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Ireland travel facts

Ireland map
Area (sq km): 68,890
Population: 4,109,086
Nationality: Irish
Local Name: Eire
Language: English,
Irish Gaelic
Time Zone: 0 GMT
Currency: 1 euro =
100 cents
Capital: Dublin
Dialling Code: +353
Electricity: 220V/50Hz
Internet Code: .ie
Religion: Roman Catholic,
Church of Ireland
Climate: Maritime
Government: Parliamentary Democracy
Inoculations: None
Driving: Left
Int'l License: Not required
Banking: M-F 10.00-12.30
Major Airports: Cork(ORK),

Book of Kells at Trinity College

Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland, is a vibrant city where tradition and culture are intertwined. The utmost advocate of such attributes is Trinity College, the oldest and most famous university in Ireland. Trinity College was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I.

Book of Kells
Book of Kells

Trinity College is located in the heart of Dublin and its 47-acre campus has 18th and 19th Century buildings mixed with modern ones, all teeming with young students from different corners of the world. The Library at Trinity College contains a staggering 4.5 million books, of which the most famous is the exquisite Book of Kells, one of Ireland’s most precious national gems.

The Book of Kells

More than 500,000 people visit Trinity College and its Library annually to admire the Book of Kells. The Book of Kells consists of 340 calf vellum leaves, beautifully handwritten in an insular calligraphy and painstakingly illuminated with the most intricate religious scenes and Christian symbolism.

Another distinctive feature of this manuscript is its fancifully decorated large initials. The Book of Kells measures 250mm x 170mm and its contents consist mainly of the Four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in Latin. Some of its illustrations and lettering have been profusely copied by both jewellers and printers.

Origin of the Book of Kells

The origin of the Book of Kells is not certain. One theory is that it was created by Columban monks, around 800 AD on the island of Iona, Scotland and because of a Viking invasion, it was transferred for safety reasons to a monastery in Kells, County Meath, Ireland.

Another theory is that the Book of Kells was totally produced in Kells by Celtic monks. Whichever the true story, the legacy left to the world by the authors of this magnificent work of art is immeasurable.

Be sure to include Trinity College and the Book of Kells in your itinerary when your book holiday cottages in Ireland.

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