Apr 3, 2014

Dublin: Trinity College, The Book of Kells, & The Long Room


Confession: D and I hate museums. Ok, maybe hate is a strong word. Let's just say we tend to avoid them unless there's something in one of them that we'd love to see. For example, the Louvre in Paris…it's a "must-see" and we enjoyed hunting down the handful of pieces we really wanted to see in person. A museum I could have done without? The Uffizi Gallery in Florence. SHOOT. ME. NOW. Gorgeous interior, but I felt like we wasted a third of our day getting lost in the massive crowds inside it. When we plan our trips, museums aren't usually attractions on our itinerary, but for Dublin, we knew we had to visit Trinity College and the Book of Kells. Trinity College is touted as Ireland's premier university and is situated right smack dab in the center of Dublin. Our hotel was just a few blocks from its ancient wooden doors (pictured above), making it an easy visit our first day in the city. While Trinity College has quite a lot of charm, history, and a beautiful campus, it's the housing of the Book of Kells inside the Old Library that drew us in.

The Book of Kells is a beautifully illuminated medieval manuscript that contains the four Gospels of the New Testament in Latin written on 680 pages of prepared calfskin. It was created in a Columban monastery in Ireland around 800 AD and is celebrated for its lavish decoration and colorful intricate artwork, not to mention the wonderful story it holds. The admission to see the Book of Kells is €9 and includes the "Turning Darkness into Light" exhibit (very interesting, even for a non-museum lover like me), entrance into the Long Room, and entrance into the current Long Room exhibit. Unfortunately, no photos are allowed inside the Book of Kells exhibits. Another reason why I typically don't like museums.


After D and I spent time viewing the wonders of the Book of Kells, we made our way into my favorite part of the tour…the Long Room! The Long Room is the main chamber of the Trinity College Old Library and my gosh is it STUNNING. Easily the most beautiful library I've ever stepped foot into. And you could take photographs! WHOO HOO! :) The Long Room is home to 200,000 of the library's oldest books and is a massive 213 feet long. The room smells of old books (heavenly), has regal busts of famous writers and philosophers lining its aisles, and has dozens of those adorable sliding wooden ladders used to reach those high-up books. I now want a sliding wooden ladder in my home, of course. D and I spent quite a bit of time in here, squinting our eyes to see what kinds of fun books were stored and battling a barrage of high schoolers on a field trip, no doubt (come early to avoid the crowds!). I was absolutely enamored with this room and only wish I could have grabbed a book and read there for a while. If you find yourself in Dublin and don't mind gorgeous books and a little bit of museum-like atmosphere, make a stop at Trinity College for the Book of Kells and the Long Room. If I can fall in love, you can too!

32 comments:

  1. Apparently someone drove their car into those beautiful wooden doors this week, so you got there just in time! The Long Room is perfect isn't it? So glad you enjoyed a little slice of Irish charm!

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    1. I did read that this morning!!! Total craziness. We walked through those doors a number of times while we were there. Kind of sad. But, we did enjoy our time there so much! :)

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  2. All those books! What a beautiful place to visit!

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  3. Oh my god! That room is where I would like to set up camp and live for the rest of my life!
    All your travels are so picture perfect :) I love this little blog of yours!

    Grace
    x
    theartofwandering,blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Right? It was pretty magical. Books for DAYS!
      Thanks, Grace!! :)

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  4. Agreed on the Uffizi. Snore fest. The one regret I have about my trip to Dublin was that I missed this library! I think this is reason enough to go back!

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    1. YES. Total snore-fest. I think a trip might be in order for you!! :)

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  5. I especially hate when photos are not allowed, but at least you got photos of the Long Room. It looks like a beautiful place!

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  6. So fun! I visited Trinity with a friend who's a student there, and he said students can get in free and see a different page of the Book of Kells each day, so they could see the whole book by graduation. Pretty neat!

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    1. JEALOUS!! What a cool thing to be able to say you did by graduation! Very neat.

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  7. Oh my goodness. Those books...so, so many. It looks like you guys found heaven right here on earth ;)

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  8. Trinity College and the Old Library was seriously one of my favorite parts of our trip to Dublin. We spent so long just photographing the campus, so gorgeous!!!!

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  9. So many books! My heaven. I would love to see that!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
    acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

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  10. Oh my goodness...this is STUNNING!!! Can you imagine studying, reading and dreaming in such a place?! Heavenly.

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  11. This post has made me excited about visiting Dublin at the end of the month! Great photos.

    http://wanderlustandmemoirs.blogspot.com

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  12. I'm a reader anyway, but libraries like that make me want to go back to school. They actually make me want to study. :)

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  13. I am not an art museum fan at all. I went to the Prado in Spain and couldn't get out fast enough, but other museums can be hit or miss. I love some of the Smithsonian Museums :) and I know I would love to see the long room!! There is nothing better than a huge room full of books!

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  14. Amazing! I love books and thus libraries! They are kind of magic places. Love to read your blog, girl.

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    1. Thank you, Sonja!! I'm so glad you're here! :)

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  15. I'm the opposite, I LOVE museums, but definitely have to be in the mood, and stay away from the crowds. Those books, I want them all in my future library!

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    1. Yeah, I'd definitely have to be in the mood, too. Most of the time though, I'm not! HA! Aren't those books great? It smelled like heaven in there. :)

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  16. I'm a sucker for libraries and this one is one of the most amazing libraries I have seen! Thank you for taking me there photographically. PS. My dream has been to transform my master bedroom into a study/library with books lining the walls, rich cherry wood furniture and flooring...but alas, your father-in-law won't allow it...yet

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  17. Doesn't the Long Room remind you of the library at Hogwarts?? Anyway, I'm so sad because the green hoodie I picked up at Trinity has shrunk. :( It was so comfy! Guess we'll have to go back some day!!

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  18. Loved the Book of Kells! Have you seen the cartoon movie? It was pretty interesting! I agree about the pictures! Just let me take this!

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    1. I haven't! I'm totally going to have to look that up!

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  19. I am so so jealous you got to see the Book of Kells! When we were there it was closed.

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  20. LOVED the Long Room! Mainly because I know that is where the inspiration for the Hogwarts' library came from for the movies:) When we were there, pictures were not allowed. However, I did sneak a few. I mean I HAD to. haha

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  21. Such a beautiful library! I love the old books!

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  22. One of my favorite spots to visit over and over :)

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  23. They now allow you to take photos in the Long Room!?! I've been there three times since 2008. All three times they had a strict no-pic policy. Glad to hear they've changed it.

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