Waterford City, County Waterford
Waterford City is best known for being the home of one of Ireland’s most treasured exports Waterford Crystal. The glass manufacturers still play a big role in the city and every visitor to the region should take the Waterford Crystal guided tour and become the envy of all of their friends and family by picking up some unique Irish craftwork.
The real joys of the city can be found in its’ rich history. Waterford is Ireland’s oldest city and was founded as early as 914 AD. It is built on the meeting point of three rivers and was an ideal landing point for the Vikings. In fact the city’s name comes from an anglicised version of the Viking name Vadre Fjord, which it is believed refers to either “the fjord of the rams” or “the windy fjord”. The impact of the Vikings can be seen throughout the city with the traditional Viking defensive walls providing a wonderful enclosure for this unique Irish city.
The Viking Triangle is a must see and encompasses a number of different museums. Reginald’s Tower (which was built at the start of the 13th century) is the centrepiece of the area and provides a chance to see “The Kite Brooch” a stunning piece of 12th century metalwork amongst many other unique artefacts. There are also lots of new interactive displays for children and adults alike to explore the lives of both the Vikings and Normans who made Waterford their home.
The museums and tours are highly advised however for the more individual explorer the blue plaque tour is perfect for you. Waterford has set out almost forty plaques throughout the city commemorating famous people, places and incidents which impacted upon the city. Maps are available in most hotels and in the local tourist offices.
Many of the main attractions like Christ Church Cathedralor the Bishop’s Palace e.g.are best seen on foot and with the tidy layout of the town you are never too far away from an attraction, your hotel or one of the numerous pubs and restaurants. So for all those with an interest in history or a love of crystal, Waterford is definitely a must see!
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