Waterford is a vibrant and bustling city that is situated in the south east coast of Ireland. It is ideally placed for many of the major cities in Ireland being only one or two hours from Dublin, Shannon and Cork.
Today the city of Waterford is chiefly a commercial centre but it boasts a large student population ensuring it as an energetic city with lots occurring. The pubs are major contributors to social activities here, as they feature a large choice of live music ranging from traditional to modern.
Although it is a modern city the roots here are steeped in history and this is clearly evident. The layout of the town can be traced back to its Viking origins in the mid ninth century. It was not until the eighteenth century that Waterford really prospered, at this time the renowned Waterford Crystal factory opened and this coincided with the growth in the port.
There is evidence of this wealth in the buildings that were constructed at this time and many of the Georgian houses can be seen on O'Connell Street. An important architectural build at this time was the attractive oval staircase inside the Chamber of Commerce, located on George Street.
You will find in the city several historic buildings these include Reginald's Tower being the most prominent building here. It was constructed in the later part of the twelfth century and is a vast cylindrical tower. It is located in the quays and houses the city's museum. Opposite the tower is Baileys Street and along here you will find the ruins of the medieval French church or Greyfriars as it is known. This church was an important place of worship for the French Huguenot refugees for a long period of time. Another important church in the city is Christ Church Cathedral which was built in the 1770's by a popular architecture of the time John Roberts. It houses some excellent monuments and has displays a light and sound presentation of the city's history.
The city is most famous for its crystal which, is produced here at the Waterford Crystal factory. You can take a guided tour of the factory to see the old traditions of glass making and visit the showroom.
There are plenty of other attractions in the city and surrounding areas, situated in the city is the heritage centre where an exhibit of newly excavated Viking and Norman artefacts are on display. On the quay is the Waterford Treasure at the Granary here you can sail on a Viking ship, partake in ancient Irish folklore or just soak up the history of the country over the past one thousand years. A visit to the remaining stretches of the fortified walls and towers that protected the city is worthwhile. These walls date from the Viking and Anglo Norman period.
Waterford is an ideal place to spend a few days or a longer period of time. The pace of life is relaxed although there is plenty of activities available including golfing, walking fishing and much more. At night the city comes to life and there is a lot on offer then too.