We arrived in Dublin, capital of Ireland on a bright sunny day.
Even the mail boxes are green in the Emerald Isle...
A stately, Georgian, city with attractive doorways..
To my delight, our hotel was in the vicinity of Merrion Square, and the childhood home of that wonderfully amusing Irish playwright, poet and author Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
His memorial statue, suitably irreverent..
surrounded by some of his amusing epigrams.
High on our list was a visit to Trinity College Library, and the Book of Kells:
It is thought to have been produced in the early 9th century by monks on the island of Iona, off the coast of Scotland, who later moved to County Meath in Ireland when Iona was attacked in a Viking raid.
The main chamber of the Old Library of Trinity College, built between 1712 and 1732, is the Long Room:
Here are shelved around 200,000 of the Library's oldest books.
It is spectacular...
Experts work constantly on conservation of the ancient texts..
Marble busts of famous writers line each side of the room, and in the centre is the oldest surviving Irish harp, probably from the 15th century:
It is made from oak and willow with brass strings, and is truly beautiful.
The harp is a National Symbol and is used on the Irish coinage.
The gallery shop is excellent, and in the spirit of excitement, I purchased not one, but two silk scarves. Celtic designs in various shades of my favourite colour pink entranced me, and not until I returned to Australia and removed the packaging, did I notice that they are all snakes!!! Look at all those nasty little faces.
Just in time for Snaking Season here in the tropics, hmmmm
Undeterred, I will wear my pink scarf when the occasion calls for a touch of pinkness...
Scarf No 2 features shamrocks, that humble little weed made famous by St. Patrick as an example of the Holy Trinity.
We made our way to St. Stephen's Green, a beautiful park in the city.
One hundred years ago, the 1916 Easter Rising began in this park, leading eventually to the establishment of the independent Irish Republic.
This summer house was used as a field kitchen for over 100 people who made up the garrison during the uprising, as well as overnight shelter on one night.
It is hard to imagine this peaceful and beautiful park being a location for gunfire and danger - but it was.
At an entrance to the park is a reminder of another tragic event in Ireland's past, the Great Famine of 1845-1852. Approximately one million people died and another million emigrated from Ireland as a result of the failure of the potato crops due to a disease known as potato blight.
|William Leech, Dublin 1881-1968, 'The Sunshade' c. 1913|
I enjoyed a visit to the nearby National Gallery of Ireland, and this beautiful, post-impressionist style painting by Irish artist William Leech. Lovely tones of green, just right for the Emerald Isle...
Till we meet again....