The Book of Kells in Dublin, Ireland, is considered a national treasure of immense importance.
It is housed in the Trinity College Library and celebrated as one of Ireland’s most esteemed possessions.
It is a manuscript Gospel book with illustrations, created around the 9th century AD, during the Early Medieval period.
The Book of Kells is admired for its out-of-the-ordinary artistic beauty, intricate detail, and historical significance.
Table of contents
- What to expect at Book of Kells Dublin
- Where to book tickets for Book of Kells
- How do online tickets work?
- Book of Kells Dublin ticket cost
- Book of Kells in Dublin tickets
- How to reach Book of Kells in Dublin
- Book of Kells timings
- Best time to visit Book of Kells in Dublin
- How long does the Book of Kells tour take
- More facts on the Book of Kells
- FAQs about the Book of Kells Dublin
What to expect at Book of Kells Dublin
The Book of Kells Exhibition at Trinity College in Dublin displays the manuscript in a climate-controlled case for protection..
You’ll get to glimpse at its beautifully illustrated pages.
The exhibition provides an informative and immersive outlook on the Book of Kells’ history, creation, and significance.
You can find displays, panels, and interactive elements that provide insights into the manuscript’s origins and the artistic techniques used in its creation.
When you finish exploring the Book of Kells exhibition, you can move on to the Old Library at Trinity College.
Books, journals, newspapers, magazines, sound and music recordings, databases, maps, prints and manuscripts, and other valuable literary items can be found there.
The remarkable Long Room in the central space of the Old Library has tall arched ceilings and rows of bookshelves holding ancient books.
After visiting the library, you can stop at the gift shop to take home souvenirs, books, and replicas related to the Book of Kells and Trinity College.
Where to book tickets for Book of Kells
Book of Kells Dublin entry tickets are available at the attraction or online in advance.
If you land at the venue to buy tickets, you’ll have to line up at the ticket counter.
During peak times, these lines can get long, and you will end up wasting your time.
Online tickets for Book of Kells are cheaper than those sold at the venue.
Online tickets also help you avoid last-minute disappointments when tickets get sold out.
When you book early, you also get your preferred time slot.
How do online tickets work?
Go to the Book of Kells ticket booking page, select your preferred date, time slot, and number of tickets, and buy the tickets instantly.
After the purchase, you will receive the tickets in your email.
You don’t need to take any printouts.
Meet your tour guide at the meeting point and start your Book of Kells Tour right away.
Meeting Point: Trinity College Dublin, at the Main Front Gate, facing towards College Green.
Book of Kells Dublin ticket cost
The Book of Kells Guided Tour tickets cost €63 for people over 13 years.
Children aged between four and 12 get a 7% discount and pay only €58 for the tour.
Infants under three do not require a ticket and can join the tour for free.
Book of Kells in Dublin tickets
Prepare to be amazed by the intricate details and meaningful illustrations in the Book of Kells, an ancient manuscript containing Christian Gospels.
It is a notable example of medieval artwork.
The Book of Kells tour also includes an entrance to Dublin Castle, constructed in the 12th century under the reign of King John.
A guide will unveil the castle’s outstanding features, including the beautiful gardens.
This tour offers you an exceptional and unforgettable experience in Ireland.
Adult Ticket (13+ years): €63
Child Ticket (4 to 12 years): €58
Infant Ticket (up to 3 years): Free
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How to reach Book of Kells in Dublin
The Book of Kells Exhibition is housed in the Old Library, part of the Trinity College campus.
Address: The University of Dublin Trinity College, College Green, Dublin, Ireland. Get Directions!
You can reach the Book of Kells by both public and private transportation.
We recommend using public transport to reach the attraction.
You can board bus numbers 11, 37, 38, 38A, 38B, 38D, 39, 39A, 40, 70, and 180 to the Trinity College, Nassau St. (Opp. Frederick St) Bus Stop, a three-minute walk from the attraction.
By Tram (Luas)
You can take the Green Tram Line to reach the Trinity Tram Stop, a four-minute walk from the Book of Kells.
The easiest way to reach the Book of Kells is by car, so turn on Google Maps and get started.
Book of Kells, Dublin, does not have public parking facilities.
However, several parking options are available nearby for visitors.
Book of Kells timings
The Book of Kells exhibition opens for the public at 8.30 am and closes at 6.30 pm every Monday to Saturday from April through September.
