It’s definitely one of Ireland’s national treasures, this magnificent hand-drawn manuscript of the four gospels, dating to the year 800, with elaborate calligraphy and colorful illumination drawn by Irish monks. It’s an astonishing work of art—but whether it really warrants all the fuss is debatable, especially given the effort involved in seeing it. In high season you may face a lengthy queue, only to find it hard to peer past the hordes of onlookers into the dim glass box where the book is kept—and you’re handsomely charged for the privilege. You can secure a more comfortable viewing experience by taking a Trinity College Tour (see p. ###) or by booking fast-track tickets online for an extra €3—these have smaller groups, and more time with the display. Either way, factor in a little extra time to check out the library’s handsome Long Room, which is included in the price. The grand chained library holds many rare works on Irish history and presents frequently changing displays of classic works. The Book of Kells is located in the Old Library building, on the south side of Library Square, inside Trinity College’s main campus.
- Jack Jewers