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The Most Magnificent Libraries In The World

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Before the widespread use of the internet, libraries were considered the best place to read, research, and study.  For true bookworms, libraries were and probably still are, a slice of heaven.

Here are some of the most beautiful libraries around the world.

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Admont Abbey Library – Admont, Austria

The largest monastery library in the world.  Built in 1776 and designed by architect Joseph Hueber.  The ceiling’s frescoes were painted by Bartolomeo Altomonte and sculptures by Josef Stammel.

Habsburger | Wikipedia | Twisted Sifter 
Wikimedia Commons 

Jorge Royan | Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported 

Library of Strahov Monastery - Prague, Czech Republic

Founded in 1143 by Bishop Olomouc, Jindoich Zdik with support from the Prague bishops Jan and Ota, Prince (and later king of Bohemia) Vladislay, and his wife Gertrude.  The Theological Hall of the library was built under Abbot Jeronyn Hirnhaim (1671-1679) with architect Giovanni Domennico Orsi.

Telegraph | Strahovsky Klaster 
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Abbey Library of Saint Gall – St. Gallen, Switzerland

One of the oldest and most prestigious libraries in Switzerland.  Built between 1755 to 1767 and founded by Saint Othmar.  It is also known as the Stiftsbibliothek of St. Gallen.  In 1983, it was listed as a World Heritage site by Unesco.

WikiMedia Commons | Stiftsbibliothek St. Gallen | the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported | Transferred from de.wikipedia to Commons.

George Peabody Library, Johns Hopkins University – Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Founded by American-British entrepreneur and philanthropist, George Peabody.  This library was designed by architect Edmund G. Lind, in collaboration with the first Peabody provost, Dr. Nathaniel H. Morison.  It opened to the public in 1878.  Formerly called the Library of the Peabody Institute of the City of Baltimore.

Wikipedia/George Peabody Library | Matthew Petroff | Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported | JHU Library | Wikipedia/George Peabody | JHU Library - Peabody Events 

Melk Monastery Library – Melk, Austria

This is a two-story library, with a ceiling fresco by Paul Troger on the lower floor and another by Johann Wenzel Bergl on the upper floor.  The library consists of twelve rooms, holding about 100,000 volumes of books.  The monastery was originally a palace.

Wikipedia | Emgonzalez | public domain | AEIOU Encyclopedia

Altenburg Abbey Library - Altenburg, Austria

This three-story library was built in 1740.  It was designed by Josef Muggenast and ceiling’s frescoes were created by Paul Troger.  A large crypt beneath the library is decorated with many frescoes by unknown artists.

Telegraph | Wikipedia/Altenburg Abbey | 

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Biblioteca Joanina- Coimbra, Portugal

Built between 1717 and 1728, Biblioteca Joanina was designed by architect Gaspar Ferreira during the reign of King João V. Ceilings were painted by Lisbon artist Simões Ribeiro and Vicente Nunes, The library has 250,000 books, with many dating back to between the 12th and 19th centuries.

Will Pryce | EZ Portugal | Visit Portugal
Wikimedia Commons | 

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The Library of El Escorial - Madrid, Spain

Located inside the El Escorial Monastery which was listed as World Heritage site by Unesco in 1984.  Built in 1592, The Library of El Escorial was designed by Juan de Herrera, who also designed the shelves of the library and Pellegrino Tibaldi frescoed the ceilings.

Telegraph | El-Escorial | WHC - UNESCO  | Wikipedia/El Escorial 
Wikipedia  |  

Xauxa Håkan Svensson | Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

National Library of France – Paris, France

Originally a royal library founded at the Louvre by Charles V in 1368.  In 1692, it was opened to the public and was transformed into the Bibliothèque de la Nation during the French Revolution (1789-1799).

Wikipedia | Vincent Desjardins |  Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic | Flickr: France, Paris : Bibliothèque nationale de France, site Richelieu, salle ovale 1897-1936 

Wiblingen Monastery Library - Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

Located in  the North wing of the monastery and is known for its Rococo interior design style.  It was completed in 1744 under the supervision of Christian Wiedemann’s nephew Johann Wiedemann.

Wikipedia  | 

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