Sunday, September 8, 2013

Bishop's Palace

‘History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.

Napoleon Bonaparte


For this week’s exploration of the ‘101 things to do...’ we are going to take a look at Bishop’s Palace museum, which charts Waterford’s history from 1700 to 1970. While Waterford Viking heritage is well established and celebrated amongst it’s tourist attractions, Bishop's Palace traces the history of another influential period in Waterford’s history and architecture. 

Up until the 1750’s Waterford was Ireland’s second largest city and the city’s 18th century architecture, along with its elegant silverware and world renowned glass making traditions are testament to how influential the period was to the city as we know it today. Designed by the renowned Anglo- German architect Richard Castles in 1741, Bishop’s palace served as a catalyst for the elegance of this era in Waterford City. Castles is now celebrated as one of Ireland’s most influential architects, having designed most of Ireland’s 18th century great houses, such as Leinster House in Dublin.

The Bishop’s Palace offers an unique experience for visitors to relive Waterford’s 18th, 19th and 20th century history and culture. The museum houses a spectrum of fascinating artefacts, period furniture, beautiful fireplaces and a collection of rare and important paintings. For instance, an entire floor of the building is dedicated to historic stories specific to Waterford such as Ballybricken’s pig markets, childhood and household living in Waterford, as well as exploring how the Waterford people coped during periods of national crisis, such as Home Rule, the War of Independence and the First World War.

Amongst the exhibitions most intriguing and significant pieces is the only surviving Bonaparte 'mourning cross', which was one of twelve created upon the death of the infamous French military and political leader, Napoleon Bonaparte in 1821. The museum also houses the Penrose decanter, the world’s oldest surviving piece of Waterford Crystal, which dates back to 1789.  Furthermore, the museum features a 18th century walnut rectangular stool with its  upholstered tapestry seat is on plain frieze with cabriole legs and  shells carved to the knees. Amongst Bishop Palace’s most renowned art works is the view Waterford, painted by van der Hagen in 1736, which was commissioned by Waterford Corporation. This piece credited as being the first oil painting  city of Waterford and van der Hagen is often regarded  as the first important landscape painter in Ireland.

Bishop’s Palace forms a part of the Waterford Museum of Treasures collective; along with the Medieval Museum and Reginald’s Tower.  One of the key features which attract tourists to the Waterford Museum of Treasures is the historical re-enacting experience provided. A cast of actors portray different characters and bring to life Waterford’s fascinating history in these engaging and imaginative tours.  So weather you are a history buff or a lover of art and architecture, Bishop’s Palace is a must see attraction. 

Bishop Palaces opening Hours:

September to May
Monday to Saturday: 10am to 5pm
Sundays and Bank Holidays: 11am to 5pm

June to  August
Monday to Saturday 9am to 6pm
Sunday and Bank Holidays 11am to 6pm

 For further information in relation Bishop’s Palace , please visit .  If you a planning a trip to Waterford Castle Hotel, why not view our ‘101 things to do’, which contains a variety of activities which can be enjoyed during your trip. To view the list, please visit .Additionally, if you are planning to visit Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort or if you have recently stayed with us, why not visit our Tripadvisor page .

1 comment:

  1. This is a very cold venue that you can tell is old. It's stunning decor that is kind of exotic feeling and antique-y.
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