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Anupriya Bedi Aug 06 2014

Which are the most beautiful libraries in the world?

Debangana Sen Aug 08 2014
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Here's rounding up the 17 most beautiful and best libraries in the world. Apart from being temples of knowledge, these libraries also pay the utmost tribute to the creative genius and architectural brilliance of man.


1. Community Bookshelf, Kansas City, Missouri, USA


A striking feature in the Kansas City’s downtown, the Community Bookshelf is pretty hard to miss. The giant bookshelf facade is the focal point of this building. The 22 titles showcased, were suggested by the avid local readers and reflect a wide variety of reading interests.


(Photo by Jonathan Kemper)


(Photo by Observation Deck)



2. George Peabody Library, Maryland, USA


This research library at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, is an elaborate Greek revival-style library with more than 300,000 volumes, many from the 19th century.

(Photo by tumblr)



3. Strahov Monastery Library, Czech Republic

If you ever feel the need to consult a bible when in Prague city, head over to the Strahov Monastery. The magnificent Theological Hall in the monastery is full of thousands of editions of the holy book and just about every important title printed in Europe during 18th century. But the coolest feature are the two secret passages built within the shelves that can be opened with cleverly hidden fake book levers.


(Photo by The Peopanda)



4. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Connecticut, USA


This windowless Yale library might not be much to look at from the outside, but the interiors are breathtaking with beautiful marble walls. This also happens to be the biggest building in the world to preserve ancient books and manuscripts like medieval manuscripts, ancient papyri, the Gutenberg Bible and more.


(Photo by BetacommandBot)


(Photo by Lauren Manning)


5. The Library of El Escorial, Spain


This former residence of the King of Spain has vaulted ceilings and gorgeous frescoes, each representing the seven liberal arts. It is currently a World Heritage Site with over 40,000 volumes in store. This is one of the best places to see when you visit Spain!


(Photo by Håkan Svensson)


6. Vasconcelos Library, Mexico City, Mexico


This “megalibrary” in Mexico City has an astounding architecture resembling stacks of shelves sliced into neat sections. The facility also showcases works of local artists. The exterior of the building is integrated with a botanical park.


(Photo by CliNKer)


7. Tama Art University Library, Japan


A spectacular addition to the Tama Art University in Tokyo city, the library has an arresting appearance that aims to give a sense of distorted placement of arches and slanted floors. The front garden continues inside the building, thus merging the outside with the interiors in a very interesting way.





(Photo by Wiiii)


8. Admont Abbey Library, Austria

Considered to be one of the best libraries in the world, the Admont Abbey Monastic Library in the country of Austria is the largest of its kind. The entire decor is themed around the ideals and values of Enlightenment. The ceiling is graced with beautiful Baroque-styled frescoes that reflect the various stages of knowledge till the Divine Revelation.


(Photo by Jorge Royan)


9. Halmstad City Library, Sweden


This sleek structure in Halmstad, Sweden is inspired from nature itself. It has a unique open area that seems to be in harmony with the surrounding foliage. The transparent glass facade lets visitors view inside the various facilities inside the building, namely, the cafe and an exhibition space. The glass roof doubles up as an eco-friendly insulator.





(Photo by Eugenio Hansen)


(Photo by Jonas Ericsson)


10. Library of Congress, Washington DC, USA

Ranked as the largest library in the world by number of books and shelf space, the Library of Congress in Washington DC also ranks high in attention grabbing factor. Amongst its many buildings, the oldest and arguably the most beautiful structure is the Thomas Jefferson Building, which has lavishly decorated interiors.


(Photo by Carol M. Highsmith)


11. Wiblingen Abbey Library, Germany

This is definitely one of the truly stunning and best libraries in the world. A Baroque beauty, the Wiblingen Abbey Library in Ulm, Germany was completed in 1744. The north wing of the library is renowned for its Rococo style, full of gorgeous sculptures and brightly-coloured ceiling paintings.





(Photo by - Hochgeladen von Hochauer)


12. Austrian National Library, Austria

Housed within the Hofburg Palace in the city of Vienna, the Austrian National Library contains an astounding 7.4 million items in its archives. The most jaw-dropping feature of the library is the frescoed ceiling of the dome that also features sculptures that pay tribute to the Habsburg rulers.


(Photo by Oke)


13. UNAM Central Library, Mexico

A jewel in the crown of the Ciudad Universitaria Campus in Mexico City, the UNAM Central Library is best known for the attractive murals on its exterior that recount the history of the country. This 10-storey structure houses more than 40,000 books.


(Photo by guardianwitness)


(Photo by Patrick D)


14. Raza Library, Rampur, India


The Raza Library in Rampur located in the Indian subcontinent, looks like something out of the pages of Arabian Nights. Once the part of the Rampur Palace, the library contains the private collection of the royal family, which include 205 hand-written palm leaves, 17,000 rare manuscripts and 5,000 miniature paintings.


(Photo by Am07)


15. Seattle Central Library, Seattle, USA

This award-winning, distinctive geometric structure stands out in Seattle city. With a continuous layer of transparency, the Seattle Central Library makes beautiful use of space and light. It houses an estimated 1.4 million tomes along with 400 computers for public usage.


(Photo by Bobak Ha'Eri)


(Photo by Rex Sorgatz)


16. Delft University of Technology Library, The Netherlands

Another unique architectural design, the Delft University Library in the Netherlands manages the rare feat of being both unconventional and beautiful. The massive skylight in the ceiling becomes a steel cone as it comes out of the library roof.


(Photo by Nol Aders)


(Photo by Henriette)


17. Trinity College Library, Ireland

The possessor of the 9th century Gospel volume of the Book of Kells, Trinity College Library in Dublin city is quite special. The Long Room holds more than 20,000 ancient volumes in the library’s collection, along with the marble busts of well-known writers and philosophers.


(Photo by Irish Welcome Tours)


(Photo by Nic McPhee)


These are our top 17 picks for the best libraries in the world. Don’t forget to like, share and comment below.

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