A connoisseur's delight, this "library" is considered one of the overlooked treasures of Ireland. After Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875–1968), an American mining millionaire and a collector with a flawless eye, assembled one of the most significant collections of Islamic, Early Christian, and Far Eastern art in the Western world, he donated it to Ireland. Housed in the gorgeous clock-tower building of Dublin Castle, exhibits include clay tablets from Babylon dating from
2700 BC, Japanese wood-block prints, Chinese jade books, early papyrus bibles, and Turkish and Persian paintings. The second floor, dedicated to the major religions, houses 250 manuscripts of the Koran from across the Muslim world, as well as one of the earliest Gospels. The first-floor "Arts of the Book" exhibition looks at the different origins and finest examples of books throughout the world. Guided tours of the library are available on Wednesday at 1pm and Sunday at 3pm and 4pm. On sunny days the garden is one of the most tranquil places in central Dublin.
Castle St., Dublin, Co. Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland