Book of Kells @ Trinity College, Dublin

4 out of 5 stars 9 Reviews

rinity College Dublin, College Green, Dublin 2 +00 353 (0)1 896 1000

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • Trinity Book of Kells
    Trinity Book of Kells
    by Goner
  • Entrance to the exhibition
    Entrance to the exhibition
    by MikeBird
  • Book of Kells @ Trinity College
    by Maryimelda
  • jmpncsu's Profile Photo

    Trinity College Old Library & Book of Kells

    by jmpncsu Written Oct 7, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Old Library and Book of Kells are one of the top tourist attractions in Dublin. Admission is €10 or you can be combined with a student-led tour for €12 (see my Trinity College tip). Visitors enter on the lower floor where there are exhibits on the Book of Kells and the process of creating an illuminated manuscript before leading to the Book of Kells itself. The library displays two volumes at a time, with one opened to a page showing illustrations and one to a page of text. Photography is not permitted in here, so I don't have any pictures. The book itself is absolutely beautiful and amazing to think of how old it is and yet still in such good shape. The effort that went in to making a book back then is just mind-blowing. Unfortunately, this is a very popular attraction and they seem to let too many people in at one time, so expect a crowd and you'll be bumping in to people all along the way. Past the Book of Kells, stairs lead up to the Long Room. This was my favorite part as this room is just beautiful with high arched wooden ceilings and rows of bookshelves lining the room. This room houses most of the college's oldest and most historic books. There are also marble busts of famous people lining the hallway. Non-flash photography is permitted in the Long Room.

    Old Library Long Room Old Library Long Room Cicero Bust Shakespeare Bust
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • MikeBird's Profile Photo

    Ireland's Ancient Manuscripts

    by MikeBird Written Mar 11, 2014

    If you're keen on history and can appreciate artefacts of beauty and heritage then a stop at the Book of Kells exhibition in the grounds of Trinity College should be on your itinerary for your Dublin visit.
    The exhibition itself isn't particularly large but it has been produced in a very stylish and accessible way. There are large wall displays and plenty of information to help you interpret what you are going to see. I particularly enjoyed the two video loops . One showed how the book binding process, all those centuries ago, would have taken place. The other was a demonstration of the craft of the illustrator and how a page of text with illustrations is slowly developed.
    Apparently there are four books but only two originals were on display on the day I visited. They are surprisingly small but one can easily appreciate the craftsmanship and dedication that went into creating these wonderful items.
    I'll not give details about the history and significance of the books because it would be better to access another website for that. But I want to say I enjoyed my visit and am glad that I now have a clearer idea about what the Book of Kells represents. My visit to the exhibition took about 40 minutes. Sadly visitors are not allowed to take photos inside the exhibition.

    Visitors can then access the Long Room, home of the Old Library, which is upstairs in the same building of Trinity College. Do not miss out on this because it is a most impressive room with shelves of ancient books stacked up high. The row of marble busts of famous scholars and celebrities adds a level of authority and grandeur to the place.

    All in all it was a great start to my day of visiting the museums of Dublin.

    Entrance to the exhibition
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • Maryimelda's Profile Photo

    The mind blowing Book of Kells

    by Maryimelda Written Jun 20, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Oh my goodness, what an experience! I was filled with awe and wonder with every step I took inside this building. The Book of Kells and associated displays were magnificent to say the least.

    The Book of Kells is housed in the library building of Trinity College and is displayed in a dimly lit room under glass. Very effective. These manuscripts date back to the tenth century and of course were all hand written. A very painstaking feat indeed. Especially considering the beautiful script in which they were written.

    The library building itself is a wonder to behold. After the Book of Kells, the next most important feature is the Long Room which houses in the vicinity of nearly a quarter of a million books. The huge bookcases are set off by many marble busts of famous and infamous people, the most popular of which is that of Jonathan Swift of Gulliver's Travels fame. There are also busts of philosophers and notable dignitaries of Trinity College.

    In the Long Room you will also find copies of the historical Proclamation of the Irish Republic of 1916. It was read by Patrick Pearse outside the Post Office of Dublin on April 24 of that year.in what became known as the Easter Rising. He and fifteen of his compatriots were executed for their troubles and Pearse is proudly regarded as a true figurehead for the Irish Republic.

