Chester Beatty Library picture
Chester Beatty Library
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Key Info

Dublin Castle

Price & Hours

Free
Hours vary seasonally

Details

Museums, Free Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.5scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Widely known as one of the mote notable museums in Europe, the Chester Beatty Library is often overlooked by tourists. The library is home to an extensive collection of rare books, manuscripts and drawings dating back to 2700 B.C. The museum includes religious and artistic collections from across Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.

The library's namesake comes from the American mining millionaire and collector, Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, who donated his immense collection to Ireland when he passed in 1968. Works include Babylonian clay tablets, the Biblical Papyri and 260 different manuscripts of the Quran.

Recent travelers described the library as a fascinating collection of cultural and religious information that's well curated and a book lover's delight. History buffs will be pleased to learn that admission to the library is free, and it includes guided tours on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons. Situated on the grounds of Dublin Castle, the library also features a gift shop, restaurant and garden. Hours vary depending on the season, but generally the museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, visit the Chester Beatty Library website

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Trinity College and The Book of Kells
St. Patrick's Cathedral
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Time to Spend
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#1 Trinity College and The Book of Kells

Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, Trinity College is Ireland's oldest and most notable college. Among its alumni are such renowned writers as Jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde. Today, visitors from around the world come to explore the college's verdant campus and towering Gothic-style halls.

But the real reason to visit is to take a gander inside the Old Library. These hallowed halls house an amazing collection of literature. Of all the books at the Old Library, the most famous and priceless one is the "Book of Kells." This illustrated version of the gospels was created around A.D. 800 by Celtic monks. The manuscripts' pages come to life with vibrantly hued depictions of Christ and his followers, bordered by intricate Celtic knots and other designs. Whether or not you're religious, previous visitors agreed that seeing the "Book of Kells" in person is truly a sacred experience. Although some visitors complained of crowds in the library, most agreed the "Book of Kells" is a must-see.

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