The Old Library & the Book of Kells exhibition
Trinity College Library, College Green, D2
t. (+353) (0)1 896 2320,
Luas St Stephen’s Green.
Founded in 1592, Trinity College is Ireland’s oldest university and alma mater of Wilde, Yeats and Beckett, among many other Irish luminaries. It is also home to two must-see attractions, the Long Room and Book of Kells.
Written around the year 800AD by Columban monks and regarded as the finest surviving example of Irish Celtic art, the Book of Kells is a highly decorative vellum copy in Latin of the four gospels. Richly illustrated with many-hued letters and pictorials incorporating animals, humans and Biblical scenes, this exquisite manuscript reveals a seemingly inexhaustible wealth of supremely detailed ornamentation upon each close inspection.
The Book’s name comes from the Abbey of Kells in Co. Meath where it was reputed to
have been (at least partly) written, though its exact origins remain unclear. In the 1650s, the Book was moved to Dublin for safekeeping and presented to Trinity College Dublin’s Library in 1661. Originally a single volume, for conservation reasons it has been rebound into four volumes, two of which are normally on display showing examples of script and illustration. Visits are self guided (allow 40mins to 1hr), with displays telling the history of the Book of Kells and other historic manuscripts.
The 18th century Long Room features a stunning 12.6m high timber barrel vaulted ceiling and houses around 200,000 antiquarian tomes on 65metres of open oak shelves. Rows of marble busts, Ireland’s oldest harp, changing exhibits and an original copy of the 1916. Proclamation of the Irish Republic are also on display.
Open May to Sept Mon-Sat 9.30am-5pm, Sun 9.30am-4.30pm, Oct to April 12pm-4.30pm. Adult €10, Conc. €8, Family (2+4) €20 , U12 Free. Adult online discount.
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