European Museum of the Year
With free admission and described by the Lonely Planet as not just the best museum in Dublin, but one of the best in Europe, the Chester Beatty is a must-see on any Dublin visitor’s itinerary. As the only museum in Ireland to win ‘European Museum of the Year’, the Chester Beatty’s rich collections from countries across Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe open a window on the artistic treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world.
You can get there by walking 5 minutes from Dublin Citi Hotel!
The Library’s collections are displayed in two collections: “Sacred Traditions” and “Artistic Traditions”. Both displays exhibit manuscripts, miniature paintings, prints, drawings, rare books and some decorative arts from the Islamic, East Asian and Western Collections.
1. Western Collections
The Western Collection houses many illuminated manuscripts, rare books and Old Master prints and drawings. The collection of papyri is one of the most extensive in the world and includes almost the entire corpus of Ancient Egyptian Love Songs.
2. Islamic Collections
The Islamic Collection is divided between the Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Qur’an and Mughal-Era Indian Collections. The Arabic texts include treatises on religion, history, jurisprudence, medicine, geography, mathematics, astronomy and linguistics. Some of the finest miniatures from imperial Mughal albums, called Muraqqa’, are housed in the Chester Beatty Library, with important paintings from the Late Shah Jahan Album and the Minto Album. The albums were the subject of an exhibition and publication by the Islamic curator, Dr Elaine Wright, Muraqqa’: Imperial Albums of the Chester Beatty Library. Often on display is the Ibn al-Bawwab Qur’an, copied by one of the greatest medieval Islamic calligraphers.
3. East Asian Collections
The East Asian Collection has one of the most extensive collections of carved snuff bottles, many of which were included in the catalogue, The Chester Beatty Library, Dublin: Chinese Snuff Bottles. It also has good Japanese arts, including a pair of long picture-scrolls painted in the 17th century by Kanō Sansetsu.
- March to October: Monday to Friday, from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
- November to February: Tuesday to Friday, from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m (Closed Mondays).
- Saturday: 11.00 A.M. to 5.00 P.M. (All year).
- Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (All year).