Everybody has read quotes like, “a reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one” or “show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world” but only those can relate to it who find pleasure in reading. For a reader, a library is his happy place. A place where he can teleport to a new country , where he can learn how to speak in a new language or even go back in time and witness the World War 2. This place can make one forget about his own life and sink into somebody else’s. Today we introduce 12 fascinating libraries all around the world to all the bibliophiles out there who find a library to be their happy place.
1. George Peabody Library in Baltimore, Maryland, USA
The George Peabody Library came into existence on the day of the founding of the Peabody Institute in 1857. Dedicated to the people of Baltimore, for their kindness and hospitality, this library was designed by the architect Edmund G. Lind. This library consists of five tiers of ornamental cast-iron balconies which is 61 feet above the floor. It contains more than 3,00,000 books which dates from the eigteenth century to the twentieth century. It is open to all the book lovers.
2. National Library, Minsk, Belarus
Shaped as a rhombicuboctahedron, (a complex polyhedron of 18 squares and 8 triangles) the national library of Minsk is one of the most attractive libraries of the century. It took 13 years to get the design approved and about 3000 people and 200 enterprises’ effort to function this library. And finally in 2006, the National Library was opened. Over 500,000 copies are available for public access. You can take a tour of the library involving the Book Museum along with Minsk at a Glance with a visit to the skydeck. Kids birthday parties can also be held in this library!
3. Black Diamond Library, Copenhagen, Denmark
Though the original library (The Royal Library) was built in 1906, Black Diamond library was its extension that was completed in 1999. If a gorgeous view of the environment interests you, then the Black Diamond is the place to go to. With a view of the water and a space full of light, this neo-modern library has become a timeless cultural landmark of Copenhagen. On the plus point, this library functions 24/7!
4. Austrian National Library, Vienna, Austria
Founded by the Habsburgs, the library was originally called the Imperial Library. The ceilings of the Austrian National Library has frescos made by the artist Daniel Gran which makes it one of the most beautiful libraries of the world. The library has over 7.4 million books to read with the collection ranging back to the 14th century. The library complex includes four museums, as well as multiple special collections and archives.
5. Phillips Exeter Academy Library, Exeter, New Hampshire, U.S.
Phillips Exeter Academy Library was originally part of the Phillips Exeter Academy, an independent boarding school. But when the library had outgrown its existing building, an architect was needed to be hired. Louis Kahn in 1965 then came in the picture who decided to structure the library in three concentric square rings. The outer ring includes all four exterior walls and the library carrel spaces immediately inside them. The middle ring holds the heavy book stacks. The inner ring reveals several floors of book stacks. This library has also won the Twenty Five five year award for it’s beautiful architecture.
6. Abbey Library of Saint Gall, St. Gallen, Switzerland
Abbey library is popularly known to be one of the richest medieval libraries in the world till date. It wasn’t long before the library became well known for it’s collection of illuminated manuscripts, science and western culture. In the eighteenth century the library was moved to a new location which was designed in a baroque rococo style. This library holds about twelve centuries of collections.
7. Library of the Benedictine Monastery, Admont, Austria
Located on the Enns River in the town of Admont, Austria, library of the Benedictine Monastery is oldest remaining and the largest monastic library in the world. This library is divided into three sections and has about seven frescoes on the ceilings. It also has four sculptures- The Four Last Things, a group of four oversized presentations of Death, the Last Judgement, Heaven and Hell. The collection of this library ranges to 200,000 volumes.
This place also allows seasonal visits ( March 24 – Dec. 31 daily from 10 am to 5 pm) if you plan on paying it a visit someday!
8. Stuttgart City Library, Stuttgart, Germany
Also known as the eye catcher, the library of Stuttgart city is constructed out of pale grey fair-faced concrete that visually frames an array of 9 x 9 frosted glass bricks. If Apple designed libraries, this one would be the first of their creations. The 9-storey library building rises up like a crystalline cube within the grassed area at Mailänder Platz. In order to promote urban development, the design focused on RFID system with automatic check-out and return and a unique sorting facility and self-steering trolleys.
Hello new generation library!
9. Royal Portuguese Reading Room, Rio de Janeiro
The doors of this library opened in 1837 by a group of Portuguese immigrants, merchants in Rio de Janeiro, interested in the creation of a Portuguese library. The style of the building was neo-Manueline to represent the Portuguese overseas developments. The bookshelves of this library rest upon the iron col- onnades decorated with neo-Gothic motifs. The room is also known to be lit up by a large skylight of stained glass. The library’s collection receives around 6,000 new titles a year and the collection is rising towards 400,000 volumes.
10. Central Library of Vancouver, Canada
The Central Library of Vancouver is the third largest library of Canada. As soon as you enter the concourse, you can spot shops and cafes which also turn out to be the gathering points for the citizens of Vancouver. Facilities like wheelchair accessibility, free wifi, photocopying machine is available there. For the ones who hate climbing the stairs, there’s an escalator for every floor. This library also provides programs for children and adults. It has about 2.6 million books available for access.
11. Library of Congress, Washington DC
Filled with millions of books, manuscripts, photographs, newspapers and recordings, the Library of Congress is the second largest library of the world. It the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Initially, the original library was established with $5,000 appropriated by the legislation, was housed in the new Capitol until August 1814, when invading British troops set fire to the Capitol Building, burning and pillaging the contents of the small library.
12. Library of Birmingham, England
The Library of Birmingham has been described as the largest public library in the United Kingdom,the largest public cultural space in Europe,and the largest regional library in Europe. 2,414,860 million visitors came to the library in 2014 making it the 10th most popular visitor attraction in the UK. This library includes a state-of-the-art gallery space opening up public access to the collections. It is also home to the BFI Mediatheque, providing free access to the National Film Archive. The second name of this library is the people’s palace and is known to be highly family-friendly.
A book is enough to make a reader joyful but the environment around it has the magic to win his heart. The photos of these libraries were enough to make us awestruck so just imagine what it would be like to sit there and read a book that is dear to you. My personal favorites were these 12 libraries all around the world. Tell us about yours in the comments section!