Beautiful Libraries

Top Ten

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Helsinki Library

Oodi Helsinki Library

Oodi is Helsinki's new Central Library and a living meeting place.
Its wide range of services are available to residents seven days
a week. Oodi functions as a living room for residents.
In addition to the library, it has spectacular terraces where
your can watch movies, live performances, try 3D printing
and dine in one of the two cafe's.

Abbey Library

Abbey Library, St. Gallen, Switzerland (Source: The Telegraph)

This library founded in the 7th century by the Irish monk Gallus, was
once considered one of the chief intellectual centers in Western
Europe. This building was remodeled during the Baroque period
maintaining its emphasis on housing intellectual treasures dating back
one thousand years. The Abbey was added to the UNESCO World
Heritage site list in the 1980'

Tianjin Binhai Library

Binhai Library, Tianjin, China (Source: The Telegraph)

This modern library, nicknamed The Eye, was completed in 2017
in Tianjin, China. It is a striking example of modern architecture
and is part of the regional Binhai Cultural Center. The building
is a multi-stored tiered structure which can hold over
1.35 million books. A popular cultural attraction, recent social
media reports suggest that many of the books in the
protruding upper tiers in the interior are just painted
replicas on make-do walls.

Abmont Abbey Library

Abmont Abbey Library, Austria

Many western Europe libraries were built as part of Abbeys. The
Admont Library is one of the largest of such book depositories.
Completed in 1776, the design was in line with the Enlightenment
paying particular attention to rooms filled with light. Ceiling
frescoes add to beauty of library. A popular tourist site,
the open structure makes touring the 70,000-book facility easy.


The Public Library Stuttgart

The Public Library, Stuttgart, Germany (Source: The Telegraph)

This grey concrete cube shaped library was completed in 2011.
The intriguing entrance to the building was inspired by the
"Cenotaph for Newton" has nine stories. It is a public library and
is 20,225 sq. meters in area. By intent of the city of Stuttgart
planners, the library is located in the center of town and is
pointedly intended to be the centerpiece of a new
intellectual and cultural center.

Philips Exeter Library

Philips Exeter Library, New Hampshire. (Source: The Telegraph)

An unusual entry into a list of the most beautiful libraries this
preparatory school facility located in Exeter, New Hampshire,
United States. The school’s library dates to the early 1800s,
but its current edifice was completed in 1972. The book
repository has over 160,000 volumes, one of the largest such
collections of any secondary school in the world.

Los Angeles Library

Los Angeles Library, California, USA.

The Los Angeles Central Library is one of 86 branches of the
Los Angeles public library system. Located in downtown
Los Angeles, the original building was constructed in 1926. In
1993 an addition, named after former LA mayor Tom Bradley,
was built. The edifice is a designated Los Angeles Historic
Cultural Monument. It is considered, along with the Bradbury
Building and Union Station as downtown Los Angeles
architectural treasures.

National Central Library, Taiwan. (Source: National Geographic)

A pride of the nation of Taiwan, the National Central Library is the
sole national library in Taiwan. It boasts one of the leading
collections of Chinese antique books and manuscripts in the
world. The library also supports a variety of Chinese research
projects throughout the world. Opened in Taiwan in 1949,
the library holds over 4 million books and documents.


Municipal Library, Portugal. (Source: National Geographic)

Portugal is known as a book lovers’ destination of choice. The
Municipal Library of Portugal is a splendid example of why this
is the case. Dating back to 1842, at which time the library held
over 36,000 volumes plus 300 manuscript codices, it was
transformedinto a municipal library in 1877. The library’s
interior is one of the most photographed in the world.


Carnegie Library

Carnegie Library, Washington, D.C.

The Carnegie Library of Washington D.C., also known as the
Central Public Library, is situated in Mount Vernon Square, Washington, DC.

Donated to the public by entrepreneur Andrew Carnegie,
it was dedicated on January 7, 1903. It was the first public library.
It was also D.C.'s first desegregated public building. In December 2016
an agreement was made with Apple to open a store in the library.

The store opened on May 11, 2019.


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