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.

beautiful libraries paris

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.

beautiful libraries portuguese reading room

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.

beautiful libraries liyuan china

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.

beautiful libraries peabody baltimore

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.

beautiful libraries admont austria

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.

beautiful libraries colombia

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.

beautiful libraries nypl

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.

beautiful libraries india1

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.

beautiful libraries denmark

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.

jillian quint
Jillian Quint

Editor-in-Chief, Avid Reader, Wallpaper Enthusiast

Jillian Quint is the Editor-in-Chief of PureWow, where she oversees the editorial staff and all the fabulous content you read every day. Jillian began her career as a book editor...
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