Overlooking the pretty castle garden from the renovated eighteenth-century Clock Tower Building, the Chester Beatty Library preserves a dazzling collection of books, manuscripts, prints and objets d’art from around the world. Superlatives come thick and fast here: as well as one of the finest Islamic collections in existence, containing some of the earliest manuscripts from the ninth and tenth centuries, the library holds important Biblical papyri, including the earliest surviving examples in any language of Mark’s and Luke’s Gospels, St Paul’s Letters and the Book of Revelations. Elegantly displayed in high-tech galleries, the artefacts are used to tell the story of religious and artistic traditions across the world with great ingenuity. It’s well worth timing your visit to coincide with lunch at the excellent Silk Road Café.

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