When was the last time you visited your local library? While some are new and updated, the sad truth is that many libraries are bland, brick buildings.
But there are still historic, grand temples that we can all visit if we’re lucky enough to be able to travel. Here are 7 of the most beautiful libraries in the world.
1. Biblioteca Classense – Ravenna, Italy
The main hall of the Biblioteca Classense was constructed in the 1700s and holds over 800,000 volumes.
2. Rijksmuseum Research Library – Amsterdam
This research library was constructed in 1885 by Dutch architect Pierre Cuypers and contains 450,000 volumes.
3. Biblioteca Do Convento De Mafra – Mafra, Portugal
This library is now a museum and was founded in 1717.
4. Real Gabinete Portugues De Leitura – Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
The name translates to “the Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading” and this building dates back to the 1880s. This library also holds the largest collection of Portuguese works outside of Portugal.
5. Strahovská Knihovna – Prague, Czech Republic
Parts of this building date back to the 1600s.
6. Bibliothéque Sainte-Geneviéve – Paris, France
This Paris library is now part of a university and contains 2 million holdings. The building dates to the mid-1800s.
7. Stiftsbibliothek Sankt Gallen – St. Gallen, Switzerland
This public reference library contains 170,000 volumes, and some of the collection survived a 10th-century fire. The building was designed in the 1700s by Austrian architect Peter Thumb.