Libraries are definitely not just buildings built to house books. In practical terms, they can even have that purpose, but the truth is that they are something much more special than that. There is something magical in the air of libraries, especially about these ones.
Strahov Library (Prague, Chez Republic): Inside the Strahov Monastery, located in the top of a hill in Prague, hides an amazing Baroque library. It is composed of theology and philosophy rooms, arched and decorated with splendid details, huge wooden shelves, woodcarving masterpieces and a rich collection of religious books. In the corridor that connects the two rooms, it is exposed a “cabinet of curiosities” with naturalistic collections.
New York Public Library (New York, USA): Considered one of the biggest libraries in the world, the New York Public Library houses about 50 million books and materials written in more than 300 languages and dialects. Apart of the incredible collection, visitors can appreciate the beautiful wooden furniture and the ceiling with a fresco all made with wood and gold details.
Trinity College Old Library (Dublin, Ireland): Elected the most beautiful library in the world, the Old Library is located in the Trinity College campus, in the heart of Dublin. This is the library that has the largest collection of manuscripts and printed books of Ireland. The main room of the building is The Long Room, with two floors. There are stored the oldest books of the institution’s collection, about 200,000 titles.
Tripitaka Koreana (Gyeongsang , South Korea): The Tripitaka Koreana is the most complete collection of Buddhist texts and it is stored in Haeinsa, a religious temple located in Gyeongsang Province. The place houses more than 80,000 wooden blocks weighing 3.2 kg each, including scriptures, laws and treaties and has been declared a UNESCO heritage site.
George Peabody Library (Baltimore, USA): Founded in 1858, this library is formed by a collection of more than 300,000 titles, most of which date from the period between the 18th and 20th centuries. The building of the library is renowned for its impressive interior architecture, with balconies that rise dramatically to the skylight.
Stadtbibliothek Stuttgart (Stuttgart, Germany): This nine floors library was inaugurated in 2011 with a modern and minimalist architecture. Each floor is dedicated for a specific subject: music, children, life, knowledge, world, literature and art.
Suzzallo Library (Seattle, USA): Suzzallo Library is the central library of the University of Washington in Seattle, and perhaps the most recognizable building on the campus. Its Gothic style and size are what makes it so incredible in addition to the huge windows and details. In the main room, you can see many of the six million books available, all in good conditions.
Clementinum Library Hall (Prague, Chez Republic): Built in 1722, this library is a perfect masterpiece of the Baroque architecture with beautiful wooden furniture and frescoes in the ceiling. The Clementinum houses about 20,000 books and it was considered for a long time the third largest Jesuit college in the world.
Royal Portuguese Reading Room (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil): Located in the center of Rio de Janeiro, the Royal Portuguese Reading Room has the largest and most valuable library of works by Portuguese authors outside Portugal. The reading room resembles a cathedral with walls lined with books and a big chandelier in the center.
Austrian National Library (Vienna, Austria): Located in a spectacular Baroque building in the Hofburg Palace, the Austrian National Library has four museums and the largest collection of books in the country. Music lovers can check out the first compositions of masters of classical music, while literature buffs can spend time in a section of the library dedicated to rare books.