Book of Kells sign
Book of Kells sign

The Book of Kells in New Display Case

The Book of Kells, one of Ireland’s most visited attractions, has found a new home in a state-of-the-art display case at Dublin’s Trinity College.

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The Trinity College Library where the Book of Kells is located. Photo: Tourism Ireland.

The iconic 9th-century manuscript, which documents the four gospels of the life of Jesus Christ, can now be viewed in a freestanding tower that was manufactured by Italian company Goppion.

The company has previously designed display cases to house the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, the British Crown Jewels at the Tower of London, and the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Shrine of the Book, part of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

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The new display was unveiled on Sept. 14, 2020, in the updated section of Trinity College’s Library known as The Treasury.

The state-of-the-art display will enable visitors to see pages of this ornate document not seen on public display for decades.

In 2019, the area in this part of Trinity College’s Old Library was refurbished, part of an ongoing conservation and preservation initiative.

You’ll now see spectacular wall coverings in the space, as well as enhanced lighting that showcase this cultural treasure.

No visit to Dublin is complete without seeing this magnificent piece of work that normally attracts about 500,000 people a year.

colorful script The Book of Kells
A Monogram page from the ancient Book of Kells. Photo courtesy of

The lavishly decorated 680-page manuscript is different from other manuscripts of the time period in its many details.

It is bound in four volumes and includes the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

The pages that were selected to be viewed during the official opening, which took place in September 2020, are from the Gospel of Matthew.

They show the Virgin and Child, in addition to the Breves Causae, the facing second page that shows a list of contents for the Gospel of St. Matthew, all written in a highly ornamental script.

The page declares the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.
The image of the Virgin and Child in the Book of Kells manuscript is now on display. Photo: Failte Ireland.

The image of the Virgin Mary shows her seated on a throne with Jesus on her knee.

This is the first time that the page is on display in 30 years.
It is also the only depiction of a woman in the entire manuscript and the earliest known surviving image of the Virgin and Child in any Western manuscript.

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Trinity’s Old Library also includes The Long Room, the longest single-chamber library in the world.

It houses 200,000 of Ireland’s most ancient texts.
A picture of the Brian Boru harp before it was moved to Trinity College. Photo: Robert French for the Lawrence Photograph Collection.

It also houses the Brian Boru Harp, Ireland’s oldest surviving harp and the model for the country’s insignia.

A rare copy of the Proclamation of the Irish Republican can also be viewed in this area.

Trinity College was established in 1592.

Some of its famous former students include Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, and Jonathan Swift.

Tickets for the Book of Kells display must be booked online.

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