Matt Hopkins was kind enough to take a few friends and me to see The Book of Kells and the Long Hall at Trinity College Saturday afternoon. I didn’t know anything about the Long Hall prior to going, but soon learned about its vast history. The illuminations in the Book of Kells were so detailed and extravagant that I was taken aback. However, the real treat of the day was the Long Hall. Living in Dublin, I felt I had to take advantage of the rich history within the walls of Trinity College. I certainly made a good choice in going.
Walking the Long Hall was quite an experience. At the top of the stairs there is one of the few remaining copies of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic. On 24 April 1916, Patrick Pearse read the proclamation at the start of the Easter Rising. This document is one of the most inspirational and righteous pieces of work I’ve ever had the honor of reading. There was a tone behind every word. I could hear the words being spoken as I read. I imagined the kind of pride felt by the Irishmen and women who heard Patrick Pearse speak that day. After reading the 1916 Proclamation, I know why nationalism is so prevalent in Ireland.
The busts of intellectual heroes the likes of Plato, Cicero and Sir Isaac Newton sat on platforms lining the sides of the hall directed towards the center of the room. I felt like I was in the presence of greatness. There really was an aura about the place that made me feel awestruck. I didn’t recognize some of the names, but still felt that they were important to the history of Ireland and more specifically, Trinity College.
That harp was something else; it looked more like a stump than a refined harp. That being said, I haven’t seen many harps up close. Music was a huge part of the Long Hall, and having the oldest harp in Ireland seemed fitting for such a place.
The Book of Kells and the Long Hall were beautiful and I felt honored to be in the presence of such history. Read more here about the Long Hall: