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The Book of Kells

The Book of Kells

The Book of Kells dates back to the 9th century and is an exquisite and lavishly decorated copy of the first four gospels in Latin. Even after such a long time, the grandeur and aura of this historical book has not diminished and is considered as one of the major tourist attractions. The book is on a permanent display in the Trinity College Library and evokes much passion among all those who witness this historical spectacle.

Completed in 800 AD, the Book of Kells is the world’s most famous and oldest book. The book is Ireland’s most lavish and glorious of Ireland’s illuminated manuscripts. The book is an exquisite copy of the first four gospels in Latin. The vellum (calfskin) manuscript contains transcriptions of the four Gospels, lavishly illustrated and ornamented. It is the most elaborate manuscript of its kind to survive from the early Middle Ages.

The scribes and artists who created the Book were Columbian monks who lived in a monastery on the remote island of Iona, off the west coast of Scotland. The monastery was founded late in the sixth century by an Irish monk, St Colm Cille.

At the time the book was produced, Irish monks were renowned throughout the rest of Europe for their work as scribes and illustrators.

The Book of Kells contains 680 pages (or 340 folios). Just two of the pages are without ornament, while about thirty folios, including some major decorated pages, have been lost.

Book of Kells at the Trinity College Library Dublin

The Book is the most famous manuscript in the Library of Trinity College Dublin where it is permanently on display. The Book of Kells is kept in a low-lit gallery with only two pages displayed at a time, although they are turned after some period. The aura and grandeur of this highly illustrated manuscript cannot keep visitors and tourists at bay as they come pouring in from all parts of the world to have a glimpse of this historical script.

No book evokes such passion among art lovers, as this 9th century illuminated manuscript. The perfect surroundings of the Long Hall which contains over 200,00 of Trinity’s oldest books, is where you will find the Book of Kells, as well as other fine relics of Ireland’s scholarly history. Exhibitions and Library Shop open seven days a week.

Click here for full touring itinerary:The Best of Ireland Touring Itinerary

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