TCD Bell Tower and Long Room

I entered the “front door”, that is how it has been called for centuries and it is still the same a tall wooden door. I felt as if I have never left that place although I was returning to my old university after fifty-five years. Dublin University known the world over as Trinity College Dublin or simply TCD is right in the centre of the city.  It has kept its old character, nothing has changed. The cobbled Front Square with its Campanile, the bell tower, in the middle.

On the left is the same chapel, the old dining room and the GMB building in which I lodged during my last two years, my room facing the

Alumni Bureau TCD
Long Room with Book of Kells

Campanile. How much I longed to see the inside of the old hexagonal Reading Room now closed. Here I spent many hours and one whole summer studying for additional courses I took.  My memories rushed back  of running stands along the entrance selling UNICEF Christmas cards,  tickets for the Carnival of Nations, Trinity News, and meeting many others some of whom became life-long friends. Standing hallucinated I saw Hilary, my classmate and dearest friend walking towards me with a charming smile. Alas, never to meet her again. Just few days earlier the TCD Alumni Bureau informed me that she had passed away two years ago.  The Secretary of the Alumni Bureau was exceptionally welcoming and made me feel at home and she was happy to receive my book. (Photo).

Tourists from all over the world are attracted to Dublin not only because it’s a fair city where girls are pretty but to see the famous Book of Kells, a must-see for all. It’s exhibited in the Long Room now with a new entrance on the side facing the new library/reading and dining facility which are designed not to take away the historic charm of the campus. As you might know TCD was founded by Queen Elizabeth the First in 1591. The Long Room looks the oldest building. Reaching the front of the long queue I presented my 1964-TCD Association card that happily I found and carried with me. With eyes wide the pretty receptionist had not seen such a vintage card before. Admitting two of us, she said that I’m allowed to take three to five accompanying people free also. I was fascinated seeing again the open decorated page of the Book of Kells. The following day the next equally beautiful page will be exposed. The Long Room stocks one of Europe’s biggest collection of old books. I would have adored paging through a few.  (Photo). There is now a large souvenir shop that without asking gave me ten percent discount on TCD T-shirts and all other purchases.



I’ll resist the temptation of describing my adventures in this fair city except that I resumed doing what I did as a student from 1959 to 1963. – bar crawling. We started at the city’s oldest The Brazen Head Bar, naturally passed through Guinness and ended in a Noodle Bar, something new. Great fun.




Dublin’s oldest pub


Origin of Guinness
Noodle Bar !


(Photos by Karin Nyffenegger)

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