Reading a book is traveling in stationary. What better place to do it than in the most enthralling libraries in the world?
In this article, we will show you ten incredibly beautiful libraries across the globe. We are featuring the best book havens in Asia, America, Europe, and the rest of the world.
Most business and vacation travelers are well-read knowledge-hoarders and are big book buyers and collectors.
If you can relate to this, you probably love to snap up a pile of novels, manuals, and other books to accompany you on your lovely and long flights and train rides across countries and borders. Your home library is probably a jewel of its own.
Hence, it is not surprising at all that many airports and stations have spaces like bookshops for people of culture like you.
However, unquestionably, nothing will have you marvel more than visiting the most exquisite libraries in the world.
Here are our top 10 picks for the world’s most breathtaking libraries:
Library No. 1: George Peabody Library, Mt. Vernon Campus
The George Peabody Library is recognized as one of the most beautiful in the world. And at the same time, the institution has continued to provide an essential space for teaching and research.
This library was formerly known as the Library of the Peabody Institute of the City of Baltimore. It has a historic collection dating from the founding of the Peabody Institute in 1857.
During its birth year, George Peabody, the library’s namesake philanthropist from Massachusetts, dedicated the institution to the Baltimorians’ kindness and hospitality.
Designed by architect Edmund G. Lind and first provost Dr. Nathaniel H. Morison, the beautiful library opened soon in 1878.
The library’s stack room is composed of five tiers of decorative cast-iron balconies that dramatically rise to the 62-foot skylight.
With more than 300,000 volumes of 19th-century knowledge in architecture, religion, art, history, topography, American general knowledge and literature, Romance languages and humanities, geography, science, exploration, and travel, the library is a must-visit for you.
Library No. 2: The Bodleian Library, University of Oxford
The Bodleian Library is the primary research library at the University of Oxford. This majestic building is one of the oldest libraries in Europe.
The library gets its name from its founder, Sir Thomas Bodley.
This bookworm’s dream contains 13 million printed items and is the second-largest library in all of Britain.
This age-old library has a continuous history tracing back to 1602, with roots dating back even earlier.
Library No. 3: Stuttgart City Library, Germany
The Stuttgart City Library is a 9-story modern library complex completed in 2011. The beautiful building rises up as a magnificent crystalline cube in the grassed area of Mailänder Platz in Stuttgart City, Germany.
This flawless sci-fi-esque 20k+ square meter space features German library technology you won’t find anywhere else on Earth.
While significantly practical with a children’s library, music library, study rooms, Graphotheque, administration, and café, it is an architectural marvel. These particular, areas are arranged over the floors as an outer ring with a well-lit façade, enclosed by a roof terrace accessible to visitors for lovely views of the town.
Library No. 4: The Library of El Escorial, San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain
The Escorial is a boundless building complex located in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, near Madrid, Spain, and is the most crucial architectural piece of the Spanish Renaissance.
The library was built from 1563 to 1584.
The most breathtaking area of the complex must be its basilica. It is the only place on Earth where architecture, painting, and sculpture come together in a unified splendor.
The Escorial is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the most visited tourist spots in the country and is a top-of-the-list location for book and old architecture lovers.
Library No. 5: Royal Portuguese Reading Room, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The Real Gabinete Português de Leitura is a world-renowned library and lusophone cultural institution that every traveler of culture would love to visit.
Its grandiose design and cultural significance are a natural magnet to those in pursuit of the majestic.
With magnificent beauty and the largest compilation of Portuguese literature outside of Portugal, the library is listed by the State Institute of Cultural Heritage and declared as the fourth most beautiful library on Earth by Time magazine.
Library No. 6: Rampur Raza Library, India
Rāmpur Razā Kitāb Khāna is a treasure cove of Indo-Islamic education and arts. The library was created by the Rampur State in 1774.
It was primarily filled with inherited collections of manuscripts, historical documents, Mughal paintings, books, and works of art stored in the Nawabs Toshakhana.
Now managed by the Indian Government on the name of Raza Ali Khan of Rampur, It contains a sporadic and valuable collection of manuscripts and historical documents. It has specimens of Islamic calligraphy, miniature paintings, astronomical apparatuses, and rare Arabic and Persian illustrated works.
The library also houses printed works in Hindi, Sanskrit, Urdu, Tamil, Turkish, and Pashto, including the original manuscript of the first translation of the Qur’an and other crucial literature. It also has around 30,000 printed books and periodicals in other languages.
It is no wonder why Rampur’s Raza Library is Asia’s largest and beautiful library.
Library No. 7: Admont Abbey Library, Austria
Admont Abbey Library is the most extensive monastic library in the world. The majestic and elegant, all-embracing creation of the late European Baroque is famous for its architecture, art, and manuscripts.
Completed in 1776, the library was designed by Josef Hueber, modeled after the Imperial Court Library in Vienna.
The library holds about 70,000 volumes while the Abbey has around 200,000 books in total.
Some of the most crucial among these books are the 1,400+ manuscripts. The oldest of them date back to the 8th century AD, with 530 incunabula books printed before 1500.
Library No. 8: Strahov Library
Strahovská knihovna is more commonly known as the library of the Premonstratensian monastery at Strahov. This exquisite work of architecture is one of the most valuable and best-preserved historical libraries.
It houses a collection of about 200,000 volumes of literature.,
The oldest part of the library is the Baroque Theological Hall. This vital space was established between 1671 and 1674.
The library’s main Classicist vaults date back to 1794 and are two floors tall.
Each hall of the library is adorned with ceiling frescoes designed by Siard Nosecký and Anton Maulbertsch.
Library No. 9: The Eye, Tianjin Binhai, China
The Eye, is a magnificent, must-visit library in Tianjin, China. As part of the Binhai Cultural Center, the library is one of the area’s five primary attractions.
The library has five levels, covering a vast space of 33,700 square meters or 363,000 square feet.
This breathtaking library features floor-to-ceiling, terraced bookshelves that can hold 1.2 million books. It also has a large, luminous sphere in the middle, serving as a functional auditorium that can hold 110 people.
The Eye is a futuristic library that sits within a nested gallery, topped with cathedral-like arches that will amaze your feasting eyes.
Library No. 10: Starfield Library, Seoul
The Starfield Library is located in the center of COEX Mall in Gangnam, Seoul, South Korea. The library is an open public space – anyone can freely come to sit down and take a break or immerse in books.
It features a wide selection of literature and works in various genres including economics, humanities, hobbies, and more. It is basically a modern standard library on steroids, complete with iPads for reading e-books.
The library hosts book conventions and contemporary events for the book lover.
While urban and cosmopolitan, this library’s architecture still evokes awe.
What book will you read in these libraries?
Are you painting your quiet reading moment in one of these exquisite libraries? It shouldn’t be hard for you to make the scene a reality.
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