number of major festivals each year, these include, Waterford Spraoi Festival, Waterford New Music Week and Waterford Light Opera Festival to name a few, there is a festival to appeal to all interests.