After a traditional Waterford breakfast with freshly baked blaa (the traditional bread introduced by the Huguenots), you certainly feel ready to explore the treasures gathered by Ireland’s oldest city.
“Vadrarfjord” was founded in 914 AD, a Viking settlement that became a flourishing port. Today’s narrow streets and medieval walls of the Viking Triangle stand on its original footprint. There’s Georgian Christ Church Cathedral, too, on the site of the Viking church where the great Anglo-Norman knight Strongbow famously married the Irish princess Aoife.
You dip and delve into the three museums of Waterford Treasures, reading the changing times through precious artefacts.
A few more steps and you are in the Medieval Museum’s shadowy underground Choristers’ Hall and Mayor’s Wine Vault. Then up into the ultra-modern galleries above.
What from Waterford’s age of faith and chivalry now catches the eye: the sumptuous Cloth of Gold Vestments unique in northern Europe, or the illuminated Great Charter Roll defending the city’s monopoly on wine imports?
Nearby in the House of Waterford Crystal you can see beautiful pieces still being made: treasures to speak of the city’s heritage in years to come.
And of all the elegant Georgian furnishings in the neighbouring Bishop’s Palace, surely the 1789 decanter, the oldest surviving piece of Waterford Crystal, is among treasures to covet.