9 incredible libraries around the world you need to see

Mar 12 2020, 12:50 pm

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There’s something special about libraries. They’re monuments to learning, community, and the preservation of heritage and culture. Libraries are often symbols of free-flowing knowledge and are spaces where people from all walks of life can bond over a common enjoyment for learning. The grandiose and elaborate structures built to house all of this knowledge is a testament to how valuable they truly are.

Whether you’re a student feverishly writing a paper or a tourist looking to marvel at the incredible institutions that have been built as a monument the power of learning, there’s something for everyone. You don’t need to be a bookworm to appreciate the architecture and style of a solid library. Plus, if you’re a tourist looking to immerse yourself in a new locale, there’s no better place to be: libraries are epicentres of history and culture.

So, if you’re planning on hitting up any of the regions below in the near future, you won’t regret making one of these incredible libraries one of your first stops.

1. National Library of Finland: Helsinki, Finland

 

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This awe-inspiring building, with its convex high-ceilings and big, marble pillars is responsible for housing everything related to Finnish culture. An architect’s literal dream, this cultural hub possesses a unique mix of Empire and Art Nouveau architectural styles.

2. George Peabody Library: Baltimore, USA

 

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It’s a mystery anybody can get any studying done here without getting distracted by its marvellous structural design. Constructed in the late 1800s as an arts and culture institute, the local landmark remains a cherished public space today.

3. Starfield Library: Seoul, South Korea

 

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What makes Starfield library so unique is its dedication to public enjoyment: with over 50,000 titles in a range of genres and 200+ seats, there’s room for everyone to sink into a good book.

4. Royal Portuguese Reading Room: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 

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Sombre and gothic, this tiered library is home to the biggest collection of Portuguese literature in the world outside of Portugal.

5. New York Public Library: New York City, USA

 

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While this entry is far from being a hidden gem, I think we can safely say it’s well-known for a reason: um, it’s absolutely stunning. What’s even better is the vital role it plays in encouraging learning and upholding open access to knowledge within its surrounding community.

6. Civic Museum Library: Pesaro, Italy

 

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Art aficionados rejoice! This enchanting library specializes in art history and is located within Pesaro’s International Gallery of Modern art, which means after you’re done perusing the books, you can fill up on fine art.

7. Boston Public Library: Boston, USA 

 

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This impressive building has an equally impressive collection to match. The library holds over 23 million items (you read that right, million), including original works from William Shakespeare and Mozart.

8. Malmo City Library: Malmo, Sweden

 

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This library is quite unlike any other, in that it’s multi-story glass windows and greenery practically make you feel like you’re outdoors. Constructed with nature in mind, it’s designed to optimize daylight during all hours of the day. I mean, who doesn’t want to feel the warm sun as they cozy into a good read?

9. Rijksmuseum Library: Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

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Tucked within one of the wings of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, the Cuypers Research Library is the biggest and most antique art history library in the Netherlands. Its gothic style is truly something to be marvelled — spiral staircases and all.


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