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Explore Dublin

Tickets for The Book of Kells

See one of the greatest examples of Western calligraphy in an amazing setting

Out of season
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Opening hours
May - September: Monday - Saturday 08:30 - 17:00, Sunday 09:30 - 17:00. October - April: Monday - Saturday 09:30 - 17:00, Sunday 12:00 - 16:30
About 45 minutes
Best time to visit
Early morning and late afternoon are the least busy times
  • Marvel at the masterful craftsmanship of medieval Irish monks. They created the manuscript using rare and valuable decorative pigments
  • This masterpiece of Western calligraphy is adorned with tiny details including animals, humans, mythical creatures and Celtic knots
  • The library also contains the ancient Book of Durrow, and Ireland’s national symbol, the Brian Boru harp

No trip to Dublin is complete without marveling at the unique creation that is the Book of Kells. Produced by a team of Columban monks living under constant threat from bloodthirsty Viking invaders, this medieval manuscript is considered Ireland’s finest national treasure!

Since 1953, the vellum pages of the Book of Kells have been bound into four volumes, two of which you can happily view in the Old Library of Trinity College Dublin.

The manuscript contains all four Gospels written in Latin and a series of exquisitely drawn humans, animals, mythical beasts, and Celtic motifs in a dazzling array of colored pigments. Indeed, the craftsmanship is so brilliant that scholars often refer to the Book of Kells as the Irish Sistine Chapel.

The monks who produced the manuscript used rare and extremely valuable materials to decorate the work - pigments include red and yellow ocher, verdigris, indigo, gold, and, perhaps, even lapis lazuli. You'll only see some of them by using a magnifying glass!

SILVER SCREEN TREATMENT: In 2009, an animated film about the manuscript’s creation called The Secret of Kells was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

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Old Library of Trinity College
Key info
Wheelchair accessible
Fully accessible. On arrival, please speak to the Library Guard on duty at the door who will arrange the use of the elevator.
Additional info

Opening Hours

  • May - September: Mon - Sat: 08:30 - 17:00, Sun: 09:30 - 17:00
  • October - April: Mon - Sat: 09:30 - 17:00, Sun: 12:00 - 16:30
  • Good Friday & Easter Monday: 12:00 - 16:30
  • Last admission 30 minutes before closing

Getting There

  • Bus: Lines 179, 180, 845, 847, 904 or 980 to Trinity College, Nassau Street
  • Use the Nassau Street entrance of Trinity College. The Old Library is right in front as you walk in
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