The Book of Kells
Located within the Old Library at Trinity College, just around the corner from The Morgan Hotel, The Book of Kells is a must-see on your Dublin itinerary. The 9th century book is one of Ireland’s greatest cultural treasures, as well as one of the world’s most famous medieval manuscripts. The Morgan's close location to Trinity College allows you to easily experience a piece of ancient history. Head to our special offers page to see our full range of packages for staying at the Morgan Hotel.
The Book of Kells contains the four Gospels of the New Testament in Latin, combined with various prefatory texts and tables written on vellum (calfskin). The date and place of origin of the book is a great controversy, but it is thought to have been written close to the year 800. The earliest reference of the book comes from the Annals of Ulster who described the book as “the chief treasure of the western world”. Having endured multiple Viking raids, and even being stolen in 1006, how the book survived is unknown.
After having remained in Kells until 1654, the book was moved to Trinity College Dublin in 1661. It has been on display in the Old Library at Trinity College since the mid-19th century. Four volumes are available for viewing, two of which can be seen normally, one is opened to display a majorly decorated page, and one displays two pages of script. Visits are self-guided, with leaflets in 10 different languages, or an audio tour can be rented for €5. You should plan on taking around 40 minutes to 1 hour to go throughout the Old Library Exhibition. There are lifts within the building, making it wheelchair accessible.
You can buy tickets online, which will ensure you a time slot, and allow you to skip the queue. Alternatively, you can purchase tickets at the ticket desk within the exhibition. Ticket prices range from €10 - €28, depending on the ticket type you are seeking. Discounted ticket prices are also available for senior citizens, and students with a valid ID card.
There are also tours of the Trinity College campus provided by Authenticity Tours, which include entry to The Book of Kells and The Old Library exhibition. Tickets can be bought at the Authenticity Tours ticket desk, at the front gate of Trinity College.
Please remember to check the Book Of Kells website before you visit, as the times are subject to change.
Because of its lavish decoration and artistry, the Book of Kells’ illustrations and ornamentation are incomparable in extravagance and complexity. Attracting more than 500,000 visitors a year, you’ll definitely want to schedule some time to stop by the exhibition.
Please refer to the Trinity College website for the most up to date information on pricing and opening hours.