Head to these Beautiful Libraries for a Visual Treat


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Photo of Head to these Beautiful Libraries for a Visual Treat by Sonal Agarwal

Books have the power to transport you to places in minutes. While books let readers take their first flight of imagination, libraries, on the other hand, are home to readers and tourists from around the world for their well-preserved and varied collection of texts and awe-inspiring interiors.

A library is not just an institution for avid readers but attracts architecture enthusiasts, art lovers, photographers and storytellers alike, who flock to this sacred nest for their regular dose of inspiration and creativity.

Here is a list of seven most beautiful libraries in the world, which demand to be on your Instagram feed:

World’s oldest library, the Abbey Library of St. Gall attracts visitors from all around the world for its late baroque architecture (1675–1750). This UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts of some rare works of Peter Thumb from the Middle Age.

This  library is a part of the 8th century Abbey of Saint Gall, Switzerland, a religious complex located in the city of St. Gallen.

The oldest library of Ireland, Trinity College Library dates back to the 16th century. Popularly known as the ‘copyrights library’, it is endowed with legal deposit privileges. This means that publishers in Ireland must deposit a copy of all their publications here, free of charge. It also applies to publishers in the United Kingdom.

The Library currently stores an academic collection of almost 400 years. The main attraction here is the Long Room which is home to the oldest books of the library (2,00,000 in number!)

Constructed in the 18th century, Admont Abbey Library (aka Stift Admont) is the world’s largest monastery library. Its seven ceiling frescoes, which were painted by an 80-year-old artist, Bartolomeo Altomonte, show the various phases of human understanding.

This library also survived the disastrous fire of 1865, the worst calamity to befall the Abbey, since its foundation in 1045.

Formerly known as the Library of the Peabody Institute of the City of Baltimore, George Peabody Library (1878) is owned by The Johns Hopkins University. Generally, libraries are considered stuffy and claggy, but this is exactly what makes this one stand apart.

The George Peabody Library has been designed to have an airy reading space in the centre, which is visible from every level of the library. Today, this atrium is also available to the public of Baltimore for private events and cinematic shootings.

Popularly known as The Eye, Tianjin Binhai Library of China is a part of the Binhai Cultural Center. The unique iris-shaped architecture of the place along with a staggering 1.2 million books, attracts readers and tourists in large numbers.

This five-floored futuristic library has different rooms for lounging, reading and meetings.

The Royal Portuguese Reading Room is a lusophone cultural library in Brazil that houses the largest collection of Portuguese literature, outside Portugal.

Built in the early 19th century by Portuguese immigrants, the library is designed in a revival style 16th-century architecture ( Neo-Manueline). The three storey library is also home to a central study area on the ground floor.

Located in the palace monastery of the Palace of Mafra, Portugal, this library occupies the largest room in the monument. Adorned with limestone floors and Rocaille shelves, the library is not open to the public and can be visited only with prior appointment.

Another fun fact about this library is that it is home to a few bats who take care of the destructive insects!

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