Things to do
“For myself, I always write about Dublin, because if I can get to the heart of Dublin I can get to the heart of all the cities of the world.”
James Joyce once again speaking passionately about his native town. It’s appropriate then that, at either ends of the city, there are places devoted to the great modernist. In the southside coastal village of Sandycove, there’s the James Joyce Tower where stately, plump Buck Mulligan opened one of the greatest novels of the 20th century, while elegant North Great Georges Street houses the James Joyce Centre.
These are but two among a myriad of literary places which abound in Dublin. A city of so many ardent readers and writers requires libraries and there’s a distinguished trinity: our National Library, Archbishop Marsh’s Library unchanged for three centuries and the Chester Beatty, described by Lonely Planet as one of the best museums in Europe. Talking of which, we’ve a Writer’s Museum, the National Print Museum and the Dublin Wax Museum, which captures the likeness of half a dozen of our literary laureates.
Augmenting these institutions is one of Europe’s finest universities, Trinity College, home to that 9th century literary wonder The Book of Kells, the final resting place of Jonathan Swift at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Phoenix Park’s fabulous Farmleigh Estate, the legendary Abbey Theatre and the Gate Theatre in Parnell Square. Added to these are a bevy of bookish boozers from the Bleeding Horse to the Brazen Head by way of Mulligans and McDaids and a litany of literary pub crawls to justify the drinking.
Just as the river Liffey – Anna Livia – cleaves our capital, balancing north and south, as a city of literature we remember our fascinating literary heritage while acknowledging our vibrant present and our exciting future, in the fabric of the buildings and institutions which celebrate and recall our love of the word.