9 of the World’s Most Beautiful Libraries
Indulge your inner bibliophile
Whether you're a voracious reader or you haven't picked up a book since college, swoon over these spectacular libraries.
Bibliotheque Sainte-Genevieve, France
One of the oldest abbeys in Paris, Sainte-Geneviève was founded in the sixth century. Many, many years later, it inspired American architect Charles Follen McKim, who designed the Boston Public Library.
Royal Portuguese Reading Room, Brazil
Built in the late 1880s, this Rio de Janeiro library houses more than 350,000 books on its stunning Gothic shelves.
Liyuan Library, China
This branch-covered building in Jiaojiehe was designed to blend into the forest in which it's located and has, unsurprisingly, won countless architectural prizes.
The George Peabody Library, Maryland
Though it serves as the research library for Baltimore's Johns Hopkins University, all of its volumes are available to the public, per the wishes of its namesake, an American entrepreneur.
Admont Abbey Library, Austria
The seven frescoes adorning the ceiling here were completed over the course of one summer by baroque painter Bartolomeo Altomonte, who was 80 years old at the time. So much for retirement.
Parque Biblioteca Espana, Colombia
Don't let the name fool you. Actually located in Medellín, these three buildings are meant to resemble stones and are illuminated at night. The project was funded by the Spanish government, hence the name.
New York Public Library
The fourth largest library in the world, the NYPL holds more than 53 million items and was built over 12 years using 530,000 cubic feet of marble.
Rampur Raza Library, India
The original manuscript of the first translation of the Qur'an is one of countless extraordinarily rare documents on the shelves of this palatial library in Uttar Pradesh.
Royal Library of Copenhagen, Denmark
Talk about comprehensive: This super-modern building holds almost every known Danish printed work, dating back to the first, which was produced in 1482.