The Book of Kells and the Old Library Exhibition, Dublin

#4 of 5,041 in Things to do in Ireland
Library · Traveler Resource
One of Ireland's major cultural and artistic treasures, The Book of Kells and the Old Library Exhibition counts among the oldest texts in the world, dated to the 9th century. This illuminated manuscript contains the four gospels of the Bible's New Testament and other sacred texts, written in Latin by Celtic monks. Despite the importance of its written sections, the book's main appeal lies in its illustrations, remarkable because of the artistry and attention to detail achieved by their creators. The intricately decorated pages feature vibrant colors and complex decorative patterns, painstakingly hand-drawn to enhance each section of text. You can see several pages of both illustrations and text at Ireland's largest library, which has displayed this historical book since the 19th century. For travelers who use our international travel planner, Dublin holidays become easier to arrange, with trips to the The Book of Kells and the Old Library Exhibition and other attractions mapped out and timetabled.
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  • Was last here 20-odd years ago and enjoyed being immersed in my celtic heritage. Could be anywhere in the world now. Another casualty of globalisation.  more »
  • The Book of Kells was definitely one of the highlights of exploring Dublin. The long room was amazing to see and just walking around Trinity College was so historic and beautiful. I would highly...  more »
  • The Book of Kells is a must visit when in Dublin. Really interesting to see the process of this calligraphic art up close. Learn more about the age old techniques of mixing color. The meaning behind some of the incredibly detailed illustrations in the Books. The library is simply stunning, the wood, the busts of great thinkers. Such an inspiring room. To top it all off the original Irish harp.
  • Once upon a time we happened to be in Dublin. And we wanted something special and impressive, something huge and interesting, something which could take our breath away and become a pleasant memory. And we went to Trinity College Dublin to have a look at the Book of Kells and Library, with the famous long room. We started with the tour in the campus, and listened to the stories about students’ life and ghosts. Yes, Ireland is full of ghosts 👻. And then we proceeded to the Book itself and to the famous library. It was really impressive and so much inspiring!

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