Whether it is for their stories, the number of books, the value of their collections or the magnitude of their buildings, each of these places is worth visiting. Here a small sample of the most spectacular libraries around the world.
George Peabody Library, Baltimore, United States
With over 300,000 books spread over six different levels, the George Peabody Library building is a true architectural relic. With floors made of marble, it is one of the most beautiful libraries in the world.Built in the late 19th century, originally as a research library, which became known as the Peabody Institute. Legacy of the philanthropist George Peabody that constitutes today a magnificent cultural center. It currently belongs to Johns Hopkins University, was built in the 1950s by architects Edmund Lind and Nathaniel Morison and later remodeled in 2002.Its design stands out for its large reading room with skylights and imposing columns forged in iron. In the early years it was lit by gaslight, which allowed the library to be opened at night.
San Lorenzo de El Escorial Royal Monastery Library, Madrid, Spain
Founded in the 16th century by Philip II. Located in the Monastery of El Escorial is today the largest collection and treasure of books, the main concern of its creator. In his honor, there is a preservation fund for the growth of the works catalog.It is also known as La Escurialense or La Laurentina. This Spanish Renaissance Library is located in the town of San Lorenzo del Escorial in Madrid and is part of the Monastery of the same name.It is one of the most valuable bibliographical collections in the world with more than 50.000 volumes, of exceptional quality. Among them are his collections of Arabic, Hebrew and Latin manuscripts. At the moment it is managed by the National Patrimony through the Agustinos Monks who make the inventories and organize the funds, with a marked research character of recognized world prestige. Inside the building, the Main Hall or Salón de los Frescos as it is known today, is an ideal place for study and scientific work.
Danish Royal Library, Copenhagen, Denmark
King Frederick III founded it in 1648, houses all the work that have been printed in Denmark since the seventeenth century, and a vast majority of books ever written in Danish, including the first Danish book printed in 1482. Being the largest library in the Nordic countries many important works are found here, such as the historical maps of the polar region.Since 1989 it has merged with various university libraries, such as the Danish University Library of Sciences and Medicine as well as in 2008 with the Danish folklore archive. Because of this, it holds more than 32 million documents, 6 million are books and periodicals.The Black Diamond, the most important building in the royal library, built in 1999, now belongs to the University of Copenhagen and its libraries have four other buildings in the city.Here, the black walls reflect the sea and the sky.It is an architectural feat that connects through an inner bridge, the old library building with the new one; Formed by two bodies, with a facade of iron and glass. The old building built in 1906 by Hans Jørgen Holm features a central hall that is a replica of a chapel in the cathedral of Aachen.It is important to note that although the main library is in Copenhagen, it also has three more locations: one in Gothersgade, one in Amager and one in Nørre Alle.
National Library Of France, Paris, France
The National Library of France (Bibliothèque Nationale de France), houses the national documentary heritage. A truly amazing place, which also holds unique collections in the world, it gathers more than 15 million books, manuscripts, photographs, maps and plans, coins, videos, decorations, among others.The intellectual, artistic and scientific disciplines are represented in an encyclopedic spirit. It is estimated that more than 150 thousand documents come into its funds thanks to acquisitions and donations.Thanks to the fact that around 30% of its physical material is digitized, it is feasible through Gallica its digital platform, actively consulting more than 4 million documents.Throughout the year exhibitions, conferences, colloquiums, concerts and meetings, are programmed so it works as a cultural center animated by librarians and personalities of the cultural world.
Shiba Ryōtarō Library Museum, Osaka, Japan
In 2001, Japanese architect Tadao Ando held the memorial library that is part of the Shiba Ryotaro Museum, in the Higashi town of Osaka Prefecture. It is a dense space that accumulates the memory of a novelist, little known in the West and who was devoted during his life to the history of Japan.Dedicated to Ryotaro Sakamoto and located in his hometown, it is who contributed to the modernization of Japan during the Meiji period. Writing throughout his life hundreds of articles that were published in various mass media such as magazines and local newspapers, about culture and local customs. It was built after his death in 1996. There are two distinctive areas, its old house and garden next to which has been built a small building that houses the library.There are more than 20 thousand works that reflect the history of his thinking, on different themes throughout his life. The building is more than 10 meters high filled with Japanese culture; A metaphor for the life of this peculiar character.Zeepod