    Another very interesting item to be found on display in the library is an ancient oak and willow harp which is approximately 500 years old. This is the oldest harp of this variety to be found in Ireland and is actually the model for the Irish emblem.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • iaint's Profile Photo

    Book of Kells

    by iaint Written May 2, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is one of the biggest attractions in Dublin. A “must see”, if ever there was one. That’s why I missed it on my first 3 visits.

    No, but seriously. The first 2 trips were on business.

    We got there about 9.30am, just after it opened, and got in almost immediately. By the time we left, I’d guess the queue was 30 minutes long. Go early!

    The place is a typical example of turning a small but significant relic into a very big thing, so tourists can be charged a big price. It’s a lovely thing, but for €9 I’m not so sure.

    The Long Room upstairs is marvelous, however. An old wood paneled university medical library stuffed full of ancient tomes. Atmospheric. A wonderful smell. Loved it. Reminded me so much of the King’s College Library at Aberdeen University - my alma mater.

    In fact, for some reason the whole Trinity College campus reminds me a lot of King’s College. Probably the squares, the lawns, the mixture of ancient and modern.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • Goner's Profile Photo

    The Book of Kells

    by Goner Written Oct 31, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    On our tour we saw the "Book of Kells" and the massive Trinity "Old library". The viewing of the "Kells" was inspirational. This 800-year old work of art is indicative of the struggle for the continuance of our Christian faith. It had been hidden and rescued and kept in an almost perfect condition. The ink that was used in the magnificent volume had been imported from around the world. Many men gave their labor of love to tell the story of Christ

    After our tourist stop at the bookstore we snooped around the campus taking pictures waiting to receive our Phil Society card.

    Really loved the museum shop there, they have lovely things.

    Trinity Book of Kells
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • tauroctonia's Profile Photo

    Celtic treasure: The book of Kells

    by tauroctonia Written Jan 10, 2006

    In the heart of Dublin, in the Old Library of the time-honoured Trinity College, there lies a treasure of Celtic inheritance. More than 1.000 years ago, as people assume, the book of Kells (which is a copy of the bible) was written by the monks of the Scottish isle of Iona and later brought to the monastary of Kells in Co. Meath. It’s something like a miracle that it could be saved from harm through centuries of forays, upheaval and conflict.

    Every day, one of the 340 pages of the original book is turned and shown to the visitors. The well preserved colours, the rich decoration and ornaments are a pleasure for the eye. There’s also an exhibition with further information on the history of the book of Kells.

    The long room of the old library, a “hall of wisdom” with its extended lines of bookshelves and the philosopher’s busts, is worth a visit, too. A paradise for book lovers!

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kettleman's Profile Photo

    Book of Kells and LIbrary

    by Kettleman Written Feb 7, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Book of kells and the illuminated books that are held in the library of Trinity College are fantastic.

    It's a little dear to get in mind you and there is the feeling that they want to keep you moving. If you can latch onto an organised tour the guyides have some good stories about the book and the history of celtish writing.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • TRimer's Profile Photo

    Book of Kells

    by TRimer Updated Oct 10, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The renowned 'illuminated' manuscript created by monks around AD 800 is one of the oldest books in the world. It contains the four gospels, preceded by prefaces, summaries, and canon tables or concordances of gospel passages. It is written on vellum and contains a Latin text of the Gospels in insular majuscule script accompanied by magnificent and intricate whole pages of decoration with smaller painted decorations appearing throughout the text. The precise detail and vivid colors become clear only when you see the actual manuscript.

    Page from The Book of Kells

    Was this review helpful?

  • anne_h's Profile Photo

    Book of Kells

    by anne_h Updated Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is an old illuminated copy of some gospels, done by Irish monks about 1500 years ago or so. Obviously they can only show a few pages at a time, so there's also a really good exhibit showing how books were made then, how the monks worked with the quills and the various materials for illustrating, etc.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Dublin

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

27 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near Book of Kells @ Trinity College
3.5 out of 5 stars
5 Reviews
0.1 miles away
Show Prices
4.0 out of 5 stars
2 Reviews
0.1 miles away
Show Prices
4.5 out of 5 stars
2 Reviews
0.1 miles away
Show Prices

View all Dublin hotels