Trinity College and the Book of Kells - Dublin
Trinity College is one of the most recognised colleges in the world, synonymous with its excellent educational curriculum, particularly its humanities, science and medical programs, and ranks highly in the world top universities. It is set on forty seven acres in the heart of Dublin city and this beautiful campus is filled with leafy, cobbled squares and lovely historic Georgian buildings, most buildings date to the 17th and 18th century.
It is one of the seven ancient universities of Britain and Ireland, as well as Ireland's oldest university. It was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I and is famous for its graduates like Swift, Goldsmith, Wilde and Beckett.
Attractions here at the college include, the Long Room, the longest single-chamber library in the world at 65 metres long, it is home to an incredible 200,000 antiquarian books, many being Trinity's oldest books. The decor is stunning with its ancient wooden shelves, alcoves and vaulted ceiling, it is the real epitome of a library. This room is lined by marble busts, the collection dating back to 1743. Contained here is one of the few remaining copies of The Proclamation of 1916, a famous document that declared Ireland's independence. The Brian Boru Harp, a medieval musical instrument though to have been owned by the High King of ireland, it is the oldest surviving harp in Ireland.
The most esteemed single item here on the campus is unquestionably, the world famous "Book of Kells", an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, with ornately decorated pages written back around 800AD. It contains the four gospels of the life of Jesus Christ, written by Columbian monks, and contains 680 pages. This famous exquisitely and lavishly decorated 9th century book is on permanent display at 18th century Trinity Library. This vellum manuscript is the most elaborate manuscript of its kind to survive from the early middle ages. It is one of Ireland's greatest cultural treasures and the world's most famous medieval manuscript and worlds oldest book. It was originally a single volume , but in 1953 it was rebound in four volumes for conservation reasons. It is still amazingly vivid and colourful in spite of its age. Two volumes are generally on display in a low lit gallery, one opened at a major decorated page, the other at a text opening. A librarian turns over a new page daily. There is a particular aura and grandeur associated with this highly illustrated manuscript that attracts viistors from around the world.
There is the Arts Cafe and Buttery for visitors who want to stop for some refreshments. There is also a gift shop selling a nice selection of gift items and souvenirs.
Trinity College is open throughout the year. Multi-lingual printed guides are available. In the summer months there are walkin tours available, they lasta bout thirty minutes.