No visit to Dublin would be complete without a visit to Trinity College and its famous Book of Kells.. Located on College Green opposite the former houses of the Irish Parliament, it's full name is "The College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin." Founded in 1592 and modeled after the universities of Cambridge and Oxford it is Ireland's oldest, and one of seven ancient, universities of Britain and Ireland. The university is not the first structure built on these grounds. Originally this was home to part of the monastery (or priory) of All Hallows of the Augustinian monks. This was replaced by the university buildings during the first religious conflicts between the Catholics and the Anglicans. Today, Trinity College comprises 25 schools of study and is ranked as "Best in Ireland". Being back on a university campus certainly brought back memories of our own college days.
The Library, perhaps the largest research facility in Ireland, is a legal depository (meaning it is entitled to a copy of every book published in Great Britain and Ireland) for nearly five million volumes, maps, manuscripts, and music; including its most famous work, The Book of Kells. The library is also home to "The Long Room" which contains over 200, 000 of the library's oldest books. The central walkway is lined with busts of famous writers and philosophers. Reportedly when this room was constructed (between 1712 and 1732), six feet were added to its length so that it would be longer than a similar room at the university's rival, Cambridge.
Regarded as Ireland's finest national treasure the "Book of Kells", named after the Abbey of Kells which housed the manuscript for centuries, is now housed in the library on Trinity College's campus. Written in Latin, this is an illuminated manuscript of the four gospels of the New Testament reportedly done around 800 A.D. Since 1953, the manuscript was rebound into four volumes, two of which (one of text and one of illustrations) are always on display.