NileGuide Expert Says:
Even if medieval manuscripts are not your cup of tea, the magnificent library Long Room is one of Dublin's unsung highlights.
Trinity College Library Street
Trinity College, Old Library Building
2 Dublin, Ireland (Eire)
tel: +353 (0)1 896 1661
fax: +353 (0)1 896 3774
Mon-Sat 9:30am-5pm; Sun noon-4:30pm (opens at 9:30am June-Sept)
NileGuide Expert tip:
The campus tour price of 10 Euros also includes admission to the Old Library and the Book of Kells exhibition, which normally costs 9 Euros. SO, for just one extra Euro you also get to see the campus and have an expert tour around the exhibitions
Most visitors come here to marvel at the Book of Kells, described in the ancient Irish Annals as "the most precious object of the Western World". Whatever the hyperbole, it is indeed considered to be one of the most valuable and beautiful religious manuscripts in the world. Dating back to around 800AD and written on vellum, it contains the Latin text of the four gospels in handwritten script, accompanied by whole pages of lavish detailed illustration. An exhibition of large illuminated panels telling you its history and significance previews the actual book, A decorated page and a page of script are turned every couple of months to show visitors. Similar priceless books of the age are also on display.
As part of the same admission fee, visitors can enter the main chamber of the Old Library, the magical Long Room, nearly 65 metres in length, filled to bursting point with 200,000 of the Library's oldest books. Note Ireland's oldest harp, alongside a bust of Jonathan Swift. It probably dates from the 15th century and was last plucked in 1961.