The Bishop’s Palace is one of the three museums known as the Waterford Treasures located in the Viking Triangle in Waterford, Ireland. It was designed in 1741 by architect Richard Castles, one of Ireland’s greatest architects. The front of the palace overlooks the town wall, which forms part of the palace’s terraced garden. The ground floor and first floors of the palace are furnished as an elegant 18th century townhouse and feature period furniture, beautiful fireplaces and rare paintings.
The museum tells the history of Waterford from 1700 to the mid-20th century, with an entire floor dedicated to stories about Waterford’s Home Rule story, World War I in Waterford and the War of Independence in Waterford. It also displays unique pieces such as the Penrose Decanter, the oldest surviving piece of Waterford Crystal, dating to 1789, and the only surviving Bonaparte “mourning cross,” one of just 12 crosses produced upon Napoleon’s death in 1821.
Admission to the Palace is 7 Euros for adults or 10 Euros for a combined ticket to the Bishop’s Palace and Medieval Museum. The Palace is open daily year round, except Christmas Day, St Stephen’s Day (December 26) and New Year’s Day. Opening hours are Monday to Friday, 9:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. (5 p.m. September to May); Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (10 a.m. to 5 p.m. September to May); and Sundays and bank holidays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (5 p.m. September to May). The last admission is at 5:20 p.m. (4:20 p.m. September to May). Guided tours are available and last about 45 minutes.