Tag Archives: Book of Kells

Ireland — Dublin; Trinity College Library and the Book of Kells

The Book of Kells exhibit — Trinity College Library

There is within the walls of the Old Trinity Library a magnificent illuminated manuscript. This is the famous Book of Kells, and it contains in Latin the four gospels of the New Testament.

Book of Kells exhibit

The Book of Kells dates back to late 8th to early 9th century. It may have originated in Kells, or perhaps any of several places with the British Isles. The accepted theory is that the book at least began life in a Columban monastery on Iona and was completed at the Abbey of Kells.

Book of Kells exhibit

So, what exactly is an “illuminated” manuscript? No; it’s not one that is bathed in light from a manmade source. In this case illuminated means the work is highly decorative, with stylized drop caps, decorative borders, and miniature illustrations, all done in bright colors and with gold and silver leaf. Take a look at this for examples:

Book of Kells exhibit

The Book of Kells is quite the wonder. But so, too, is the library which houses it today. This is the incredible Library of Trinity College, specifically, the Old Library completed in 1732. The most impressive, and iconic, view is of the Long Room:

Long Room, Trinity College Old Library

Busts of historic authors and philosophers are contained throughout the Long Room:

Long Room, Trinity College Old Library

Here are the busts of Greek philosopher Plato and his teacher Socrates:


Time to marvel at the spectacle of the Long Room:

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Ireland — Dublin; Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College Dublin

Within easy walking distance of our accommodations at Hotel Bloom was the historic Trinity College Dublin. Here Ursula was most interested in visiting the famous Book of Kells, which you’ll see on Wednesday. As for today, we’re going to explore the grounds of the college. Let’s start with the Campanile bell tower in heart of the college:

Campanile — Trinity College Dublin

I had a lot of fun photographing this college, as the buildings are older than even I am:

Trinity College Dublin

The gentleman pictured below is Irish novelist Oliver Goldsmith, a famous alumnus of the college:

Oliver Goldsmith

Today’s gallery is just me having fun with photographing this place:

And in Wednesday’s article I’ll show you the Trinity College Library and some images of the Book of Kells

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Filed under Photography, R. Doug Wicker, travel, vacation