08 Aug Top 5 Best Libraries from Around the World
Have you ever wondered how many books there are in the world? According to research from 2010, there’s about 130 million — which doesn’t include the past 9 years of publication.
Written texts are how we’ve preserved information throughout mankind, prior to the Internet of course.
If you want to honor and admire our species’ desire to record and pass on information, check out some of the best libraries in the world.
Here are five of them to get you thinking, reading, and traveling in the right direction.
1. Bibliotheca Alexandria
Located in Alexandria, Egypt, this library was built in 2002 to serve as a commemoration to the original library.
The original library of Alexandria was a place for scholars to gather and study. It was destroyed in the 3rd century and perhaps held the most written texts in the world at the time.
Historians debate details surrounding it, including its demise.
The new structure mimics a sundial, tilting toward the Meditteranean with high glass ceilings. Inside, you’ll find papyrus scrolls and space which can hold 12 million books.
2. Vatican Library
Built in 1451, the Vatican Library in Rome boasts abundant Renaissance literature and art.
The ceilings are tall and covered with colorful paintings. The doorways arch and invite you to discover the rich history and culture within them.
The Vatican Library holds rare items such as Galileo Galilei’s Sunspot Observation, which was the document that proved the sun changes, as well as Homer’s Illiad.
3. Livraria Lello
Okay, this one is technically a bookstore in Porto, Portugal.
We felt inclined to include it because it’s an iconic destination for Harry Potter fans. J.K. Rowling lived in Porto for a couple of years and the city inspired her magical series.
If you can manage to visit Livraria Lello, whether you like Harry Potter or not, do it. The store holds books from floor to ceiling, with an immaculate red staircase that bends in unusual ways to upper floors.
People call it the world’s most beautiful bookstore.
4. Picture Book Library
Tadao Ando created a library in Iwaki City, Japan, that considers children and adults alike.
This library is a place for kids to be kids. The bathrooms and stair rails accommodate the small and grown, and the bookshelves offer book covers face-out. This allows easy reading selections based on the pictures and also acts as art on the walls.
You don’t have to be or have children to enjoy this modern library.
5. The Place With The Most Libraries in the World
The Czech Republic has one library for every 1,971 citizens. That’s 4 times as many in Europe and 10 times as many in the United States, per capita.
One of these is the National Library of the Czech Republic in Prague. Built in 1722, it holds over 20,000 volumes of theological literature.
The ceiling paintings offer allegorical motifs of education and prominent people while creating a warm, cozy atmosphere to curl up and read a book.
Keep Reading, Keep Exploring
We could dream and write forever about the greatest libraries in the world.
I mean, who doesn’t love the smell of new and old books?
Plan a visit to one of these beautiful homes of knowledge, and in the meantime, keep reading our blog to grow your own internal library (your brain!)