Friday, September 8, 2017
This harp is found in the library at Trinity College. While it was once thought to have belonged to Brian Boru, the high king of Ireland in the late 10th to early11th century, this is not likely as it is believed to date from the 14th or 15th century. It is known as the Brian Boru harp. It is the symbol of Ireland and appears on coins, in heraldry, and, of course, on bottles and cans of Guinness. It is one of the three oldest Celtic harps still surviving.
The harp symbol was also used for the Samuel Beckett bridge, named for another of Ireland's well-known writers. Beckett, like Joyce, spent most of his life outside Ireland.
Trinity College, founded in 1592, is the oldest university in Ireland. It was set up to help consolidate Tudor rule in Ireland and was a Protestant university. While by 1793 Catholics and "Dissenters" were permitted, Catholics needed the permission of their church to attend. Until 1873 all professors were Protestant. Women were admitted in 1904.
A visit to the Trinity library is awe-inspiring. These books are still used by scholars. Some date back to the early years of printing and beyond. We visited the library just after viewing the Book of Kells as well as other religious manuscripts. Busts of the great thinkers of the past line the main corridor.
A guard pointed out the book with the two white strips to me. It is A History of the World by Sir Walter Raleigh. I feel an incredible sense of awe being surrounded by the knowledge of centuries and the thoughts of being where many great minds had come to study and learn and go on to influence the world.
And now for a few other sites:
This is St. Patrick's Tower. It is what remains of the tallest smock windmill in Europe and was built around 1757.
Pubs are everywhere with flowers spilling over the signs. Temple Bar is a trendy area with many restaurants, pubs and theatres.
History is important to the Irish - both the good and the bad. This memorial is a recognition of the deaths of many orphaned children and babies who were taken away from unwed mothers at birthing centres. They were not given a proper burial. http://www.broadsheet.ie/tag/somebodys-child/
This sculpture honours (the probably fictional) Molly Malone - made famous by the song. You can hear it here.
All the utility boxes have been painted by a number of different artists. This is just one example. They are decorated in many different styles.
We had to get up early on our last morning in Dublin. The sun turned all the equipment at the Guinness factory a golden colour.
All vacation photos are at https://flic.kr/s/aHsm89FFnk