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Book of Kells

I'll be heading to Dublin for a long weekend and found that the Book of Kells is currently off display while the library is being renovated. The exhibition is open with a 'replica' of the book on display. Is it worth going to just see the exhibition?

Posted by
856 posts

I'd say yes.
The Actual Book of Kells is in a closed case and open to one page, which changes and may not be open to a really decorative page the day you are there. The exhibit, and the library above were both more interesting to me.

Just noticed you said the library is closed. In that case, I wouldn't bother.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks for the feedback - the Long Room and the exhibition are open with just a replica book in place of the original. It sounds like the exhibit and Long Room would be worth the visit even if the actual book is not on display and there is a small discount.

Posted by
235 posts

Any idea when the real Book of Kells will be back on display?

Posted by
1465 posts

I thought the Long Room was far more impressive than the Book of Kell’s so I’d say go for it.

Posted by
391 posts

“Any idea when the real Book of Kells will be back on display?”

The website says March 2020. I have no idea Whether that means March 1 or March 31.

Posted by
2979 posts

I don’t think it is worth the time when the Book of Kells is there............

Posted by
3 posts

We will be in Dublin in mid-March and have a tour of Trinity College, the library and Book of Kells scheduled for March 19th so we're really hoping it will be back on display by that point. As mentioned by a previous poster our tour details mention "November to early March" for the replacement version.

Posted by
126 posts

Agree with other posters.....while the Book of Kells is, of course, an important piece of history, shuffling through to look at one page is somewhat underwhelming. The informational exhibits are well done, and the Long Room was one of the highlights of our visit. Go.

Posted by
24 posts

I have begun to feel that I may leave the Book of Kells off the list for the one full day in May touring Dublin that we have after reading comments here. Also, been trying to get tickets online at Trinity College site and it will not let me select a date. Tried the date we want and then just tried other random dates...no luck. Anyone else have issues buying tickets there? Does the Trinity College tour include the library’s long room?

Posted by
856 posts

It looks like there is a different procedure since I visited in 2016, but you still get tickets in person on arrival according to their page:
https://www.tcd.ie/visitors/tours/

It also says the tour and the Book of Kells/ Long Room are separate prices.

Edited to add:
I just did a dummy Book of Kells booking and it let me choose a date and get to checkout.

Posted by
310 posts

I agree it's definitely worth the visit to see the exhibition and the Long Room. The Book of Kells is neat, but I enjoyed the Long Room much more.

Posted by
75 posts

This time we're not seeing the Book of Kells. We saw it 1977 when it was on a nationwide tour of the US at Philadelphia Museum of Art with the rest of the National Museum collection. Also, saw it at Trinity 3 x. At this point it's sort of underwhelming. I bought the expensive complete Book of Kells life-size facsimile ($$$$$) used on e-Bay for less than $50 ! Awesome. Also, I just read that the ENTIRE B of K is now on-line !

Posted by
8716 posts

I'm going to agree with others in saying the Long Room was more impressive than the book.