Monday, March 6, 2017

Dublin: Trinity College Library

Dublin, Ireland


After a feast of the sea and amazing scenery, our last stop in Ireland was its capital: Dublin. I've only been here once, because we usually prefer to take on Ireland and its wild rugged coastlines over a city. This time however, we decided to spend a couple of days in this charming little city and on the top of my list was of course, Trinity College's Old Library

It's probably been on every Pinterest board, Instagram, and hailed as a magical heaven on earth. And it didn't disappoint, although it did set us back €14 (ouch) but if you're a student concession rates are available, or if you're lucky to have a friend who studies there, they can bring you in for free. 

A ticket includes the Book of Kells exhibition - illustrating the four Gospels in Latin with decorated texts and designs. While this was quite interesting, I would say the highlight was definitely The Long Room...

long room trinity college library ireland dublinlong room trinity college library ireland dublin

long room trinity college library ireland dublin

Ascending a set of stairs after the Book of Kells, we walked towards the resplendent room housing over 200,000 books! It was musty, old and aged... all sorts of wonderful. It was teeming with classic book spines, gold-lettered shelves and spiral staircases.

Look up and you're greeted with yet another floor of wooden rows, where the upper gallery looms overhead as you stroll down the aisles with marble busts of philosophers and writers.

long room trinity college library ireland dublin

It reminds me of Belle's library, and a sort of Belle Epoque - which is at odds with the minimalist ideals we seem to strive so much for these days. A space which holds histories, something that says: 'you are here and there is so much to live for'.

Wanting to make the most out of our ticket price, we spent quite a long time in here (and because it was cold outside) just silently walking along the shelves over and over, wishing that this was part of real life and that once we made our way out of the library gift shop, that it would continue as it was.

long room trinity college library ireland dublin

long room trinity college library ireland dublin

Alas moments of time and photographs were all we had, and I suppose that's enough. The sublime wooden hall thrilled my inner lit student dream, and brought me back to a wintry room in July (note: Australian winter) with my typewriter and a sad little heart.

The Long Room is worth a visit for anyone who fancies a step back into time, to be greeted with beautiful display of architecture and a snapshot of what life was before Kindles, iPhones and VR.

The Book of Kells and Long Room is easily reached via the main gate of Trinity College in the heart of Dublin. It's open 7 days a week but be sure check for special public holidays like Christmas, Easter and New Year.

long room trinity college library ireland dublin

Have you been before? Are there other beautiful libraries worth visiting? I've been to Livraria Lello in Lisbon and Shakespeare & Co. in Paris, but those were on a much smaller scale! 

(Check out my previous Irish Wild Atlantic way adventures here)
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