Chester Beatty Library, Dublin

Chester Beatty Library, Dublin (must see)

Dublin Castle's not-so-secret gem, the Chester Beatty Library, nestled within the Clock Tower at the rear of Dublin Castle, isn't just Ireland's premier small museum – it's one of Europe's finest, period. Curated with meticulous care and passion by New York mining tycoon Alfred Chester Beatty, this remarkable collection is a sight to behold, and sure to leave a lasting impression.

Spanning two levels, the ground floor hosts "Arts of the Book," a compact yet dazzling array of artworks hailing from Western, Islamic, and East Asian cultures. Standout pieces include the world's foremost collection of Chinese jade books and exquisitely illuminated European texts, rivaling even the famed Book of Kells. Engaging audiovisual displays elucidate the intricacies of bookbinding, paper-making, and printing, offering insights into the craftsmanship behind these masterpieces.

Ascending to the second floor reveals "Sacred Traditions", a journey through the world's major religions through decorative and religious art, accompanied by insightful texts and a video at the entrance. The unparalleled collection of Qur'ans, spanning from the 9th to the 19th centuries (with over 270 specimens), is hailed as the pinnacle of illuminated Islamic texts worldwide. Moreover, visitors can marvel at ancient Egyptian love poems from the 12th century, some of the earliest illuminated gospels dating back to 200 AD, and exquisite scrolls and artwork from China, Japan, Tibet, and Southeast Asia, including the renowned 17th-century Japanese Chogonka Scroll.

Tips:
Indulge your taste buds at the Silk Road Café discreetly tucked away at the library's rear, offering a culinary voyage mirroring the cultural diversity within the exhibits. And for an extra treat, venture up to the rooftop "meditation" garden – an oasis of calm amidst the bustling city – or explore the gardens out front, offering magnificent views of the Castle.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Dublin. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Chester Beatty Library on Map

Sight Name: Chester Beatty Library
Sight Location: Dublin, Ireland (See walking tours in Dublin)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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