The James Joyce Cultural Center is one of Dublin's more unique attraction, dedicated to perhaps the city's most famous resident. It opened in June 1996 thanks to the tireless efforts of Senator David Norris, a James Joyce scholar. Norris bought the property, an eighteenth century Georgian mansion, in 1982. At that time, many of the wonderful Georgian buildings on the street and throughout Dublin had been demolished. It took Norris fifteen years to restore the property.
James Joyce is probably the most influential author of the twentieth century, famous for his stream-of-conciousness style. His novels are definitely not the most accessible, but they created a whole new genre of writing. Joyce never actually set foot in this particular house, but he grew up in a similar Georgian townhouse. It was, however, the home of dance instructor Denis J. Maginni, who was immortalized in Ulysses.
Several pieces of period furniture decorate the center. There's a recreation of a Georgian bedroom and furniture from Joyce's Paris apartment. Three excellent short films document Joyce's life and work. The highlight are interactive displays that take you through Ulysses episode by episode. Lectures are held periodically and are often fascinating.
This is a can't miss destination for lovers of literature, or anyone that's read Ulysses. The cultural center also hosts walking tours of Dublin (€10.00), which offer lots of insight into James Joyce and Dublin's culture. Tour guides are entertaining and knowledgeable.
Location: 35 North Great George's Street, Dublin
Telephone: +353 01 878 8547
Hours: Open 10:00-17:00 Monday to Saturday; 12:00-17:00 Sunday