Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ireland: All things Dublin

Dear Blogees,

Moe and I haven't forgotten how to blog--we have been without internet connections or adequate connections to post blogs since April 23. We are in Edinburgh, Scotland awaiting our daughter's arrival from Boston this a.m. and have a good connection. We will post what we can before we re-enter the world of "There's no *&^%!!$%#@ connection here!"

P.S. The lack of connectivity indicates all the wonderful, far-flung, remote spots we have visited where life lived is more important than being on-line! But how can we show you these wonderful places without internet...

See other posts on Dublin--Kilmainham Gaol and a future post on the wonderful National Museum)

 Christ Church Cathedral

 "From wherever you are I bid you a warm welcome to  Christ Church Cathedral here in Dublin...The mission of any cathedral is to reflect through its beauty the transcendence of God...Irrespective of denomination, faith or non faith we welcome everyone as a pilgrim...May some day you will come as a pilgrim and visit this place which is the heart of Dublin" (message from  the Very Reverend Dermot Dunne, Dean of christ Church)

We both fell in love with the floors which are centuries old. Unlike any we had seen before.

This is the musicians corner where the musicians of the cathedral are remembered, including Sir John Stevenson best known for his adaptations of Irish melodies to the lyrics of Thomas Moore

Below the sanctuary is a huge crypt. We considered having tea there, but didn't.... We went to Kilmainham Gaol instead!  For tea, that is!

The cathedral is connected to the Synod building by a walkway. 
Looking back at Christ church

St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin

Built in honour of Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral was raised to cathedral status in 1224. The Cathedral is today a church of the Anglican communion and also serves as a popular tourist attraction. It is open to all people as an architectural and historical site, but principally as a place of worship.

The present building dates from 1220. (

chairs for the common people

chairs for the nobility

As in Christ Church, St. Patrick's has beautiful tile floors with the French fleur-de-lis, shamrocks and celtic knots.


 Beautiful example of arches within arches.

This large space would be perfect for trumpet players to welcome Easter

side chapel
 Surrounding the lectern were a series of verses. This one says, "How Shall They Believe in Him of Whom They Have Not Heard".

beautiful interwined celtic knots

St. Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland

 Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College, formally known as the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin (wouldn't have wanted to be the secretary who answered their phones!) was founded in 1592 and was modeled after the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. It is one of the seven ancient universities of Britain and Ireland, as well as Ireland's oldest university.

The most popular attraction at Trinity College is the Book of Kells, which is housed in the college's old library. As an example, it costs 9 Euro to see the Book of Kells and 10 Euro for a guided campus tour including the Book of Kells! 

People are rushing in to be educated--Ha!, Ha, they're tourist!
The guided tour was given by a student and was EXCELLENT. Well worth the additional one Euro cost! The guide wore a "mini" black academic gown (which had turned brown over years of sun bleaching--don't know how that happened in Ireland).

 The Campus

The chap below disapproved of female students; underneath his disapproving glare is a favorite place for women to have their graduation day photos taken!

There is dual signage in Ireland. Irish is the first language of Ireland and occupies the top line of script on road signs, etc. Below that is the English translation.

The Book of Kells

The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament. It was created by Celtic monks ca. 800 or slightly earlier. The illustrations and ornamentation surpass that of other Gospel books in extravagance and complexity.  Figures of humans, animals and mythical beast, together with Celtic knots and interlacing patterns in vibrant colors enliven the test. 

It is widely regarded as Ireland's finest national treasure.

waiting line to see the Book of Kells
Photography is not allowed in the exhibit. Only two pages are exhibited at a one time and the exhibit is changed every three months. We were told that professional page turners come in to do the turning! 

Even though you see so little of the book, the workmanship and illustrations are amazing. The following photos are from the internet so you could see the beauty of the book.

detail of previous photo

An amazing animated film about the Book of Kells is available. It is a masterpiece--see it!

The Old Library

The Library of Trinity College is the largest research library in Ireland. As a result of its historic standing, Trinity College Library Dublin is a legal deposit library for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and has a similar standing in Irish law. The College is therefore legally entitled to a copy of every book published in Great Britain and Ireland and consequently receives over 100,000 new items every year. (Wikipedia)

The Long Room of the library is a sight not to be missed! The main chamber of the old library, the Long Room, was built between 1712 and 1732 and houses the library's oldest books. By the 1850's the room needed to be expanded as the shelves were filled, and so the roof was raised to accommodate an upper gallery.

access to the upper gallery

Books are not shelved according to the Dewey decimal system; they are arranged by size--width, height and depth. The large books are on the bottom shelves and the smaller ones on top. As complicated as this is, the librarians can find every book (if you know the size!).

Other Dublin sights

Molly Malone, popularly known as "The tart with the cart"
My slogan: Coffee Solves Everything

 My new slogan: Guiness as Usual

We visited the St. James Gate Brewery where Guinness has been produced since 1759. After the tour we went to the Gravity Bar for our "complimentary" glass. The bar offers a 360 degree view of the city.
I am not as sloshed as I look!

Wicklow Mountains, behind the clouds, is the source of the water used in brewing Guinness

Trinity College is behind the brewery tanks

View of St. James's Gate Brewery where Guiness has been brewed since 1759. The brewery occupies over 50 acres of land.
Location, location, location! Our cute little hotel room at the Kildare Street Hotel is close to everything and the staff were exceptionally helpful.

1 comment:

  1. To Moe and Irene
    Thanks for resuming your postings. I missed the wonderful photos. My wish for the remainder of your voyage, that you be forever close by to the Internet. Thanks again, Norm Massicotte