From Finland to Japan
Magical places – these are the most beautiful libraries in the world
Whether modern or classic, in these nine bookstores everyone becomes a bookworm.
This magical place is the George Peabody Library in Baltimore. It is part of Johns Hopkins University.
Wikipedia/Matthew Petrov/CC BY-SA 3.0
There is something magical about libraries: they are places of silence and at the same time a portal to other worlds, almost unlimited knowledge and endless entertainment. It doesn’t matter if you dream of browsing in an ancient bookstore like Belle in “Beauty and the Beast” or whether you’re more excited about modern architecture: we’ll show you the nine most beautiful bookstores in the world.
French National Library in Paris, France
The French National Library has been renovating over the past 15 years under the direction of Bruno Gaudin Architects. So there is now a new, more modern wing. The highlight of this library is certainly the Oval Room, designed by Jean-Louis Pascal in 1897 and completed in 1932 by Alfred Henri Ricora. There are over 20,000 books here.
Oodi Central Library in Helsinki, Finland
Finland’s Oodi Central Library has a particularly impressive hardcover. It was designed by the architectural office ALA and should look like a “living room in the Finnish capital”. Only a third of this library is dedicated to books, and the other parts are home to various exhibitions, 3D printer workshops, a recording studio, theatre, restaurant and café.
Trinity College Library, Dublin, Ireland
Wikipedia/Rafesmar/CC BY-SA 4.0
This library was built between 1712 and 1732 as the “Temple of Literature”. It is located on the campus of Trinity College Dublin. The highlight of the library is the 65-meter-long “Long Room” – here you’ll find more than 200,000 of the oldest books in the library.
Saint Genevieve Library in Paris, France
Designed by Henri Labrouste, a French architect and pioneer ironmonger, Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève is a popular hotspot in the French capital. The most impressive part of this library is the reading room: it was the first building in Paris to use mass-produced iron beams.
George Peabody Library in Baltimore, USA
The George Peabody Library, which is part of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, is so beautiful that it is often used as a wedding location. It was built in 1878 and houses more than 300,000 books. The highlight is the almost ecclesiastical atrium.
Tama University of Art Library in Tokyo, Japan
Could it be more modern? This is the university library of Tama University of the Arts in Tokyo. This building is located on the Hachioji campus. It was completed in 2007 and is one of the most visited buildings in Japan. There’s more to see besides books: the large windows offer a great view of the city.
The Bodleian Library in Oxford, England
Back to the venerable walls: The Bodleian Library belongs to the University of Oxford and has over twelve million printed pages on its shelves. This makes it the second largest library in the country. The building is also really old: some parts of it date back to the 14th century.
City Library at Mailänder Platz in Stuttgart, Germany
This is the central library in Stuttgart. It covers an area of more than 20,000 square meters, where more than half a million media are distributed. The large room in the center is an inverted pyramid designed by architect Eun Young-yi. It reopened in 2011 after a long construction phase and at a cost of €80 million.
John Ryland Library in Manchester, England
This library is one of the best examples of the late Gothic Revival in Europe. It is part of the University of Manchester and opened to the public in 1900. It was founded by Enriqueta Augustina Rylands to honor her late husband, John. The reading room, reminiscent of a church with its stained glass windows and ribbed vaulting, is particularly striking.
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