Dublin Store 1 Lincoln Place, Dublin, D02 VP65, IE


swenyspharmacydublin swenyspharmacy

  • An historical gem, preserved as when it operated as a pharmacy.
  • "Sweny’s Lemon Scented Soap" as purchased by Leopold Bloom.
  • New and secondhand Joyce novels and daily readings.

Dublin Store

1 Lincoln Place


Sweny's featured in James Joyce’s Ulysses, a former pharmacy that today serves as much as a museum as a shop, celebrating James Joyce and his works. The interior of Sweny’s is the same today as when it first opened as a pharmacy in 1847. A testament to James Joyce’s Ulysses, Sweny’s was immortalized in chapter 5 by Leopold Bloom who purchased a bar of ‘Sweny’s Lemon Scented Soap’.

Though Sweny’s ceased being a working pharmacy in 2009 it has been preserved in its original state. Cabinets hold pharmaceutical treasures from a bygone era. One drawer reveals unidentified pharmaceutical ingredients in their original brown paper wrappings, another uncollected photographs from the 50’s and 60’s. Today, the former pharmacy serves as an unofficial Joyce museum run by volunteers. There are daily readings (in a variety of languages) from Joyce’s works. Books, new and secondhand, are piled on central tables. The lemon scented soap is still a best seller, handmade in Wexford and wrapped in the shop by the volunteers.

Volunteer PJ Murphy, fluent in ten languages, has been guiding international and local visitors as well as hosting readings for fourteen years. He points out the shelves that house 45 translations of Ulysses. Chapter 14 is his favorite, recounting Bloom's visit to the nearby maternity hospital where Mrs Purefoy is in the throes of labor.

"An important Joycean landmark, especially on Bloomsday, when there is bedlam in Sweny’s and demand for the lemon scented soap far outpaces the supply."