The oldest university in Ireland, Trinity was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I to offer an education to the children of the upper classes and protect them from the "malign" Catholic influences elsewhere in Europe. Its purpose has changed with the ages, and now it is simply the most well-respected university in Ireland. Among its alumni are Bram Stoker, Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, and Samuel Beckett, as well as an array of rebels and revolutionaries who helped create the Republic of Ireland. The poet and wit Oliver Goldsmith also attended, and his statue stands near the main entrance at College Green, near the statue of the philosopher and fellow Trinity alumnus Robert Burke. The campus spreads across central Dublin just south of the River Liffey, with cobbled squares, gardens, a picturesque quadrangle, and buildings dating from the 17th to the 20th centuries. This is also where you'll find the Book of Kells.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Highly Recommended 2010