It wouldn’t be wrong to say that libraries represent man’s successful attempt in democratizing knowledge. Libraries have always been a storehouse of knowledge. In the modern age, these magnificent institutions have also developed into important social spaces, which have become a meeting point of different people, ideas, discussion and debate. Some of the most beautiful and heavenly libraries from all across the world are:
- Trinity College Library, Ireland: This two story library with dark wooden arches happens to be the largest library in all of Ireland. It is also home to the famous Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript created by Celtic monks which date back to the 800.The library also serves as the country’s copyright library.
- Admont Abbey Library, Austria: Situated on the bank of Enns River in southeast Austria, this library was constructed in 1776.Designed by Baroque architect Joseph Hueber, this dazzling hall is crowned with seven cupolas whose ceiling space is adorned by Bartolomeo Altomonte’s frescos representing different phases of human knowledge. The library is resplendent in gold and white hues and approximately 200,000 volumes are stored here, making it the largest library of its kind in the world.
- Bristol Central Library, England: Completed in 1906, the Bristol Central Library is an architectural marvel. Built on a slope, the front of the building is only three stories tall and has been designed in Tudor Revival and Modern Movement styles. Inside, the design is mostly Classical, with marble flooring and a turquoise glass mosaic at the entrance hall.
- The Library of El Escorial, Spain: Located in the Royal Seat of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, this library was formerly the residence of the king of Spain. The vaulted ceilings of the library have been painted with gorgeous frescoes, each representing one of the seven liberal arts: rhetoric, dialectic, music, grammar, arithmetic, geometry and astronomy. Today, the library has been listed as a World Heritage Site with a collection of more than 40,000 volumes.
- The Abbey Library, Switzerland: One of the oldest and most important monastery libraries in the world, the Abbey Library has been listed as a World Heritage Site. Styled in the Rococo way, the origins of this library can be traced to the 8th century. The Abbey Library, with a collection of more than 160,000 volumes is often considered one of the most perfect libraries in the world.
- Bibloteca Marciana: Set on Venice’s Piazza San Marco, near the Doge’s Palace, the Bibloteca Marciana was built in 1564. One of the earliest surviving libraries in Italy, it was designed by Renaissance architect Jacopo Sansovino and took 50 years to complete. The library has been decorated with the paintings of seven Renaissance artists.
- The Royal Portuguese Reading Room, Brazil: Located in Rio de Janeiro, this library was completed in 1887. Designed on the basis of the Gothic-renaissance style, this library holds more Portuguese works than anywhere else outside of Portugal, including a number of rare titles. The library also has a stunning chandelier and a gorgeous iron skylight that was the first of its kind in the country.
For all you travellers who’re also bookworms, make a list soon and start ticking these libraries off your travel list!