EXPLORE THE HISTORY
You can’t come to Waterford and skip out on Reginald’s Tower. Built by first viking settlers, the tower is iconic city landmark whose construction started in 1003. by Ragnar, son of Ivar the Boneless, which is an astonishing figure considering the tower is still standing untouched by the time. It is a beautiful reminder of the medieval defence system that had been built around the city centuries ago and the tower has been in use for over 800 years. The Towers exhibition is about the Viking era and some of the items on display are the 12th century kite brooch and a full set of weaponry belonging to a Viking warriors.
You are wrong if you thought that is the only tower. Go on a tower hunt around the city and try to locate all 7 of them, Semi-Lunar Tower, The Beach Tower, Turgesius’s Tower, St. Martin’s Gate, The Watch Tower, The Double Tower and The French Tower.
While roaming around the city, stop by the Medieval Museum, one of three museums that make up the Waterford Treasures. Open to the public since 2012, the medieval museum takes visitors through life in Waterford during medieval times. Housing a 13th century choristers hall and the 15th century Mayor’s wine vault, one of the most important artefacts housed in the museum are the Dalmatic vestments.
These are the only complete set of pre-Reformation vestments in the entirety of Europe that survived. Other medieval artefacts such as the Luker Chalice and Relic of the True Cross. If you are travelling with family it is good to know that visitors under the age of 14 are admitted free of charge.
Straight across the museum is the elegant Neo-Classical Bishop’s Palace built in 1743 is the home of the Treasures of 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The building is furnished with beautiful 18th-century artwork and furniture and a lock of military leader Napoleon’s hair. You will learn all about the inhabitants of the palace during its 250-year history followed by a lovely coffee on the terrace outside.
If there is a must see when visiting Waterford city, that is definitely Waterford Crystal. The factory is located in the heart of the city, having relocated from Kilbary to across the street from Bishops Palace.
Did you know that 750 tonnes of crystal is melted down each year at the House of Waterford Crystal? While visiting, you are treated to a tour of the factory, which is an intimate insight into the world of crystal making and then you are welcomed to the showroom where you can see and buy all the breathtaking crystal and collections made in collaborations with some famous names such as Jamie Oliver, Vera Wang, Gordon Ramsay and many others.
Traditional production stages also include wooden mould making, the blowing of crystals, cutting the crystals and quality inspection and you get to see master crafters at work in person.
Take a break from sightseeing and put yourself to a challenge and test your skills in The Escape Rooms, from Cluedo to Game of Thrones, they have different challenges for everyone. For that adrenaline rush, just one floor up Axe Junkies is a place where you can bring your inner Viking by learning how to throw some axes.
To finish off your tour of Waterford, sit down to a delicious meal back at the Fitzwilton Hotel. Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the Met Bar Cafe or Restaurant Chez K's and why not have a few drinks to celebrate your fantastic day in Waterford.
* inspired by post on Waterford in Your Pocket and Visit Waterford website