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The Book of Kells

 Located within the Old Library at Trinity College, The Book of Kells is a must-see on your Dublin itinerary. The 9th-century book is one of Ireland’s greatest cultural treasures, as well as one of the world’s most famous medieval manuscripts. If you want to see The Book of Kells during your visit to Ireland, then The Beacon Hotel's convenient location will be perfect for your Dublin city break.

The Book of Kells contains the four Gospels of the New Testament in Latin, combined with various prefatory texts and tables written on vellum (calfskin). The date and place of origin of the book is a great controversy, but it is thought to have been written close to the year 800. The earliest reference of the book comes from the Annals of Ulster who described the book as “the chief treasure of the western world”. Having endured multiple Viking raids, and even being stolen in 1006, it is unknown how the book survived to this day.

After having remained in Kells until 1654, the book was moved to Trinity College Dublin in 1661. It has been on display in the Old Library from the mid-19th century. Four volumes are available for viewing, two of which can be seen normally: one is opened to display a majorly decorated page, and one displays two pages of script. Visits are self-guided with leaflets in 10 different languages, alternatively, an audio tour can be rented for €5. You should plan on taking around 40 minutes to 1 hour to go throughout the Old Library Exhibition. There are lifts within the building, making it wheelchair accessible.

You can buy tickets online, which will ensure you a time slot and allow you to skip the queue. Alternatively, you can purchase tickets at the ticket desk at the exhibition. Prices range from €10 - €28, depending on the ticket type you are seeking. Discounted ticket prices are also available for senior citizens and students with a valid ID card.

  • Adults: €11 – 14
  • Family: €28
  • Concession: €11
  • Group: €10
  • Children under age 12: Free

There are also tours of the Trinity College campus provided by Authenticity Tours which include entry to The Book of Kells and The Old Library exhibition. Tickets can be bought at the Authenticity Tours ticket desk at the Front Gate.

Opening Hours

The Exhibition is open 7 days a week as scheduled based on the season:

  • Monday – Saturday (May-Sept): 8:30am – 5:00pm
  • Sunday (May-Sept): 9:30am – 5:00pm
  • Monday – Saturday (October - April): 9:30m – 15:00pm
  • Sunday (October - April): 12:00 – 4:30pm

You can check the Book of Kells website before your visit, as times are subject to change.

 

Getting there:

As the Book of Kells is on display in the Old Library within Trinity College, located right in the heart of Dublin City Centre, transportation will not be a problem.

  • Bus: If you leave from the Beacon, the journey will be about 50 minutes. If you are already around the city centre, there are numerous bus routes that will stop near Trinity College.
  • Dart: The stations of Pearse Street, Tara Street, and Connolly Station will take you nearby the College.
  • Luas: You can hop on at the Westmoreland green Luas stop, a 7-minute walk from The Beacon Hotel, which will be around a 40-minute ride. There are two Luas stops near the College, one situated at the Front Gate on College Green, and the other near the Nassau Street entrance.

 

Because of its lavish decoration and artistry, the Book of Kells’ illustrations and ornamentation are incomparable in extravagance and complexity. Attracting more than 500,000 visitors a year, you’ll won't want to miss stopping by the exhibition. With the Beacon Hotel as your base for your trip, discovering Ireland and exploring Dublin couldn’t be easier. The Beacon Hotel has stylish rooms and an exquisite interior that is sure to make your break a hit. Be sure to check out our special offers and book your stay at The Beacon today.

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