Is there any place more beautiful than a library? Let's consider: it's stocked with books that you can borrow — for free! — and it’s a quiet respite from the real world. Plus, it allows you to dive into countless fictional worlds. My favorite activity as a kid (and an adult, let's be real) was going to the library during the summer. I would come home with stacks of books — everything from Goosebumps to Jane Austen. And though I have a special place in my heart from the libraries of my childhood, as a kid, I could have never dreamed of stepping into one of the world's most gorgeous libraries.
The truly beautiful part of libraries is, of course, the books. After all, these are the reason you come to the library in the first place, and they contain countless worlds and lives for you to experience. However, some libraries are just particularly beautiful. Every library has some beauty, because of the books, but there are several libraries around the world that every book-lover will take one look at and say, “OK, I live here now.” Here are some of the world’s most beautiful libraries. I promise, they will make every book-lover want to buy a plane ticket and travel to see them immediately.
1Clementinum National Library in Prague
Clementinum National Library, Czech Republic pic.twitter.com/G1dvz0uSLc— ELBORAعY (@ahmed_elbora3y) November 23, 2016
Built in 1722 and nicknamed "the Baroque pearl of Prague," this library is a old world book-lovers dream.
2. Iowa State Capitol Law Library, Iowa
Law Library at the Iowa State Capitol. pic.twitter.com/LrpQAGvrGr— AbelingProductions (@AbelingPhoto) January 5, 2017
Designed in the 1880s, this Renaissance library has everything you need to feel like literary princess.
3Bodleian Library, Oxford
This library will probably look familiar to Harry Potter fans, because it was used in the films as the Hogwarts library. Maybe you'll stumble across a few books by Nicholas Flamel inside.
4Stuttgart City Library, Germany
If ornate architecture isn't your style and you prefer books to shine in minimalist settings, the Stuttgart City Library is right up your alley. Designed by Korean architect Eun Young Yi, this library has 11 floors and an open plan, so you can look up and down and just see books, books, and more books.
5Library Of Congress, Washington D.C.
The D.C. Library of Congress is the oldest federal cultural institution in the U.S., and it's also the largest library in the world with 160,775,469 total items contained within. Needless to say, reading through this collection would keep you busy for a long, long time.
6Joanina Library, Portugal
This Baroque library is a National Monument filled with rare tomes. It's the perfect place to store these precious books, because the building is actually a vault, which means it has a stable environment year round.
7New York Public Library, New York
The New York Public Library...many days spent here... pic.twitter.com/7WkVWOrQgs— ⚘⚘Linda V ⚘⚘ (@Star54iwas) April 1, 2017
The NYPL is the fourth largest library in the world, and the second largest in the United States. Former New York Governor Samuel J. Tilden bequeathed his fortune upon his death to create a library in the city, and it's still open today.
8Biblioteca Vasconcelos, Mexico City
Designed by Mexican architect Alberto Kalach, this mega-library has transparent walls that make for excellent book-viewing.
9Boston Public Library, Massachusetts
Boston Public Library--a place to go and luxuriate amid books. pic.twitter.com/ZFf9uU4uUT— Mark Rubinstein (@mrubinsteinCT) March 31, 2017
This library was the first publicly supported library in the United States. It's a popular spot for weddings, but it's also just a fantastic place to spend an afternoon.
10Admont Abbey, Austria
This gorgeous library is known for its Baroque architecture and large monastic and scientific collection. There are gorgeous frescoes on the ceiling, and if you think this library looks familiar, that's probably because it looks just like the Beast's library in Beauty and the Beast. Dream come true.