6 of The World’s Most Stunning Libraries

Since learning how to read as a child, I’ve been obsessed with books. Even in the day and age of Kindles and iPads, nothing compares to being able to hold a real paperback in your hand. When other girls wanted to go to the mall and shop, I was begging my mom to take me to the library so I could hunt for something new to read. Even now as an adult, I try and check out a library or two whenever I’m traveling to a new city. Now that I’m scheduling a few international trips this year, I’ve been researching libraries in cities around the world. Here are 6 of the most stunning libraries I’ve come across so far.

1. University Library UBU Ultrecht

Located in the Netherlands, what makes this library so beautiful is it’s ability to be incredible dark in color while still exuding a level of warmth and lightness. The glass panels are covered in etchings of papyrus plants. They deflect light from coming in and damaging the books, while still looking like a work of art.

Photo Source: Archinect

2. The Baroque Library of the Admont Benedictine Monastery- Admont Austria

The library was built in 1776 and is the largest monastic library in the world. The ceilings, painted by Bartolomeo Altmonte, show the levels of human knowledge. In addition to the library, the monastery also contains several museums.

Source: Flickr

3. Bibliothèque Interuniversitaire de la Sorbonne- Paris

When I saw pictures of this library, it took my breath away. The amount of sunlight that comes in is breathtaking. The details in the pattern on the wall are beautiful.  

Photo Source: Frank Bohbot

4. The University of Coimbra General Library- Coimbra, Portugal

Dating back to the early 1500’s, the Coimbra General Library is truly a masterpiece. This baroque library, goes above and beyond when it comes to preserving their books. The walls are two feet thick and the bookcases are made of oakwood- a natural repellent to insects.

Photo Source: Bluesymere

5. The Free University Philology Library- Berlin, Germany  

Circular in shape, The Philology Library was designed with students in mind. The architects wanted to make it a center where students could study comfortably. They decided on the round shape to ensure that the library is full of natural light. 

Photo Source: Foster and Partners

Photo Source: Faena

6. The Royal Portuguese Reading Room- Rio De Janiero, Brazil 

Surrounded on all three sides by three stories of books, The Royal Portuguese Reading Room is a book-lover’s dream. A library started by Portuguese immigrants who were homesick, this library now houses over 350,000 books. 

Photo Source: Good Reads

I’d love to see all these libraries in the next two years and of course when I do, I’ll share my experience with you! What libraries would you like to see around the world? Are there any I should add to the list?

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