The Chester Beatty Library, Dublin
Free Admission Tourist Attraction in Ireland #8
The Library that bears the name of Sir Alfred Chester Beatty was opened in 1954. He was born in America and was an avid collector of antiquities his entire life. He made his fortune in the mining industry, settled in London, then Cairo and then Dublin where he was to become Ireland's first ever honorary citizen in 1957. His priceless collection was bequeathed to a trust for the enjoyment of the public and has remained so for over half a century.
The Library is a collection of books and manuscripts, miniature paintings, prints, drawings and decorative arts, some dating from the year 2700 BC. Housing artifacts primarily from Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe the Library offers a marvellous insight into the religions and cultures of the world. The Library was awarded the title 'European Museum of the Year' in 2002.
The Collections in the Library include some of the earliest surviving copies of the Bible and Qur'an. The East Asian Collection include scrolls and manuscripts from China while the Japanese and Islamic Collections house hundreds of priceless objects from the past.
Admission is free to the Library which is located on the grounds of Dublin Castle, a few hundred yards from Trinity College, O'Connell Street, Christchurch Cathedral and St. Stephens Green. The building is wheelchair and child-buggy accessible and offers audio-visual presentations describing the marvellous antiquities housed there. The 'Silk Road Cafe' offers a variety of Eastern and International foods in keeping with the ethos of the Library itself. Free guided tours are available at certain times of the week.
Hidden behind the walls of Dublin Castle the Library has an amazing reputation. It is also situated right in the heart of Dublin city centre so its delights can be enjoyed as part of a walking tour of the city centre, perhaps taking in Christchurch Cathedral or the Book of Kells at nearby Trinity College. A fine day out might be to visit the Library in the morning, enjoy lunch at the cafe, and then take in some shopping and a stroll down Grafton street, ending with a walk around St. Stephens Green park. All completely free (apart from the shopping bill!)
Find out more here: http://www.cbl.ie
Video about the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin
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