Dublin’s Trinity College – A university and a museum

Of course there’s one thing that will probably come on your mind when making a trip to Dublin. It’s the Trinity College or the Coláiste na Tríonóide how they call it in Irish. The Trinity College with the legendary Long Room and the Book of Kells is one of the world’s famous universities along with the universities in Oxford and in Cambridge and it’s really worth a visit. The Trinity College is one of Dublin’s most typical places apart from Temple Bar and the Guinness Storehouse about which I already spoke in my previous articles.

Story and interesting places

The Trinity College has been founded back in 1592 and indeed it has been built on a similar style like the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. There have been many very famous celebrities who have been studying at Trinity College in Dublin like for instance Oscar Wilde, William C. Campbell or Chris De Burgh who is well known for his legendary hit Lady in red from 1986. The campus of Trinity College with its green meadows is one of the prettiest in the world and it’s in the middle of Dublin’s city centre. First you have to pass the old gate and the Campanile on the Front Square which you can see on the picture above before you can both visit Trinity College and enjoy the student life.

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And if you remember my previous article you already might have recognized the most famous place at Trinity College which is the heart of this very university and that’s the Long Room with the Book of Kells.

Long Room and Book of Kells

The library of Trinity College has been built back in 1732 and it’s definitely more than only a usual library. It has more than 6 millions of exemplars which are the oldest books worldwide. The most funny thing about it is that it’s a museum with a souvenir shop in the middle of a University campus where students use to learn for exams and to pass the time together like at any university else. To be honest my first impression was that the so-called Long Room is not that long and big as it might seem on many postcards and on pictures in guide books about Dublin. It is 65 metres long and I was really surprised how on earth it’s possible to deposit so many exemplars of books on such a relatively small superface.

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In the middle of this Long Room is the most important book of this whole library which is the Book of Kells. The Book of Kells is one of the most important preserved medieval scripts.

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In Irish they call it Leabhar Cheanannais and it’s the Book of the Four Evangelists. However it’s not really clear where the Book of Kells actually comes from. One theory says that it has been stolen from the Count of Meath on the west coast of Ireland. Another theory says that it has been produced in the Monastery of Iona in Scotland. We definitely know that it’s the Trinity College’s property since the 17th century and it has been in many private hands before. You can see two pages of the famous Book of Kells in a glass cabinet in the middle of the Long Room.

Brian Boru’s harp

Of course you will also find the famous Brian Boru’s harp in another glass cabinet in the Long Room. It is only one out of three preserved Gaelic harps apart from the Queen Mary harp and the Lamont harp. If you want to know the story behind the mysterious harp and its meaning for the Irish national culture then I recommend you my previous article about the Irish pub and music culture.

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You see that Dublin’s Trinity College is really worth a visit and as I told you it’s much more than only an average university campus. I think you can imagine how expensive it is to study here and how hard it is to get a scholarship for this university. For me it was an interesting experience to see a different university campus and to be among students who spend their everyday life between all these sights. I wish I had so many interesting sights at my university where I’m currently writing my doctor thesis!









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