The Book of Kells and the Old Library Exhibition, Dublin

4.2
#5 of 4,992 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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The Book of Kells and the Old Library Exhibition reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
21,963 reviews
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4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Loved this place - the Old Library is full of history and definitely worth a visit for any book lover. The Book of Kells exhibition space was well presented - I come here each time I visit Dublin.  more »
  • What a marvel. Took my breath away. There are few things in my life that hits a note and keeps making me want to return. Looking forward to returning once we are able to travel again. The history...  more »
  • More then 250.000 books at one place. Centuries of history. Stunning architecture. Fabolous experience for everyone - students, family, couples, Dublin residents, tourists, groups and solos. One of...  more »
Google
  • 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!
  • This is a must see in Dublin. The Book of Kells is one of the oldest surviving manuscripts amd it is absolutely beautiful. The colors and illustrations literally jump off the page at you. Even more impressive is the library in which it resides. The Long Room is special - books floor to ceiling lining the length of the building with exhibits in the middle. It is worth the effort.
  • One of the oldest books in the world set in a truly breathtaking library – a room that includes towering shelves of ancient books, Ireland’s oldest harp and contemporary poetry from recent university graduates. Well worth a visit. Buy your ticket online to avoid inevitable queues.
  • I was unlucky to visit during a restoration effort. The book itself wasn't available and only a good copy was in its place. I understand that something this old has to be well maintained. However, they announce discounted pricing due to this but I still paid 12€ for the visit. Too high for the main attraction to not be available.

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60 days in United Kingdom, France & Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular sights Preferences: July Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 23 days in United Kingdom & Dublin BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular sights Preferences: September Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 60 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, popular & hidden gems Preferences: March Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 9 days in Iceland & Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, culture, outdoors, historic sites, popular sights Preferences: April, culture, outdoors, historic sites Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 23 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular sights Preferences: June Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 19 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM CANADA June, popular sights Preferences: June Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 23 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular sights Preferences: May Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 60 days in Melbourne & Europe BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA October, popular & hidden gems Preferences: October Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 60 days in Europe BY A USER FROM CANADA July, popular & hidden gems Preferences: July Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 6 days in Dublin, Belfast & Doolin BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, fast-paced, popular sights Preferences: August Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Fast-paced 60 days in Europe BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA September, popular & hidden gems Preferences: September Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 16 days in Ireland BY A USER FROM CANADA September, popular sights Preferences: September Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium
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