Chester Beatty Library - Dublin
Chester Beatty Library is located in the grounds of Dublin Castle, in Dublin city, it is one of the most famous and eminent libraries in the world being home to an incredible collection of books, amongst many other items. This extraordinary collection is all down to one incredible person, Sir Alfred Chester Beatty whose name adorns this magnificent institution. He was a mining engineer who spent many years amassing this wonderful collection, that he kindly bequeathed to the Irish State on his death. The museum is the custodian of a number of priceless objects.
Spread over two floors it contains a rich collection dating from BC to the medieval period, and spanning many countries from across the globe, it provides a window into the artistic treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world. Housed here amongst the many shelves are in excess of 200,000 manuscripts, miniature paintings, prints, drawings, rare books, clay tablets, costumes, decorative arts and other objects of artistic, historical and aesthetic importance, completing an amazing collection. Amongst the many highlights on display here are Egyptian papyrus texts, beautifully illuminated copies of the Qur'an, the Bible, European medieval and renaissance manuscripts. All the exhibits have good explanations, they are well displayed and perfectly lit, so you get to see the many items clearly.
The first floor, the Artistic Traditions Gallery, commences with archives and mementoes from Beatty's life you then proceed to explore the art of Asia, with many delightful treasures on show. Second floor is home to, the Sacred Traditions Gallery and here you are exposed to a compelling insight into the customs and ceremonies of the major world religions. Also found here are audiovisual explorations of the lives of Christ and the Buddha, in addition to the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca.
There is a comprehensive Reference Library available for use by artists and students. The finely lacquered ceiling here is the same as the one Beatty had installed in his London home.
The library frequently hosts specialist workshops, numerous temporary exhibitions and talks covering all genres of topics and areas.
On the roof is a tranquil rooftop Japanese garden where you can get away from the daily bustle, a lovely peaceful retreat with great views too. Located in a sunny atrium on the ground floor is the Silk Road Cafe, where tasty and innovative Middle Eastern Cuisine is on the menu.
The Library is open daily and there is no admission to this amazing institution. There are free tours available if interested.