Grose Educational Media's
Eire / Ireland
In 1592, Queen Elizabeth I founded the
"College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity" in Dublin.
Among the past members of the college are
Jonathan Swift, Edmund Burke and Wolfe Tone.
Although none of the original buildings of the college survive, much
of the collection of books and manuscripts in the library dates back to
shortly after the founding of the college. The Book of Kells, a beautiful
illuminated manuscript created about 800 A.D., was added to the collection
in 1661. The book consists of the Latin text of the Gospels of Matthew,
Mark, Luke and John with colourful ornamentation. Two of the four volumes
containing the 680 surviving pages of the original book are always displayed
in the Long Room of Trinity College Library.
Bunratty Castle in County Clare was built by Sioda MacConmara
in about 1450. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries it was a stronghold
of the O'Briens of Thomond. It was restored in the 1960's. The adjacent
folk village contains a diverse collection of nineteenth century Irish buildings.
Blarney Castle was built by Cormac McCarthy in the fifteenth
century. The Blarney stone is a triangular piece of limestone bearing a
faded latin inscription. It is located in the battlements of the castle
approximately one hundred feet from the ground. A popular superstition is
that one can obtain "the gift of gab" by kissing the stone. This
can only be done by dangling head first from the battlements. According
to one legend, the castle was once saved from attack through flattery and
cajolery; hence, the power of the stone, and the word blarney itself. Another
explanation states that Cormac McCarthy was involved in a lawsuit and that
he was victorious because he kissed the stone after having its mysterious
powers revealed to him in a dream.
Kissing the Blarney Stone
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