The most spectacular historical libraries in the world

They are wonderful spaces that treasure great jewels. Authentic guardians of the knowledge of humanity. But these historical libraries are more than shelves full of priceless treasures, are in themselves authentic works of art. We will visit the most beautiful.

Royal Library of El Escorial - Jose Maria Cuellar /

Founded by Felipe II in the Monastery of El Escorial, it reflects the humanist spirit of the time. Therefore, its main room is a place designed for study, with maps, mathematical instruments, armillary spheres or astrolabe, in addition to hundreds of books by ancient authors. Not forgetting its decoration, which highlights the magnificent frescoes, marble tables and beautiful shelves.

Joanina Library - Serge LAROCHE /

It is the great treasure of the University of Coimbra, a baroque work sponsored by King Juan V of Portugal.It is structured in three fabulous rooms whose walls are covered with oak shelves. And a curiosity, here inhabits a colony of bats, they are the ones who are responsible for keeping insects at bay that could damage their fabulous bibliographic background.

3. Royal Portuguese Reading Cabinet of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Royal Portuguese Reading Cabinet - Mayumi Ishikawa /

It was Portuguese immigrants who founded this library in 1837. However, the building that houses it is later, it was built in Neomanuelino style at the end of the 19th century. At highlights the spectacular Reading Room, with three levels and a careful and ostentatious decoration. A wonderful corner that you surely did not imagine in a city like Rio de Janeiro.

4. Historical libraries: Admont Monastery, Austria

Admont Monastery Library - Keith Ewing /

It is the largest monacal library in the world and one of the most beautiful. A huge room 70 meters long and 14 wide that holds about 70,000 volumes, some of them of enormous value. But not only must look at the shelves, but also at the ceiling, formed by seven domes magnificently decorated with frescoes alluding to the stages of human knowledge.

5. Library of the Monastery of San Florian, Austria

San Florián Monastery Library - Renate Dodell /

It belongs to one of the oldest monasteries in Austria. The library began to be built in the middle of the 18th century and houses more than 130,000 works. A space where you can also admire fabulous marquetry works made of noble woods and beautifully decorated ceilings with frescoes. During the Nazi occupation it was feared for her, since it was occupied by the German army.

6. National Library of Prague, Czech Republic

National Library of Prague - aldo_mx /

It is within the grounds of the Clementinum, one of the most important historical buildings in the Czech capital. Spectacular, with its ornate baroque decoration and its atmosphere from another era. Do not miss the frescoes, its Solomonic columns, or the terrestrial balloons in the center of this spectacular room. One of the most beautiful historical libraries in the world.

7. Trinity College Library, Dublin, Ireland

Trinity College Library - Jim Nix /

We are not going to the library of the oldest university in Ireland. In her highlights its magnificent Long Room, built in the early eighteenth century. In its shelves about two hundred thousand volumes are stored, the oldest in the university, including the Kells book, a manuscript in Latin of the ninth century. And throughout the salt, dozens of busts that seem to guard it.

8. San Galo Abbey Library, Switzerland

San Galo Abbey Library - Peter Thoeny /

It is the oldest library in Switzerland. Since its foundation, this monastery had an outstanding role in the arts and sciences, as well as an intense copy shop activity. Thanks to this it has a magnificent collection of manuscripts, some of them from the 8th century. Only its beautiful baroque room houses more than 50,000 volumes, including manuscripts and printed books.

9. National Library of Austria

National Library of Austria - Herbert Frank /

It has almost eight million volumes and occupies a wing of the Hofburg palace. But if there is something that stands out is its amazing main hall, 80 meters long and crowned by a dome decorated with impressive frescoes by court painter Daniel Gran. A spectacular room according to the splendor of Vienna in the early eighteenth century.

10. Adelaide State Library of South Australia

State Library of South Australia - Wes Eggins /

The last of the historical libraries that we are going to visit is in Australia. It opened in 1884 and It has several buildings, although the most impressive is Mortlock Wing, with its nineteenth-century decoration and its unique glass ceiling.

Cover photo: Gareth Cooper /

Video: The Worlds Most Magnificent Libraries (January 2020).