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  • Trinity College, founded in1592 by Queen Elizabeth I

  • to establish a Protestant way of thinking about God.

  • Trinity has long been Ireland's most prestigious college.

  • While the student body was originally limited to rich Protestant males,

  • today, many of its students are women

  • and Catholic.

  • For tourists, the big draw on campus is a museum containing the precious

  • Book of Kells: a monk-made set

  • of the four gospels

  • from about the year 800.

  • Before you view the original, a first-class exhibit prepares you by

  • putting this 680-page illuminated manuscript

  • in its historical

  • and cultural context.

  • Irish monks transcribed and illustrated precious manuscripts like the Book of

  • Kells.

  • Studying this copy it's clear this was painstaking work.

  • Cover pages and chapter heads were a chance for the monks to show off their

  • artistic creativity.

  • They went to great lengths

  • using powders from crushed bugs and precious stones

  • to get the most vivid pigments.

  • Medieval books were written on vellum

  • - that's calf-skin scraped with a knife -

  • it's estimated that it took the skins

  • of 185 darling little calves to make the Book of Kells.

  • To see the actual Book of Kells

  • you'll have to come to Dublin.

  • Cameras are not allowed.

  • Upstairs, Trinity's old library is stacked to its towering ceiling with

  • 200,000 of the library's oldest books.

  • Here, you'll find a rare original edition of the Proclamation of the

  • Independent Irish Republic.

  • Starting the Easter Rising in 1916, a rebel leader read these stirring

  • and inclusive words:

  • Irishmen and Irishwomen: In the name of God

  • and of the dead generations

  • from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood,

  • Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for freedom.

  • Each of the seven signatories were arrested and then executed in the nearby

  • prison -

  • now a national memorial that we'll visit later.

  • The library holds another national icon: Ireland's oldest surviving harp from the

  • 15th century. This harp is featured on the back of the Irish Euro coin.

  • While the Euro, adopted in 2002, is the accepted currency throughout

  • the countries of "Euro-land," each country customizes the flip side with

  • its own national symbol.

Trinity College, founded in1592 by Queen Elizabeth I

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Dublin, Ireland: Trinity College

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    Chun-Jen Chen posted on 2013/06/02
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