Have you ever been struck by the incredible beauty of an historic library? These buildings are cocoons of history and cultural richness, as well as endless sources of knowledge that will blow your mind away. Besides, they have an amazing architecture which takes any visitor’s breath away due to its greatness. If you love history and books, the world’s most incredible libraries will make you feel at home.
Take a look at Design Limited Edition‘s selection of the 7 most impressive libraries around the world.
1. Wiblingen Monastery Library, Germany
Outside the library there is an inscription reading “In quo omnes thesauri sapientiae et scientiae,” which translates to “In which are stored all treasures of knowledge and science.” Wiblingen Monastery Library was built in 1744 in a Baroque style, inspired by the Austrian National Library.
2. The Library of El Escorial, Spain
This royal library was built inside the historical residence of the king of Spain. It was during Phillip II reign that the library was added, as well as most of the books originally held within. The incredible ceilings were painted with gorgeous frescoes, each representing one of the seven liberal arts: rhetoric, dialectic, music, grammar, arithmetic, geometry and astronomy. The library is a World Heritage Site and holds more than 40,000 volumes.
3. Biblioteca Geral, University of Coimbra, Portugal
The General Library of the University of Coimbra is devided between a new building built in 1962, and by the historical Joanina Library built in 1725. The Joanina Library is adorned with Baroque décor and houses the library’s volumes that date from before 1800.
4. Abbey Library of St. Gallen, Switzerland
Abbey Library of St. Gallen is not only the oldest library in Switzerland but also one of the oldest and most important monastery libraries in the world, holding over 160,000 volumes many of which date back as far as the 8th century.
5. Admont Abbey Library, Austria
This is the largest monastery library in the world. The ceiling is adorned with frescoes depicting the stages of human knowledge up until the Divine Revelation. The entire design reflects the ideals and values of the Enlightenment. Admont Abbey Library was built in 1776.
6. The Tianyi Pavilion Library, China
The Tianyi Pavilion Library is a reflection of the real traditional Chinese architecture. Located in Ningbo City, this library is home to the oldest private library in Asia. With 300,000 ancient books, this impressive book collection includes a number of woodcut and handwritten titles.
7. National Library of the Palace of Mafra
The Rococo library is one of the highlight of the iconic Mafra palace, rivalling the grandeur of the library of the Melk Abbey in Austria. The magnificent floor of this cross designed space is covered with tiles of rose, grey and white marble. The library contains over 35,000 leather-bound volumes, attesting of the extent of western knowledge from the 14th to the 19th century.