Although not among Ireland's four winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature, James Joyce is the literary figure of Dublin. The city still honours his legacy with its many monuments and attractions]. For those James Joyce fans that find themselves looking to live out the exploits of the 'Dubliners', here are some fantastic James Joyce sites to visit...
James Joyce Statue
To set the mood for a James Joyce-themed Dublin adventure, its best to start on O'Connell Street. Parked at the corner of O'Connell and North Earl Street is the Joyce statue, a beloved landmark in Dublin and it's most photographed statue. Joyce stands in his typical attire, gazing around Dublin as life goes hustling by. The statue was commissioned by local business associations for their love of Joyce,and was created by sculptor Marjorie FritzGibbon.
James Joyce Cultural Centre
For fans of Ulysses, the James Joyce Cultural Centre is a haven. The James Joyce Cultural Centre sits inside of the house that was detailed in the book as the residence of Professor Dennis J Maginni, the dance instructor. The centre provides visual and artistic recreations of several characters from his story and the exhibits provide insights into Joyce's characters, exposing their real-life counterparts. This small museum provides a fitting memorial to the work of James Joyce, with a scholarly and reverent approach, but it still proves accessible to those not as well-versed in his work. Those that want to take a short walk down the street will also find the Belvedere College where Joyce received his education from the Jesuits.
James Joyce Walk through Dublin
Creativecommons.org/ Trinity Digital Exhibition
Knowledgeable Joyce scholars lead this guided tour in Joyce's real and oft-fictional footsteps. The tour stretches from the old offices of the Irish Independent to the National Museum on Kildare Street via O'Connell Street, across the bridge to Trinity College then down Grafton Street, Duke Street and Dawson Street, stopping to see all the sights in between. Those who don't want to take the formal guided tour can simply follow the 14 pavement plaques on the sidewalk.
Davy Byrne's Pub
Davy Byrne's Pub is where Leopold Bloom feasted on a gorgonzola sandwich with a side of red wine in Joyce's Ulysses. However, the pub itself is one of the many literary icons in Dublin. Not only did James Joyce pay his fair share of visits, but the seats also served famous guests like Samuel Beckett, Oliver St John Gogarty, Patrick Kavanagh and Flann O'Brien. Visitors can get a pint and gaze at the wondrous murals on the wall painted by Brendan Behan and marvel at stories that were likely dreamed up here. This is one James Joyce attraction in Dublin that even non-Joyceans can enjoy with its good food, good drink and great company.
James Joyce Tower
Those looking to take a trip to James Joyce Tower will need to venture just outside Dublin to Sandycove. Although it looks just like another Martello Tower, built to defend against Napoleon's fleet along Ireland's coast, it is actually a valuable piece of Joycean history. James Joyce enjoyed a short stay here as the guest of Oliver St John Gogarty, when he was inspired to use it as the starting point for Leopold Bloom in Ulysses. Although Joyce fled the tower after being shot at by a friend of his host, it has been remodeled into a James Joyce museum, holding a number of paraphernalia and exhibits dedicated to the man and his works. It not only serves as a scenic and informative visit on James Joyce but it is a rare chance to actually get to go inside of a Martello Tower.
Dublin Writers' Museum
Since its foundation in 1991, the Dublin Writers' Museum has honoured all Irish writers. Although not specifically dedicated to Joyce, it is still well worth the visit. The entrance fee usually deters casual visitors, but for the true literary mind, it is a wondrous place. The museum also hosts a classy cafe and bookstore just in case visitors discover a new Irish writer to enjoy.
Creativecommons.org/ Nico Kaiser
The National Library on Kildere Street is a must for the visiting Joycean. This library holds priceless, rare editions of James Joyce's classic works, as well as some artifacts from his life. This, paired with the fact that it also holds copies of every other book ever printed in Ireland, make this fantastic library a Mecca for the avid reader. To be able to see the first edition of Ulysses or Finnegan's Wake is an once-in-a-lifetime chance and a must for the true James Joyce fan.