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Trinity College, Dublin

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The lovely and legendary Old Library of Trinity College

As an English major, I was visiting Trinity College to see the Book of Kells and the Long Room. Both are in the Old Library at Trinity College. There are signs around that will help direct you.

Trinity College of Dublin is the city's oldest college. The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript that was written in 800 AD. It is one of the world's oldest and most renowned illuminated manuscripts. The book contains the four gospels from the Bible. It was given to the college in the 1750's and has been on display since the nineteenth century. The book is now actually 4 volumes; 2 of which are always on display. The exhibit starts with history of the book - why it was written, who wrote it, why the wrote it, how it came to Trinity College, etc. The information is interesting and pertinent. The atmosphere seems hushed and almost reverent, or at least it was when I was there. I think this is because the rooms have low and almost atmospheric lighting.

The room with the Book of Kells itself, or rather the two volumes of it that are on display, of course has dim lighting to protect the text. The colors and text are truly art. Anyone who says a book is just about the text should take a look at this exhibit. Of course, photography isn't allowed, but I stood there for quite awhile; I have the image imprinted in my mind. A book that is over 1200 years old; it was incredible!

The Long Room is a book lover's dream. The hall is over 60 metres in length and it houses 200,000 of the universities oldest books. Visitors are not allowed to peruse the stacks, but, if you're anything like me, you can revel in the beauty that is a room full to the ceiling with books. There are 14 marble busts of great thinkers from the Western world. Photography is not allowed in the Long Room, but, of course, there is an adjacent bookstore/gift shop where postcards and other items can be purchased.

The Old Library is open Monday to Saturday from 9:30am to 5:00pm and on Sunday noon to 4:30pm. [more ]

Trinity College: Stunning

Trinity College is Ireland’s most prestigious college, not to mention oldest. The architecture and upkeep of the campus well portrays this. It is filled with history, beauty, and obviously, great minds. The scenery is so stunning that if you are an amateur photographer, those structures will make you look like a pro. I spent a lot of time walking around the campus. However, I never paid the entrance fee to see the library and Book of Kells (which surprised even myself after spending two semesters studying both the images and designs as well as the contact….but it was the week of St. Patrick’s Day and that line was ridiculous). And for those of you who don’t know, the Book of Kells are an intricately decorated New Testament text dating back to 800 AD…a very dazzling piece of history and is housed within Trinity College library. Apparently each day they turn to the next page of the book.

Besides the architecture and history, one of my favorite aspects of Trinity College is it is amongst a city. Located across the cobblestone streets are shops, cafes, restaurants and museums…only steps away from Temple Bar, and strides from Grafton Street. It is situated in a fantastic location. [more ]

The Trinity College

The Trinity College is said to be the most charming and the most photographed university in Ireland. It is also Ireland’s first University, built under Queen Elizabeth I in 1592 as a "seat of Protestant learning". The most visited section of the Trinity College is the Old Library where the "Book of Kells" and the "Book of Durrow" are homed. The disadvantage is that in summer you will have to endure a long queue to see “The Book of Kells” and the entrance fee was criticized as expensive. The effort may not be worth it, since one is allowed to see only two pages of the “Book of Kells”, on display behind glass. [more ]

Trinity College

Trinity College is located on College Green (Dublin 2) and it was one of the first sights I saw in Dublin on my first ever trip to Ireland.

The library is the most impressive sight, more importantly the Long Room, built in 18th century and home to a number of priceless manuscripts and the manuscript of the Gospels. You can also see the Book of Kells that is located at the Eastern Pavilion in the Colonnades. It is a bit darkish there, all in effort to preserve the fragile manuscripts. But for the first time visitor, it is a must see.

The opening hours to see the Book of Kells are from 9:30am until 5:30pm Mon to Fri and from noon until 5:00pm on Sundays. [more ]

Trinity College: Book of Kells

Trinity College’s main attraction is the Book of Kells. This illuminated manuscript is considered to be one of the oldest books in the world. It was brought to the college for safekeeping in 1654 from the monastery at Kells, but it undoubtedly predates the monastery itself. It is believed that the book was written by the monks at St. Columbia’s Monastery at the island of Ilona. Manuscript contains four New Testament Gospels written in Latin, as well as other Christian texts. Its magnificence and importance is magnified by the decorated opening letters of each chapter and complex illustrations between the lines. Book of Kells is displayed in East pavilion of the library Colonnades, underneath the library itself. [more ]

Trinity College

Trinity College was founded in 1592 by Elisabeth I on a land confiscated from a monastery. Although its full name is University of Dublin, this is universities only college, so the name stuck till today. College grounds cover about 16 hectares and there is no admission on entries, but a good idea is to take a guided walking tour which start from colleges main entrance on College Green. Tours run from mid-April until early October and take about 30 minutes. Tours commence every 40 minutes from 10.15am. [more ]

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