Silence, reflection and… admiration! In the libraries we have selected, it will be very difficult to focus on your research since you have only one desire: raise your eyes to admire their fantastic architecture! In tribute to these temples of knowledge that still resist the digital invader, Petit Smart takes you from Brazil to Morocco to discover the most beautiful libraries in the world.
N ° 10 - The Stuttgart Library, a flagship monument
It's impossible to miss when you visit Stuttgart, the city library serves as a landmark in the city! Conceived by the Korean architect Eun Young Yi and built in 2011, this 9-story building is shining throughout the day before illuminating blue at night. Its very modern architecture and immaculate interior give it an impressive impression.
# 9 - The Admont Abbey Library, Monacal Treasure
Located on the Enns River in Austria, the Benedictine Abbey of Admont houses the world's largest monacal libraries, built in 1776. Among the 200,000 preserved volumes are precious pieces such as the Diderot Encyclopedia and Alembert, Martin Luther's Bible and sumptuous medieval manuscripts. Its 7 baroque cupolas decorated with frescoes of Bartolomeo Altomonte are architectural wonders.
N ° 8 - The National Library of the Czech Republic, Baroque Jewel
Located in the Clementinum, Prague, the Baroque building of the Czech National Library houses over 20,000 important theological and medical works. If its areas exceed you, just contemplate the beauty of the places. The frescoes of the ceiling painted by Jan Hiebl in 1727 represent science. Curious travelers will also appreciate the sublime collection of Earth globes!
No. 7 - The Unusual Kansas City Public Library
There is nothing more commonplace than finding books in a library, of course. But at the library in Kansas City, Missouri, the books in question are almost 8 m long and form an entire wall of the building! This unusual architecture was intended by the municipality itself, which conducted a survey among readers to find out which books deserved to be represented. There are gigantic reproductions of the Lord of the Rings of Tolkien or Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. A real call to reading!
N°6 - The Library of Alexandria, a real phoenix
Built in 288 BC and destroyed before 642, the Library of Alexandria in Egypt was the largest in antiquity. In 1995, as part of a UNESCO project, a new building was built on its site: the Alexandrina Library. Opened in 2002, it houses the world's largest reading room, occupying seven floors! Its modern architecture leaves a special place for history and recalls the evolution of writing, from papyrus to the Internet. A phoenix library that appeals to all readers!
N°5 - The Sainte-Geneviève library, the soul of the Latin Quarter
If you stroll around the 5th arrondissement of Paris, don't miss entering the Sainte-Geneviève library! A stone's throw from the Sorbonne and the Pantheon, this prestigious establishment was intended to house the library of Sainte-Geneviève Abbey, founded in the 6th century by Clovis and destroyed during the Revolution. It has now become an emblem of knowledge in Paris, often praised by great French authors such as Honoré de Balzac or Simone de Beauvoir.
N°4 - The Real Gabinete Português de Leitura, a historical splendour
Little visited, the Real Gabinete Português de Leitura de Rio de Janeiro is nevertheless a must in the Maravilhosa cidade. Founded in 1837 by Portuguese immigrants, it now houses more than 350,000 volumes. Its neomanueline style, that of the Portuguese king Manuel I, is notable for its façade in Lisbon limestone. The main reading room is of breathtaking beauty! To discover absolutely!
No. 3 - The Secret Apostolic Library of the Vatican
It is the State Library of the Holy See. Founded by Popes Nicholas V and Sixtus IV in the 15th century, it is one of the oldest in the world. Today, it has more than 50,000 manuscripts, 7,000 incunabula and many secret archives! The most precious document is certainly a papyrus from the year 200 with the Gospels of Luke and John on it: a real treasure. Unfortunately only accessible to authorized researchers, the library has digitized many of its most valuable manuscripts for online consultation
# 2 - The mythical Al Quaraouiyine library of Fez
Located in the historic Fez University, in the Moroccan Middle Atlas, the Al Quaraouiyine library is the oldest in the world. This historic prestige brings him to the second step of this ranking. Founded between 859 and 877, it is a true jewel of knowledge that can be accessed again since 2016 thanks to numerous restoration works that have preserved the integrity of this beautiful Arabo-Andalusian style building.
# 1 - The fascinating library of Trinity College Dublin
Trinity College is one of the world's most renowned universities. Founded in 1592, it houses a splendid library with a £ 5 million library! His dark alleys inspire meditation and reflection, like the big ones who studied on his benches many years ago, such as Samuel Beckett and Oscar Wilde. The library's most remarkable document is The book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript dating back to 820.