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In the heart of Dublin City Centre you’ll find Ireland’s most famous book no, not Ulysses, a book far far older than that. It is housed in Ireland’s oldest University and tells the story of the four Gospels.

The Book of Kells is of course the book of which we are speaking and can be found in Trinity College. The book dates back to the 9th century and is lavishly decorated with beautiful imagery and lettering which remains incredibly vivid even after 1200 years.

a clock tower in front of a brick building

The museum itself is small with quite a lot of information to take in (I recommend having a big coffee before hand). While it’s not the most child friendly of spots there is no denying the sheer magnitude of a book this old being on display for all to see.

Each day a new page is turned so that if you visited the book every day you would in fact have read the whole book, albeit in Latin and it would cost you quite a bit but you get the idea.

a painting on the wall

To get a good glimpse of the book I would recommend going early morning as it does become quite packed with everyone squeezing in for a glimpse.

Heading upstairs you can hear the oohs and ahhhs of those ahead entering the long room. It’s a feast for the senses with the smell of old books in the air and bounds and bounds of leather backed books filling cases and shelves for almost 65 metres in front of you.

a tall building

It’s the kind of library you see in fairytales with moving ladders so as to reach books on the highest of shelves (think Belle in the bookstore in Beauty and the Beast) unfortunately these ladders are not available for visitors do their best Belle impression and to be honest, in terms of health and safety, that’s probably a good thing.


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