Since it was founded in 1783, Waterford has been a byword for the crystal of connoisseurs, and for good reason. The solid, faceted hand-carved crystal produced in Waterford is among the best in the world. For centuries Waterford's glittering product has been shipped around the world, to grace the drawing rooms and dining rooms of the wealthy and powerful. Only cataclysmic events have ever stopped that process: The devastating effects of the Irish famine forced the factory to close in 1851, but it was revived in 1947, then in 2009 the global recession forced the factory to close again, but it found new owners who opened a brand new center in 2010. As you might expect, the center, which is on the Mall in central Waterford, sparkles with a display of crystal carved into elaborate confections including glasses, globes, and chandeliers. In the shop, you can spend your way into the poorhouse in no time at all (don't look for any discounts at the factory -- there are no seconds to be had -- the advantage in shopping here is simply the wide selection). True fans will want to tour the factory to see the work firsthand.