Trinity College Dublin was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I and is an atmospheric 40-acre site in the heart of the city. Treasures on view include the Book of Kells; the Books of Durrow and Armagh; and an early Irish harp. All are displayed in the Treasury and the Old Library/Long Room (which houses 200,000 rare books).
The Book of Kells is Ireland’s greatest cultural treasure and is the world’s most famous medieval manuscript. The 9th Century book is a richly decorated copy of the four Gospels of the life of Jesus Christ. A must-see is the Book of Kells “Turning Darkness into Light” exhibition.
The 30 items in the special ‘From Decadence to Despair’ exhibition at Trinity College are drawn from the Library’s Oscar Wilde Collection, which is the only Wilde archive held in a public institution in Ireland. It is unique in its focus on the playwright’s downfall and exile years. The collection was acquired by Trinity in 2011 from Julia Rosenthal, a rare book dealer and life-long collector of Wildeana based in London. The exhibition (in Trinity’s Long Room) features letters, photographs, theatre programmes, books and memorabilia, and maps out the playwright’s meteoric rise to fame and also his dramatic fall from grace. The exhibition runs until January 3rd 2018.
Known for his biting wit, flamboyant dress and glittering conversation, Oscar Wilde is one of the best known Irish personalities of the 19th century and was one of the great writers of the Victorian era. Besides his literary accomplishments, Wilde became a figure of some notoriety for his lifestyle and involvement in the ‘art for art’s sake’ aesthetic movement as well as for the circumstances of his imprisonment and early death. (See www.tcd.ie/news for more information about this exhibition).
Mon – Sat (Oct – Apr) 9.30 am – 5.00 pm
Mon – Sat (May – Sept) 8.30 am – 5.00 pm
Sun (Oct – Apr) 12.00 pm – 4:30 pm
Sun (May – Sept) 9:30 am – 5.00 pm
Easter Opening Times may vary from this: check the Trinity website for up-to-date details.
Trinity Library, College Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01 896 1000.
Online prices: Adults €10 (off-peak) or €13 (peak). You avoid queuing by booking online. It is unclear from the website if a higher admission price applies when you do not book online.
See separate entries for the Science Gallery & the Zoological Museum.
Enjoy student-led walking tours through the four historical squares of the campus, providing a history of the university, its buildings and its historic context. Tours in the high season (June-September) depart from the front gate daily from 9.15 am (last tour 3.40 pm, last tour on Sundays/Bank Holidays at 3.15 pm). The tour schedule displayed at the Front Gate always takes precedence over information available on the website.
Tour ticket €6. Combination ticket (Tour and admission to the Book of Kells and the Old Library) €14. These tour tickets can only be bought in person (they are not available online). In the low season, regular tours take place on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays only. You must check the Trinity website for accurate details about tour times (www.tcd.ie). No tours on St Patrick’s Day (March 17th).