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 Book of Kells

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celticspirit
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PostSubject: Book of Kells   Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:14 am



The Book of Kells is a beautifully illustrated work which was hand-written around the year 800 A.D. The book has been divided into four volumes and is a Latin copy of the four gospels of the Bible.

You can see an excerpt of the Book of Kells in a year-round exhibit at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Two volumes are typically open for viewing in dim light to conserve the pages. One volume is opened to illustrated pages and one is opened to pages of text. Five hundred thousand visitors view the book each year.

When my children and I visited Dublin, we made a stop to see the Book of Kells as part of our tour of the city. We took the Dublin Bus Tour and got off at Trinity College as well as the Dublin Zoo and the Guinness Brewery. The bus tour allowed us to stop and explore each site before catching another bus when we were finished.

The Book of Kells exhibit includes interesting historical information. We learned that scholars have debated the origin of the Book of Kells. Monks in the monastery of Iona, off the west coast of Scotland, and in the monastery of Kells in County Meath, Ireland, are believed to have been the makers of the book. However, the two monasteries were run as a single community for many years, so the book may have been written at one or both locations.

The pictures and patterns in the Book of Kells are more numerous and lavish than other illuminated gospels. Quaint figures of people and angels, monsters and animals are found throughout the volumes to illustrate the life of Christ.

There are 680 pages in the Book of Kells. The vellum (prepared calf-skin) pages are decorated and written on at both sides. Pens made from reeds, quills or feathers were probably used. Ink was made from plant juices. The book pages are 13 1/2 inches by 9 1/2 inches. It is estimated that the book took more than thirty years to complete.

The book was stolen at one point in time and was retrieved after a rebellion which destroyed the church at Kells. Around 1653, the book was sent to Dublin for safekeeping. It was taken to Trinity College a few years later. It has been on display in the Old Library at Trinity College from the mid 19th century.

After you see the book at Trinity College, make sure you walk upstairs through the "Long Room" of the library, which contains over 200,000 of Trinity's oldest books. The room is an amazing site to see. Bookshelves go from floor to the two-story high timbered ceiling. The room is 213 feet long and 42 feet wide.

You might also want to take the student-led tour of Trinity College while you are there. You will have an interesting look at the college and hear about its legends. The college was founded by Queen Elizabeth in 1592 to "civilize" Dublin. The building of the college was seen as an attempt at British religious colonialism and only Protestants were admitted for nearly three centuries. Today, however, most of the students at Trinity are Catholics. Apparently the Queen's attempt at control ultimately did not succeed.

If you get a chance to see the Book of Kells while you are in Dublin, make the trip to Trinity College. The intricate calligraphy and brilliant colors in the illustrations make the book a work of medieval art not to be missed.

Take the worry out of booking your own special trip to the Emerald Isle. Go to Patricia's website at http://www.majestic-castles-in-ireland.com for free travel advice and recommendations. Sign up for your free newsletter at http://www.majestic-castles-in-ireland.com/ezine and get great travel tips for your next escape to Ireland!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Patricia_Mckinney-Lins

http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Book-of-Kells&id=4135223


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Faerielass
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PostSubject: Re: Book of Kells   Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:27 pm

Thanks Celtic,

That post is very close to my heart

Serenity


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