The Chester Beatty Library

The Chester Beatty Library is the jewel in Dublin Castle’s crown. Hidden away in the castle grounds beside the wonderful medieval knot garden this museum is a quiet oasis complete with an exotic watering hole aka the orient-inspired Silk Road cafe, but more about that later....
Chester Beatty was a self made millionaire and philanthropist, who regularly gave up his personal home in London for use as a military hospital during the war after which he moved to Dublin. Widely travelled, he gathered a large collection of oriental art and rare religious manuscripts not unlike the Book of Kells, kindly donating them to the state for which he was awarded the first ever honorary Irish citizenship in 1957.

Reading Room Chester Beatty Library

Personally, I would prefer to visit the Chester Beatty Library any day of the week rather than the Book of Kells, firstly because it is free and secondly because, there is so much more to see here, if medieval manuscripts are your thing. Trinity College itself is lovely and very nice to stroll around, although you will have to pay if you want to see the famous library as it is part of the Book of Kells exhibition, just be warned its expensive and often there are long queues. Tip, you can see an exact replica for free and without any of the crowds in the Museum of Country Life in Roscommon, another highly recommended Visitor Attraction, if you are up that way. Anyway, getting back to the Chester Beatty Library there is a short audio visual on the ground floor, with two viewing galleries upstairs.

Chester Beatty Lobby

There is a museum shop in the lovely airy galleried lobby space and the wonderful Silk Road Cafe run by Arabian chefs with fantastic, reasonably, priced food including delicious spicy tagines, pickled lemon chicken, award winning coffee, real mint tea & homemade turkish delight....

10 Other things to do and see in the area are...

1 Visit Dublin Castle and take the guided tour, you will get to see all the stateroom and the viking ramparts underground.

2 Check out the medieval knot garden where the fabled black pool or 'Dubh Linn' which gave Dublin its name was situated.

3 Where you will find the castle cat if you are lucky?

4 Visit the tiny Inland Revenue Museum fascinating and free, and a great insight into dodging the customs & excise duties even way back then.

5 See the recently reopened Chapel Royal I believe it was used as a set while filming the The Tudors.

6 Enjoy a glass of wine and / or a french pastry Chez Max, just outside the castle gates on Palace St, love this bistro.

7 Take into Dublin's City Hall beautiful floor & ceiling and venue for civil wedding, exhibition about the city in the basement, entrance around the corner to the right.

8 Catch a play, or musical event if you can in the Olympia Theatre on Dame St, she is a grand old dame herself and much loved by Dubliners.

9 Have a pint in the Stags Head beautiful Victorian interiors, one of my favourites.

10 Wander around Temple Bar cross Dame St and duck down any of the narrow streets behind the Central Bank into Meeting House square, it's one to tick off the list, not mad about it personally.

more information on the Chester Beatty Library click here

For more information on the Silk Road Cafe click here

For more things to do and see in Dublin click here