There exist people, like me, who can spend hours on end in a library and lose themselves there forgetting about the world that is thriving outside.
Many people think that reading books is a headache and it is better to stare at the idiot box instead. As opposed to that, immersing oneself in a book and creating a world of their own is much more attractive to others. Now imagine this world accompanied by some extremely stunning surroundings and setups. Nothing like it, isn’t it so?
Then let’s plunge in and take a look at the five most beautiful libraries around the world which will take our breath away with its surroundings and just as well with their books.
1. BIBLIOTHECA ALEXANDRINA, ALEXANDRIA
Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the very name meaning ‘Library of Alexandria’ in English is the cultural seat of Alexandria, Egypt. The library is the commemoration of the Ancient Library of Alexandria, which was a dedication to the Muses, the nine goddesses of arts.
Built by Ptolemy I Soter, a Macedonian general and successor of Alexander the Great, it was said to have ‘burned down’, taking down with it several scrolls and books, the destruction becoming a symbol for the loss of cultural knowledge. Built in 1974, the new library was built in an attempt to revive some of the magnificence that the centre of learning and scholarship used to represent back in the day.
2. BODLEIAN LIBRARY AND DIVINITY SCHOOLS, DUBLIN
A library of legal deposit for four hundred years. The Bodleian Library is one of the oldest libraries in the whole of Europe.
Established in 1602 by Sir Thomas Bodley, a former fellow in the Merton College, the roots of this library date back even further. The old library was founded in the fourteenth century under the will of Thomas Cobham, Bishop of Worcester but, underwent a period of decline in the late sixteenth century. The Bodleian Library contains around two thousand books with an elaborately ornamented Benefactor’s Register prominently displayed, to encourage donations.
3. BIBLIOTECA MEDICEA LAURENZIANA, FLORENCE
A historic library in Florence, Italy, the Laurentian Library was built under the patronage of the Medici pope, Clement VII.
It was necessary to emphasize that the Medici were no longer merchants but members of the intelligent and ecclesiastical society which is why the library was built. Containing more than 11000 manuscripts and 4500 early printed books. The library keeps manuscripts and books which earlier belonged to the private library of the Medici family.
4. AUSTRIAN NATIONAL LIBRARY
Originally called the Imperial Court Library, the library was found by the Hapsburgs in 1368. With more than twelve million items in its various collections. The library complex includes four museums with multiple special collections and archives.
Since 2005, some of the elaborate collections have been relocated with the baroque structure of the Palais Mollard-Clary.
5. BIBLIOTECA NAZIONALE MARCIANA, VENICE
A Renaissance building in Venice. This library is one of the earliest surviving public manuscript depositories in the country of Italy. The library holds the greatest collections of classical texts in the world. The library had been named after St. Mark, the Patron Saint of Venice.
As much as we would like to visit these age-old libraries and explore them from end to end, reading the books, the surroundings are reason enough to keep us transfixed with the intricate architecture and breathtaking paintings. So while on a world tour do not only visit museums and churches but try and take a look at these libraries as well.