As Ireland’s oldest city, you can certainly expect to encounter some fascinating historic mementos on a visit to Waterford. And as a city that was settled by Viking traders in 914, you’d be spot on.
High on the list of any history enthusiast in Waterford must be a visit to the city’s museums. There are three museums in close proximity, part of the Waterford Museum of Treasures collection, that each focus on a specific era and tell the story of that particular period in time. First up, Treasures of Viking Waterford is located within the iconic Reginald’s Tower – a 13th century defense tower that’s also the oldest monument to retain its Viking name. Here you’ll find a superb collection of historic artifacts dating back to the Viking era. Then you can trace the city’s past through the middle ages by visiting the Treasures of Medieval Waterford museum, before learning about its more modern history in the Treasures of Georgian Waterford.
Offering another slice of Waterford’s past is the Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre. Its thriving crystal trade is a legacy of its former glass-masking industry, which helped to propel the city to prosperity and continues to do so today. Waterford Crystal is a highly acclaimed and sought-after product. Testaments to its success, hundreds of individual Waterford Crystals were used to make New York’s famous Times Square Ball for the new millennium. On this occasion, many of the crystals were engraved with messages of a certain theme, such as “Hope for Wisdom” and “Hope for Unity”. A duplicate of the ball can be found in the Waterford Crystal Factory.
Waterford is a bustling place that is justifiably proud of its heritage, and it celebrates its past whilst also looking forward and embracing the future. Tourism is alive and kicking, which is evident in the wide range of Waterford hotels, its packed event calendar and extensive visitor attractions. A trip to Waterford is a chance to step back in time and appreciate Ireland’s oldest city, but it’s also an opportunity to enjoy this unique city for what it is – a characterful melting pot of heritage and culture, which is celebrated with pride, a smile, and a cheerful welcome.
Image Credit : From Northwest