On Sundays, the timings shift to 9.30 am to 5 pm.
From October to March, Book of Kells opens at 9.30 am and closes at 5 pm from Monday to Saturday.
The timings on Sundays are 12 pm to 4.30 pm during this period.
The Book of Kells exhibition remains open on public holidays.
Best time to visit Book of Kells in Dublin
The best time to visit Book of Kells in Dublin is during off-peak hours, such as early morning or late afternoon, which can help you avoid enormous crowds.
Visit the Book of Kells on weekdays rather than weekends, as it tends to be less crowded.
However, if you enjoy the crowd, weekends are good too!
How long does the Book of Kells tour take
The Book of Kells and Trinity College Old Library Tour lasts 45 minutes to one hour.
The guide will provide commentary, insights, and historical context about the manuscript and its significance.
They may also share interesting stories about Trinity College and its library.
More facts on the Book of Kells
Learn more about the Book of Kells!
History and Origin
The Book of Kells has an uncertain origin and creation, believed to be made around 800 AD by Celtic monks in Scotland or Ireland.
Some think it was inscribed in a Columban monastery on the Scottish island of Iona and later brought to Ireland to protect it from Viking attacks.
Contents and Structure
The Book of Kells contains the four Christian Gospels of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
The Gospels are followed by ornamental and decorative illustrations known as illuminations.
The manuscript is written in Latin and includes the text of the Gospels and additional passages and commentaries from Old Latin translation.
Artistic Style and Illuminations
The most exceptional aspect of the Book of Kells is its elaborate illuminations and intricate artwork.
The pages are adorned with vibrant and complex designs containing a blend of Christian symbolism, Celtic patterns, mythical creatures, and animal motifs.
The illuminations demonstrate prodigious calligraphy skills, intricate knotwork, interlacing patterns, and detailed artwork.
Symbolism and Meaning
The illuminations in the Book of Kells symbolize both religious and cultural significance.
The intricate knotwork and interlaced patterns represent the eternal nature of God.
The depictions of animals, such as birds, snakes, and lions, are believed to symbolize Gospel themes.
The overall artistic style is a fusion of Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, and Mediterranean influences.
Preservation and Display
The Book of Kells has survived several threats throughout history, including Viking raids, fires, and theft attempts.
Despite surviving all that menace, the Book of Kells now resides at Trinity College Dublin.
The manuscript is displayed under strict security conditions in the Trinity College Library, where visitors can glimpse at the Book of Kells exhibition.
Significance and Legacy
The Book of Kells is considered one of the finest examples of early medieval manuscript art.
Book of Kells’ exceptional craftsmanship and artistic beauty makes it an enduring Irish heritage and cultural identity symbol.
It serves as a testament to the skill, creativity, and devotion of the Celtic monks who created it and the artistic achievements of the medieval period.
Influence on Art and Culture
The Book of Kells has influenced artists, writers, and designers throughout history.
Its visual beauty and intricate details have inspired contemporary Irish art and design forms, including jewelry, textiles, architecture, and graphic design.
The war memorial books commissioned by artist Harry Clark to honor the Irish soldiers who died in World War I exemplify this.
Additionally, it has played a significant role in academic studies of medieval art, Celtic culture, and religious history.
FAQs about the Book of Kells Dublin
Here are some frequently asked questions about the Book of Kells.
The Book of Kells Tour tickets cost €63 for people over 13 years.
Children aged between four and 12 get a 7% discount and pay only €58 to enter Castle Dublin in Ireland.
Yes, guided tours of the Book of Kells Exhibition are available.
They provide in-depth information about the manuscript’s history, artwork, and significance.
Yes, the Book of Kells Exhibition strives to be accessible for visitors with disabilities, offering facilities such as wheelchair access, elevators, and accessible toilets.
No, there is no specific age restriction, and visitors of all ages are welcome to explore the exhibition.
Yes, you can see the original Book of Kells on display at the Book of Kells Exhibition in the Old Library at Trinity College Dublin.
Photography and videography are not permitted inside the exhibition to protect the manuscript.
The duration of your visit to the Book of Kells Exhibition can vary, but most visitors spend around 45 minutes to an hour exploring the exhibition.
Yes, visitors can explore the Old Library, which houses the Long Room, a stunning library with impressive book collections and historical manuscripts, along with the Book of Kells Exhibition.
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