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Irelands Oldest City Waterford

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Waterford City.

The first city in Ireland, Waterford, is also the oldest city in Ireland. Situated in the South East of the country with a large natural port, it was one of the first parts of Ireland that Viking raiders invaded and settled in. Waterford is most famous for its glass manufacturing company, Waterford Crystal. One of Ireland’s oldest urban civic buildings is the Reginald’s Tower in 
Waterford.Irelands oldest city Waterford

The first time the Vikings invaded Waterford was in 853, the second in 914 when they re- established their settlement in Waterford. In 1171 the Normans attacked and conquered Dublin and Waterford simultaneously. They declared them both to be royal cities. The Normans also declared Dublin to be the capital city. In the early 19 th century Waterford was declared a valuable city. To help protect it, the British Government built three Martello Towers at Hook Head to bolster their fort at Duncannon. Folllow us on Facebook
Evidence of its history

The Mall is the Georgian thoroughfare in the city. It was designed to allow ladies be escorted on a ‘promenade’ by either their husband, father, brother or a chaperone. The thoroughfare was also wide enough for carriages to drive through. The Mall in Waterford is a beautiful example of Georgian architecture. From Cork you enter Waterford city via the Mall. The buildings are gorgeous and are beautifully maintained.

The Viking Triangle includes Bishops Palace, Reginald’s Tower and the Medieval Museum. Each has its own merits, and combined they showcase Waterford’s history. The Bishops Palace exhibits from 1700 to 1970. The Medieval Museum is next door to it and exhibits Medieval Waterford. Reginald’s Tower is the most visible feature of historic Waterford. And if you happen to miss the large round tower that is Reginald’s Tower, the Viking Longboat parked outside it will give you a clue… 

Reginald_Tower_and_Quay_Waterford_County_Waterford_Ireland.jpg
Waterford’s Municipal Art Gallery has been in Greyfriars since 2001. Therer you can see over 20 paintings by both Irish and contemporary artists. Examples include those from Jack B Yeats and Charles Lamb.

The Royal Theatre is a sight to behold. The u-shaped building seats 600 and was built in 1876. The Victorian Theatre is a stunning example of architecture. The Barrack Street Concert Band is one of the only bands to have never broken their service regardless of civil war and two world wars. In 1982 they changed their name from The Barrack Street Band to the Barrack Street Concert Band so they are more accurately named to reflect the changes within the band. They added flutes, saxophones and a percussion section. They have won numerous accolades including winning the South of Ireland Senior Military band Championships in Clonakilty Co Cork in 2004. 

Events in Waterford

Bluegrass Music Festival, August 
Waterford Harvest Food Festival, September
Waterford Festival of Architecture, October
Waterford Film Festival, November

County Waterford

A short drive out from Waterford city will show you a whole other side to Waterford – its county. And its county has lots of treasures to share with us. The Copper Coast, Tramore, Dunmore East and Ardmore are all seaside destinations, with a range of attractions and activities for you. If it’s more culture you are looking for then any of the following will be fantastic destinations: Lismore, Dungarvan, The Comeragh Mountains.

Five Fun Facts

Waterford is the oldest city in Ireland. 
It has three libraries.
The Tall Ships Festival was held in Waterford in 2005 and 2011 
Reginald’s Tower was the first building in Ireland built using mortar.
Ryanair started with one flight between Waterford and London Gatwick.

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  • denis@leevalley.ie (Denis Hurley)
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