Love books and beautiful architecture? When I think of libraries, my mind usually goes into dull room lit by fluorescent lamps, but there are some seriously stunning libraries all over the world that are worth the trip!
From reading rooms set inside castles, to modern sky-high bookshelves, and Hogwarts-like study rooms, these are some of the most beautiful libraries in the world every bibliophile must visit!
The library of Admont Abbey, Austria
Completed in the year 1776 with ideals of the Enlightenment: “Like our understanding, spaces too should be filled with light.”, the library of Admont Abbey is the largest monastery hall in the world.
It’s one of the most striking examples of European Baroque as well as one of the most beautiful libraries in the entire world, featuring different art genres like frescoes, sculptures, manuscripts, and prints. Admont Abbey library is home to over 70,000 books, some of which date all the way back to the 8th century!
Libreria Acqua Alta, Venice, Italy
Libreria Acqua Alta translates into “Book Store of High Water”, and that’s because Venice’s waterways usually flood the shop, rising several inches off the floor.
Not a problem for this bookshop, though, because they came up with the creative idea of keeping their books inside containers like bathtubs, boats, and even an actual gondola!
This beautiful bookshop is made up of several rooms, all of which are pilled up with books, maps, and magazines of all sorts. Another interesting feature of this shop is the staircase that leads to the entrance – it’s entirely made up of books!
Klementinum, Prague, Czechia
Sitting beside the ever-alluring Charles Bridge right in the historical heart of Prague, this is one of the most magical places in the world.
Klementinum is one of the largest buildings in Europe and it was originally built in the 14th century and reconstructed for over 170 years. For that reason, you’ll find all sorts of architectural styles featured over the complex.
You can visit Klementinum with a tour, which lasts a total of fifty minutes and will have you exploring the library’s hall, Prague’s famous astronomical tower, and the Meridian Hall, a room that was once used to determine noon!
Livraria Lello, Porto, Portugal
The most quintessential feature of Livraria Lello is its iconic crimson staircase, but the entire building is a dream come true for those who love the Art Nouveau era. Another highlight? The building’s majestic ceiling!
This eclectic bookshop was built in the early 18th century and features several rooms, where you’ll find some of the most important work by Portuguese writers, as well as Art Déco details splattered all over the walls.
Austrian National Library, Vienna, Austria
Another favorite for bibliophiles and architectural junkies alike, The Austrian National Library is the largest in the country, and get this – it’s home to over 12 million books and artifacts from pretty much every art genre!
Starfield Library, Seoul, Korea
The Strafield Library is one of the most iconic staples of Seoul, and has quickly become a favorite spot for photographers and book enthusiasts alike!
Located inside the COEX Mall in the emblematic Gangnam area, this library is home to various book genres, but it’s also a wonderful place to just sit down and take a break. Make sure you don’t need a book from the top shelves, though!
Domaine de Chantilly, Chantilly, France
The Château de Chantilly is one of the finest castles in France, and inside it, you’ll find one of the most fascinating and beautiful libraries in the world.
The Duke of Aumale was devoted to the arts and literature, and he spent his entire life collecting some of the most precious artifacts, with the center of his obsession being books.
Almost 19,000 books, many of which are extremely rare, are exhibited in the castle’s Reading Room, including over a thousand manuscripts, some of which date back to the Middle Ages!
Trinity College Library, Dublin, Ireland
Set inside Trinity College in the city of Dublin, this library is by far one of the most interesting spaces for architecture and book addicts alike.
Even though the entire college is an absolute architectural paradise, the most beautiful room is the library’s 65-meter long chamber, often dubbed the Long Room. In there, you’ll find over 200,000 books as well as busts of great philosophers and writers. Being here seriously makes you feel as though you’re at Hogwarts library!
Even though it’s located inside a college, visitors are welcome to stop by any day of the week. You’ll first go through the Book of Kells exhibition before going into the Treasury, where you’ll find the original manuscripts of the Book of Kells. After that, you’ll get to explore the iconic Long Room, which you’ll likely never want to leave!
State Library Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
State Library Victoria in Melbourne was built back in the 17th century, just two decades after the city was settled. It’s gone through some renovations, and it’s easy to see how the modern meets the old inside the building!
It’s Australia’s oldest library, and one of the first public ones in the entire world. The building spans over an entire block and boasts several spaces, but our favorite is by far the reading room pictured above.
So there you have it! Just a few of the most beautiful libraries out there for all my fellow bibliophiles. Can you imagine what it must be like to live in one of these cities and being able to just pop by? That’s life goals right there!