It doesn’t look a day over a thousand

Happy birthday to Waterford. Today is its 1100th birthday. It had a celebration with fireworks and pretend Viking ships.

Waterford was founded 1,100 years ago by the Vikings,and a free outdoor spectacle took place on the city’s quays tonight, produced by street theatre company Spraoi.

Telling the story of the arrival of the Vikings in 914 AD, the event had dance, performance, pyrotechnics, light, music, narration and special effects.

Three stylised Viking ships which took two months to build were also on display.

Thousands of people attended despite stormy weather with flooding.

Vikings! Fireworks! Viking ships! It sounds great.


  1. RJW says

    I’ll bet the Irish didn’t always celebrate the arrival of Viking ships, people have such short memories, it’s only 11 centuries and they’ve forgotten already.

  2. kbplayer says

    It’s so long ago that colonisation by the Vikings can be seen as picturesque history. Another 600 years they may celebrate being colonised by the English. Sadly the English didn’t go about in cool, dragon-headed long boats.

    A colleague of mine, a Scot, married a Danish bloke. At her wedding her father cracked jokes about the Viking abducting his daughter.

  3. RJW says


    Yes, since many modern Irish probably have Viking DNA, they’re just having a bet each way.

    The longships were works of art as well, I doubt whether any of the Vikings’ victims noticed at the time.

  4. rnilsson says

    If Irish, my Swedish name would probably be O’Neill, but I doubt there is any close relationship. Closer perhaps in Iceland where many people do have Irish genes with red or dark hair and patronymicons like Lárusson or Gardarsdóttir are legio, albeit secondary to first names. In my own lineage, the family name colloded with my great-grandfather whose father was called Nils Olofsson or suchlike, and that broke the switch from father to son. After that, any last-name changes were of a (more) voluntary character. But I still often travel past neighboring farm names like Jan-Karlgården and Karl-Jangården, or somesuch, which suggest a long local hegemony.

    A famous ancient Icelandic Saga is named after Njál. I think Iceland was founded as a colony for Norwegian fugitives, kind of like Australia. There is plenty of evidence for frequent traffic across the North Sea for a good thousand years.

    (Apologies for artrotious spelling and other misteaks) 😉

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