I have a sentimental love affair with Trinity College. In 1999 I embarked on my first international journey attending a summer college course here learning of Irish history, politics, linguistics, archaeology, literature, poetry, theater, art, geography, music, and so on. The program was meant as an outreach program to forward international interest in Ireland beyond U2 and Riverdance. It was within the walls of Trinity College that I experienced the Book of Kells, a talk on Poetry by Ireland’s Poet Laureate Seamus Heaney, private archaeological tours of Newgrange and other sites, talks by current politicians, Dublin political history lessons, tickets to the theater and the Irish Movie festival, and more. It was Irish immersion at its best. During this time I fell in love with Ireland’s 16th century Trinity College whose history oozes from its every cobble stone.
The College houses the famed Book of Kells where visitors can see a top rate museum culminating in the viewing of the actual Book itself. (Sorry no photos allowed!) One could visit every day for years and still not see the entire book as a page is carefully turned each day. I have visited this museum multiple times and can never get enough. Almost as interesting as the viewing of the book is the study of how these ancient texts were created and by whom. One can also see the Book of Durrow and the Book of Howth.
Once visitors have had enough of the book they are led to the great hall through Trinity College’s impressive research library. I am a book lover and there is something about historic texts housed in a gorgeous environment that warms my heart. The library often displays some of its more interesting texts for visitors to pine over. On this visit they were highlighting fictional heroes. The library also displays the Brian Boru harp a prized possession of Ireland and its romantic history. My favorite part of the library is the metal circular staircase directly to your left as you enter the library surrounded by dusty texts. (If this could only be my study!)
Once visitors are “museum’d out” they can walk amongst the grounds of the College pondering the work of its many graduates and the thought of what is to come with its future graduates. Graduates of interest from Trinity College are Samuel Beckett, Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker, Mary McAleese, and Mary Robinson. If you are lucky you can pick up a game on the gorgeous sporting grounds in the rear of the college property.
For more on my many trips to Ireland visit me here…