Trinity College – Dublin’s Pride

Posted by on Oct 26, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Spiral staircase in the long room

Spiral staircase in the Long Room

Trinity College is the oldest university in Ireland. Although it was only a few blocks from my hotel, I didn’t manage to visit the campus until my last few days in Dublin when I joined Pat Liddy’s Walking Tours of Dublin. Our tour began on campus where our guide gave us a lively account of the history of the institution. However, we did not enter any of the buildings at that time. So, I returned for a second visit in order to visit the Long Room, an absolutely beautiful library with a huge collection of old books. The Book of Kells was on display as well.

Trinity College

Trinity College

The long room

The Long Room


The Long Room is dedicated to conservation of old books including The Books of Kells, an illuminated manuscript of the four gospels written in Latin. It was created by Celtic monks around 800 AD. In 1953, it was divided into four books and rebound.  Its pages are made from vellum. The skin of calves was used to make vellum. It is estimated that more than 185 calfskins were required to complete the book. The exact origin of the book is still uncertain. It may have originated in Iona, a small island between Scotland and Ireland. It was eventually moved to the city of Kells, Ireland and now resides at Trinity College as one of Ireland’s greatest national treasures.

Many impressive alumni received an education at Trinity College. The list includes:

  • Writer Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels
  • Physicist Ernest Walton who won the Nobel Prize for his work on the atom
  • Playwright Samuel Beckett, Nobel Prize for literature
  • Philosophers George Berkeley and Edmund Burke
  • Mathematician William Rowan Hamilton who discovered Quaternions
  • Playwright Oscar Wilde
  • Former President of Ireland and current Chancellor of the University of Dublin Mary Robinson
  • Former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese

Four Nobel Prizes for Literature have found their way to Dublin. GB Shaw, WB Yeats, Samuel Beckett and Séamus Heaney. The United Nations named Dublin the City of Literature.

upper long room

Dublin city center is easy to manage on foot. I was in Dublin to attend the TBEX conference for travel bloggers, but I made a point to arrive seven days early in order to explore this vibrant city. I was not disappointed. Trinity College was only one of many great discoveries that I made while there.

If you enjoyed this article, check out my photo display of Dublin.



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