Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dublin's Trinity College and Old Library

Saving the absolute best to last, what I wanted to do more than anything was visit Trinity College while in Dublin, Ireland, for just those three short days at the beginning of September.  Lucky for me, it was only 2 blocks away from my Blooms hotel!

But first, before I get to that....on the other side of the hotel from Trinity, on the Temple Bar side, is the River Liffey that runs right through the center of Dublin.

This is the Ha'penny (pedestrian) Bridge from 1816, made of cast iron.
She's a beauty!  And look at all those love padlocks.

Every day we had chances to walk back-n-forth over it.

When Irish Catherine was guiding us around the city, she took us to the Garden of Remembrance, a memorial dedicated in 1966 to the memory of "all those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish Freedom."  It was opened on the 50th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising that I mentioned in my previous post.

 At one end of the memorial is the Children of Lir statue from the Irish legend
of 4 children who were turned into swans for 300 years before being freed from their spell.
Catherine says the statue is very powerful for all Irish children growing up with the legend.
The church nearby is the Findlater's Presbyterian Church from 1863.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Now, to Trinity College!

Upon entering the college complex, you immediately see the Campanile bell tower from 1853.
It took my breath away.  And I thought of my mom who loved college campuses.

A PhD student, Stephen, gave us a short tour of the campus before we visited the old library.
Outside the Berkeley Library stands Sphere Within Sphere from 1996,
a bronze sculpture by Italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro.

But it was the Old Library we wanted to see because of the Book of Kells!

 It began with the founding of Trinity College in 1592 and this is its long hall.
It's the largest library in Ireland with over 5 million volumes.

 Did I ever mention how much I love wood!

Did I ever mention how much I love old books and manuscripts!
We DID enter the rooms where the Book of Kells exhibit is housed.
But sadly, NO PHOTOS ALLOWED.  And we all obeyed.
But I bought a perfect book about it which I will treasure forever....

And I bought Celtic Art the Methods of Construction for Astrid 
who is dying to start drawing her own Celtic designs.
Catherine says they had to learn to draw basic Celtic designs in school!

So, there you have it...the end of my 3-day Dublin trip.
Totally worth every minute, nickel and dime!


  1. Home away from home! I truly feel that Trinity College is one of my favorite lodgings ever. I had the great good fortune to stay there two separate times. Have I told you (I'm sure I have), that I read the then-latest Harry Potter book sitting in my room with a 10 foot-high window gazing out at the center courtyard above which hung a full moon. Sighhh. I also love the incredible library, book of Kells, Children of Lir, and ha'penny bridge! What's not to love! Your photos are wonderful and take me there.

    1. I have a tear in my eye, Ruth, to picture you there. I bet YOU saw Mom there, too! Wouldn't we both love to meet her there under a full moon!

  2. Ginnie, it was such a lot of fun seeing you in your element there in Trinity and I could see your Mom was there at your shoulder was a pure delight to share those days with you and Robin.....Next time we V+V lassies plus the lovely Astrid of course will head down to the west and watch the sun setting over the Atlantic before it rises in New York. xx

    1. It's a deal, Catherine! Some things are never meant to be forgotten and Dublin is one of them. Better yet, IRELAND is one of them, so take me anywhere and I will follow you..with rising and/or setting sun. :)

  3. OMG, how gorgeous.

    Already saving my pennies to see this and to sip some brew.

    1. HA! I can just see you and Hubby in Dublin, Maria. :)

  4. I am so glad that you decided to take the trip to Dublin. I can see why you love the places you visited. Your mom will have a big smile to see you 'eating it up'. I noticed the harp symbol, it is on the Euro coin too.
    Absolute fabulous pictures in the library, I would love to see the place. Books are so precious to hold. In my head I am already 'designing' from the book you gave me. Thank you.
    Three days in Dublin, tons of pictures and many dear memories added. Grab every opportunity that comes by....

    1. Your "Just do it!" was the impetus I needed, MLMA, to go, even though it seemed stupid for such a short time and before our English gents arrived. was something I'll cherish for a long time to come. THANK YOU for your abiding support. Now I can hardly wait to see what Celtic designs you'll come up with! :)

  5. What a wonderful post to send to this lover of James Joyce. I taught Dubliners every opportunity I had, and it was great to have your tour of the places so important to Joyce and his characters in all his books. I nevertaught Portrit or Ulysses, and I was never up to reading Finnegan, but I crossed the Liffey many times with Stephen/James and now again with Ginnie.

    1. Now you have me wondering, Ted, if you ever visited Ireland?! With all your travels, I'd like to think so. And now that you've mentioned so many great names, I want to start getting "educated." To be honest, I'd love to sit at your feet and have you tell me everything you know! HA! :)

  6. I am so happy that you managed to see 'The Book of Kells'.

    I had hoped to see the "Lindesfarne Gospels" exhibit when I was in Durham, but it didn't quite work out for us.

    1. I loved seeing it, Cherry...even though I think I might have seen it also in 1988...though I'm not totally sure. I'll never forget the library this time, however. I'm still pinching myself!

  7. That library ... that wood... those books. I am in heaven. Seriously.

    1. Is one able to check out these books? I can't imagine that...

    2. The library is definitely heaven, Margaret, but whether or not you can check out the books, I have no clue. My guess would be NO...unless you were a student there?