Waterford

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Waterford (from Old Norse: Veðrafjǫrðr/Vedrafjord meaning "ram fjord" or "windy fjord"—Irish: Port Láirge meaning "Lárag's port")[1] is the fifth largest city in the Republic of Ireland, and the largest city in the South-East of the country. Waterford City Council is the local government entity for the city and its immediate hinterland. Founded in 914 AD by the Vikings, it is the country's oldest city.[2] The population of the city in 2006 was 49,213; of which 45,748 lived within the city limits, and 3,465 lived in the suburbs in County Kilkenny.[3] The city is situated at the head of Waterford Harbour (Irish: Loch Dá Chaoch or Cuan Phort Láirge).[2] The city motto Urbs Intacta Manet Waterfordia ("Waterford remains the untaken city") was granted by King Henry VII of England in 1497 after Waterford refused to recognise the claims of the pretenders Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck to the English throne.[2] Waterford was subjected to two sieges in 1649 and 1650, during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. It withstood the first siege but surrendered during the second siege to Henry Ireton on 6 August 1650.[4][5]

Reginald's Tower is the oldest urban civic building in Ireland, and the oldest monument to retain its Viking name. To this day, it remains Waterford's most recognisable landmark. It is believed to be the first building in Ireland to use mortar. The River Suir, which flows through Waterford City, has provided a basis for the city's long maritime history. The place downriver from Waterford where the Nore and the Barrow join the River Suir is known in Irish as Cumar na dTrí Uisce ("The confluence of the three waters"). Waterford Port has been one of Ireland's major ports for over a millennium. In the 19th century shipbuilding was a major industry. The owners of the Neptune Shipyard, the Malcomson family, built and operated the largest fleet of iron steamers in the world between the mid-1850s and the late-1860s, including five trans-Atlantic passenger liners.[1]

Today, Waterford is known for Waterford Crystal, a legacy of the city's former glass making industry. Glass, or crystal, was manufactured in the city from 1783 until early 2009, when the factory there was shut down after the receivership of Waterford Wedgwood plc.[6] Waterford is the sister city of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador and Rochester, New York.

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