Libraries house the key to imagination and the doorway to fantastical worlds: books. These buildings are sometimes treated more like sanctuaries, as the work they hold can be priceless. Therefore, libraries are sometimes built more like opulent mansions, castles or even temples. Bookworms rejoice as these are the most beautiful libraries around the world.
The Library of Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)
The Trinity College’s library dates back to the educational institute’s founding in 1592. It was gifted it’s most precious works, the Books of Kells, in 1661. The original library, which is now referred to as the Old Library, was designed by Thomas Burgh. It is one large building that towers over all those that surround it (even today). The Old Library houses the Books of Kells along with several other medieval manuscripts.
Bibliothèque Nationale de France (France)
The National Library of France, located in Paris, traces its beginnings back to 1368, when Charles V founded the royal library. The collection of royal books was moved several times as well as has been expanded by several projects. Today, the library still contains its medieval charm and is home to over 4 million works.
Library of El Escorial (Spain)
Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial is a historical residence of the King of Spain. The library was established by King Phillip II, when he decided to donate his collection of manuscripts and documents to the building. The library was designed by Juan de Herrera. The library’s heart is the great hall which is 54 meters long, 9 meters wide and lined with marble floors, artisan carved wooden shelves, and a hand-painted ceiling.
Wiblingen Abbey Library (Germany)
The Wiblingen Abbey Library was founded in 1093, renovated in 1714, and completed in 1744. It is located in the north wing of the abbey and is a classic example of Rococo architecture. The library boasts ornamental statues and gold-encrusted details.
The George Peabody Library (United States)
The George Peabody Library was opened to the public in 1878 and was designed by architect Edmund G. Lind. The works housed in the George Peabody Library are mainly from the 19th-century. The wrought-iron rails and lofty skylights make a perfect outline to the hundred of thousands of manuscripts.