The Book of Kells in the Old Library at Trinity College

When visiting Dublin, Ireland, one of the things that should definitely be on your itinerary is visiting Trinity College. We would definitely recommend getting tickets to see the Book of Kells exhibition at the Old Library, which displays two of the four books at all times. A popular myth is that there is a ceremony to turn the pages of the books daily, but that doesn’t actually occur. The Book of Kells contains the Four Gospels of the New Testament and was believed to have been written around the 8th century. The book gets its name from the Abby of Kells in Kells, Ireland where the book was kept for centuries. The illustrations in the Book of Kells are considered to be the most intricate, complex, and interesting of any version of the Gospels that have ever been created.

The Long Room in the Old Library at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland
Aristotle Bust

The ticket to the Book of Kells exhibit also includes access to the Long Room in the Old Library. Seeing the hundreds of historic books on the bookshelves in the library is truly amazing. At the ends of each row of bookshelves are busts of famous literary geniuses. We found the Long Room to be as interesting as the Book of Kells itself. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take photographs of the Book of Kells, but it is certainly worth seeing when visiting Dublin. Standing in the Long Room of the Old Library is almost overwhelming to think of how many historic books are located in a single place.

So Many Historic Books
Long Room at Trinity College


Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

Although we only had a couple of days in Amsterdam, one of the places that we wanted to visit was the Rijksmuseum.  It is the Dutch National Museum and is dedicated to the arts and history of the Netherlands. It is also the largest art museum in the country and it displays more than 8,000 pieces. The building itself is actually quite beautiful and first opened its doors in 1885.

Clock Tower at the Museum
Oil Painting
Front of the Museum

There were a couple of things that we found quite interesting and made visiting this museum a little different than most other museums that we have visited. First was that there is a working library within the museum where people can read some of the literature that they have collected. Obviously, it isn’t a lending library and we aren’t sure what credentials are required to get access to the library, but it was interesting to see. The other thing was that they have an active display of art restoration in progress. Like everything else in life, art restoration has become extremely high-tech.

Library Inside of the Museum
Restoration Display
People Working in the Library

Of all of the artwork in the museum, The Night Watch by Rembrandt is probably the most famous. There are other famous Rembrandt paintings there as well, but this painting is definitely given a place of honor. We didn’t spend as much time in the museum as we would have hoped to, but we really enjoyed everything that we saw. The Rijksmuseum is definitely worth visiting if you have the opportunity to travel to Amsterdam.

The Night Watch by Rembrandt
Part of the Building Façade
Beautiful Exterior