Intro: If you're wondering what to do in Ireland, plan on heading to Dublin and to Trinity College. There you'll find the wonder of wonders, The Book of Kells, one of the most famous and finest examples of traditional Irish art in the world.
In the slide show, you'll get a closer glimpse of The Book of Kells as well as get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about this piece of Insular art.
You'll also find information about The Book of Kells exhibit at Trinity College and links to resources so that you can study up on this Irish treasure before you visit Ireland.
What is the Book of Kells
The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript written in Latin. For those not familiar with this term, it's a book that has both text and hand-drawn illustrations. Very often these decorated pages were painted with gold or silver.
It is also an example of Insular illumination, which is a style of art that was produced in the British Isles following the post-Roman history of the island. The Celtic cross is also an example of this style of art. The lettering is in the Western Calligraphy style.
Inside The Book of Kells are the four gospels from the Vulgate Bible. Its pages are decorated with mythical creatures, Celtic knots and vibrant colors.
The Book of Kells earned its name from the Abbey of Kells, where it was housed for many years.
How Old is The Book of Kells
The Book of Kells is around 1200 years old, although it's exact date of creation is unknown.
This page is a picture of Christ seated on the throne.
When was The Book of Kells Written?
Scholars believe that The Book of Kells dates back to the 9th century. When you look at this style of art, it's like you're visiting Ireland in its ancient days. Talk about traditional Irish art!
This book has existed since what is known as Migration Period Art. Eventually, this evolved into Medieval art.
Book of Kells Symbols: What Are They?
As in this page of the four evangelists, you see that The Book of Kells is filled with people, Celtic knots, animal symbolism almost like Egyptian art and Christian symbolism.
The symbols in The Book of Kells represent images from both pagan and Christian art. For this reason alone, it's one of the best things to see in Dublin, Ireland if you're an ancient art lover.
The Book of Kells at Trinity College
The Book of Kells is now on permanent exhibit at Trinity College in Dublin. It has been named the "Top 2 attraction in Ireland" on TripAdvisor, according to the college's website.
If you're planning your places to visit in Ireland, you'll want to mark down the visiting hours. In general, you can see The Book of Kells at Trinity College seven days a week.
If you're planning on going to Ireland around St. Patrick's Day, you can see the exhibit during the afternoon.
However, check the website for current visiting hours and prices:
Want to read more about The Book of Kells before you head over during the St. Patrick's Day holiday? Check out books about The Book of Kells on Amazon.