Visiting the Trinity College

This college was founded in the year 1592 and is the sole constituent college of the University of Dublin.

It was modeled after the collegiate universities of Oxford and of Cambridge and is one of the seven ancient universities of Britain as well as Ireland’s oldest university. This historic landmark is located in the heart of the Dublin city center.

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The main chamber of the Old Library at Trinity College Dublin is the ‘Long Room’. At nearly 65 mtrs in length, it is filled with 200,000 of the Library’s oldest books and is one of the most impressive libraries in the world. When built (between 1712 and 1732) it had a flat plaster ceiling and shelving for books was on the lower level only. By the 1850s, these shelves had become completely full; largely as since 1801, the Library had been given the right to claim a free copy of every book published in Britain and Ireland. In 1860, the roof was raised to allow construction of the present barrel-vaulted ceiling and upper gallery bookcases. The library is the permanent home to the famous ‘Book of Kells’

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Marble busts line the Long Room, a collection that began in 1743 when 14 busts were commissioned from sculptor Peter Scheemakers. The busts are of the great philosophers and writers of the western world and also of men (and yes, they are all men) connected with Trinity College Dublin – famous and not so famous. The finest bust in the collection is of the writer Jonathan Swift by Louis Francois Roubiliac.

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The old library is home to many items of memorabilia from the Irish History.

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One of the few remaining copies of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic which was read outside the general post office on 24th april 1916 by Patrick Pearse at the start of the Easter Rising.

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The harp is the oldest of its kind in Ireland and probably dates from the 15th century. It is made of oak and willow with 29 brass strings. It is a model for the emblem of Ireland.

The feeling that I was going to see the ‘Book of Kells’ in person was extremely overwhelming! It is a 9th-century gospel manuscript famous throughout the world, containing the four Gospels in Latin based on a Vulgate text, written on vellum (prepared calfskin). It must have been close to the year 800 AD that the Book of Kells was written by the celtic monks. It has been on display in the Old Library at Trinity College Dublin from the mid 19th century, and attracts over 500,000 visitors a year. Sadly, photography isn’t allowed inside the exhibit area.

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The queue we joined for the “Book of Kells’ exhibit. It seemed overwhelming in the beginning but was very fast moving.

Trinity College is definitely worth a visit even if you are in Dublin just for a day!

 

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