5 Breathtaking Libraries In The World Every Reader Should Visit

With one-of-a-kind architecture and impressive art collections these picturesque spaces are more than just a library!


A sanctuary for curious minds, a library is a portal to the world of knowledge, fantasy and so much more! Without any doubt, libraries can be called informational treasure troves of past, present and future. Here, towering books whisper secrets from dusty shelves in huge hushed halls. And some libraries look as if you’re stepping into a royal palace. These beautiful  historic libraries are more than just repositories of books, they are a marvel of architecture. Some are hundreds of years old and part of history, while others house impressive art collections. You can spend an entire noon in these stunning libraries with details like unending ceilings, ingenious designs, and soft light streaming through floor-to-ceiling windows. They’ll make a stellar stop on your next trip. So, whether you’re a literature lover or an architectural aficionado, add these libraries across the world to your bucket list.


Royal Portuguese Reading Room, Rio de Janeiro

Royal Portuguese Reading Room_

Just like its name, the Royal Portuguese Reading Room in Rio de Janeiro is every bit royal. In 1887, a group of Portuguese immigrants opened the doors of this humongous library to promote their culture in the Empire of Brazil. Boasting a neo-Gothic style structure, the library’s design was inspired by the Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon. The striking limestone exterior, intricate dark wood arches, and stained glass windows make it a three-storey haven for book lovers. The library’s collection of Portuguese texts—the largest outside home country—includes around 4,00,000 manuscripts, folios and books.


Abbey Library of Saint Gall, Switzerland

Abbey Library of st gall

Considered one of the oldest libraries in Europe, this library is designated as one of the world heritage sites. The library has intricate mouldings, baroque touches, and Rococo art. The library hall—designed by the architect Peter Thumb in a Rococo style—was constructed between 1758 and 1767. The library holds  a collection of 1,70,000 volumes and only a fraction of this impressive collection is on display. A 2,700-year-old Egyptian mummy brought back in the 19th century is one among all the other talking points for the library. 


Admont Abbey Library, Austria

Admont Abbey Library, Austria

The Admont Abbey Library, a great masterpiece of European Late Baroque, is considered the largest monastery library in the world. The library that looks like something out of a fairytale has seven ceiling frescoes that depict the stages of human knowledge viz. from thought and speech to the sciences—culminating in divine revelation in the central dome.  On the bookshelves beneath this dome, editions of the Bible and the Church Fathers can be found along with the northern side hall housing theological literature, while the southern hall encompasses works from various other fields. The library hall houses about 70,000 volumes while the Abbey’s entire collection of books consists of about 200,000 volumes.


George Peabody Library, Baltimore

George Peabody Library

One of the most beautiful libraries in the U.S, the George Peabody Library features a cathedral like-atrium, marble floors, and wrought-iron details. Adorned with gold leaves the Greco-Roman-revival columns of this library soar to the skies. A part of Johns Hopkins University, this library contains over 3,00,000 volumes stacked in five decorative tiers. The collection of the library is replete with treasures such as first editions of works by Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville. This gorgeous library also operates as an event venue, especially a  stunning  venue for weddings in Baltimore. 


Wiblingen Abbey Library, Germany

Wiblingen Library

A hidden library inside a German monastery, Wiblingen Abbey Library is a physical manifestation of a baroque (Western style of architecture) fairytale. The two-storey library boasts Rococo-style art and a rich palette of golds, pinks and blues. Besides the floor and ceiling, the room is mostly painted wood, crafted in the hyper-realistic style known as trompe l’oeil, or optical illusion. The library holds over 15,000 volumes. It also houses secret doorways to private rooms in the space.

FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites