Editorial Features

10 Incredible Libraries Around the World

The beauty of these buildings speaks volumes...

Even if you're not a bookworm, you can't deny the magnificence of these 10 libraries around the world. We take you on a virtual tour to show you that there's more to these buildings than reading.

George Peabody Library, Baltimore

The five-tier George Peabody Library is considered so beautiful that sometimes weddings are held within its neo-Greco atrium. It was funded by all-round good guy George Peabody, who you can find out more about here.

The Library of Birmingham

The exterior of the Library of Birmingham, completed in 2013, is covered with a pattern of 5,357 overlapping rings as an homage to the city's jewelry quarter. It was officially opened by the Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai.

Clementinum, Prague

The baroque Clementinum Library was built by Jesuits in 1622. The legend goes that when construction began they only had one book, but by the time they finished they had managed to collect 20,000.

Royal Portuguese Reading Room, Rio de Janeiro

Holding the largest collection of Portuguese literature outside of Portugal, the Royal Portuguese Reading Room was founded by a group of 43 Portuguese immigrants and political refugees to promote their home culture in Brazil.

New York Public Library, New York

Stretching for two city blocks, you might recognize the New York Public Library from numerous Hollywood movies. It was the setting of the post-apocalyptic Day After Tomorrow (2004) and the backdrop to Carrie Bradshaw's almost-wedding in Sex and the City (2008).

Trinity College Old Library, Dublin

Dublin's Trinity College Old Library is 200 feet long with barrel vaulted ceilings and marble busts of famous authors lining its walkway. Its most famous volume is the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament.

Stuttgart City Library, Stuttgart

The brillant white, five-story reading room of the Stuttgart City library is shaped like an upside-down pyramid. The roof panels emit blue light at night, and a small section of the collection is available 24-hours in its "Library for Insomniacs".

Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria

The reading room of Alexandria's public libary is designed to tilt towards the sea like a sundial. Its gray granite walls are decorated with letter and characters from over a hundred different languages.

Marciana Library, Venice

The Renaissance Marciana Library holds one of the greatest classical text collections in the world. Inside, as well as over 750,000 books, you can find artworks by Venetian masters such as Titian and Tintoretto adorning the walls.

Beitou Branch of the Taipei Public Library, Taiwan

Taiwan's eco-friendly library does its bit for bookworms as well as the environment by running with water reclamation, solar panels, and natural ventilation to reduce the overall impact of the built-up environment on nature. It also holds over 20,000 books in English and Chinese.

Share this story with a friend
Google apps