21 Jan 2024
A new world-class digital exhibition at Trinity College Dublin transports visitors into the illuminated pages of the ninth-century Book of Kells.
The Book of Kells is one of Ireland’s great cultural treasures and one of Ireland’s top visitor attractions. Thought to have been created around AD 800, it contains the four gospels of the Bible transcribed by monks on lavishly decorated pages full of intricate and elaborate artistry. It contains the earliest known surviving image of the Virgin and Child in Western manuscript art.
The new Book of Kells Experience is set within a specially constructed pavilion in the historic grounds of Trinity College Dublin, Ireland’s oldest university. Visitors will first view the Book of Kells in the Old Library, before moving to the Long Room, considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful libraries.
They then embark on a 360° immersive journey in the pavilion filled with stories, sights, and sounds inspired by the ancient manuscript and the Old Library’s precious collections. This includes a spectacularly innovative digital reconstruction of the Long Room.
Visitors to the Experience will follow the Book of Kells on its extraordinary journey from Iona in Scotland over the Irish Sea to Kells, and onwards to Dublin in the present day, as 1,200 years of history and stories unfold before their eyes.
Book of Kells experience.
The Book of Kells Experience also explores and showcases several of the books and manuscripts from the Old Library’s historically significant collections. Visitors will travel to 1916 to hear the Proclamation of the Irish Republic; interact with spirited sculptures including Ada Lovelace, Jonathan Swift, Rosalind Franklin and William Shakespeare; and witness the architectural evolution of the Long Room reimagined from 1732 to modern day.
The new experience is part of the conservation works for the Old Library Redevelopment Project, which will safeguard the eighteenth-century building and conserve its precious collections, spanning millennia, for future generations.
Founded in 1592, Trinity College has a fascinating history so after visiting the Book of Kells Experience it is worth taking a guided or self-guided walking tour of the campus on one of the Trinity Trails.
The tours explore the university’s stunning architecture and history and delve into stories of its most famous students, who include Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett and Jonathan Swift.
They also reveal the rich biodiversity across the campus. Its front lawns have been rewilded with some 30 species of wildflower and hundreds of trees have been planted on the site to help create a green oasis in the heart of the city.
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