Queen Elizabeth I founded Trinity College, Dublin’s oldest and most well-known academic institution, in 1592. Initially a Protestant faculty it solely started to take Catholics after 1970, when the Catholic Church relaxed its opposition to them attending. The school’s lawns present a nice haven within the heart of the city. The main attractions are the Old Library and the Book of Kells.
Trinity College stands on what was once a part of the grounds of All Hallows monastery. The wood-tiled archway on the man entrance leads to Trinity’s main quadrangle (Parliament Square). Green lawns and an array of splendid 18th- and nineteenth-century buildings characterize the cobbled square. An imposing centerpiece – Campanile – marks the original site of the monastery.
THE OLD LIBRARY
The library’s major chamber, the luxurious Long Room, measures 210 ft (sixty four m). It contains 200,000 antiquarian texts, marble busts of students, and Ireland’s oldest harp. Library’s main attraction is the Book of Kells, medieval illuminated manuscripts, which might have been the work of monks from the island of Iona in Scotland. The book contains the four Gospels in Latin. The scribes who copied the book decorated their calligraphy with interlacing spirals, in addition to human figures.
Since its begining, Trinity has cultivated many distinguished writers and historical figures. Among the many outstanding graduates are the writers and dramatists Jonathan Swift, Oliver Goldsmith, Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, William Congreve, and Samuel Beckett; the philosopher George Berkeley; political writer Edmund Burke; physicist Ernest Walton; and Ireland’s presidents, Douglas Hyde and Mary Robinson.