The World's Most Beautiful & Unique Libraries

Books have been inspiring people from all walks of life for many centuries, not least the architects who build the libraries to house them!

From the Vatican library, established more than 500 years ago, to modern buildings that are pushing the boundaries of the avant-garde such as The Czech Republic's proposed new national library, these six websites will take you on a tour of some of the most beautiful, inspiring and, occasionally, downright weird library buildings to be found in our wide world....

Travel community matadornetwork offers photos of 15 extraordinary library buildings from Colombia to Belarus.

The Huffington Post has run a number of features on libraries such as this collection of seven libraries including the Canadian Library of Parliament in Ottawa, designed in High Victorian Gothic Revival style, and this collection which includes the library at New Hampshire's Phillips Exeter Academy, which claims to be the largest secondary school library in the world.

Canadian Library of Parliament Phillips Exeter Academy
The Library of Parliament, Ottawa, Canada
Phillips Exeter Academy Library designed by Louis Kahn


The Swiss based size miragebookmark.ch, a resource for all things related to bookmarks, contrasts both ancient and modern from the Library of the Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial in Spain to the Royal Library Black Diamond in Copenhagen. Oddee offers its list of the world's 20 most beautiful libraries; while the weburbanist gathers together fifteen very modern libraries including Prague's proposed octopus shaped library.

Vatican Library
Czech Republic National Library
The Sistine Hall of The Vatican Library, one of the oldest libraries in the world, formally established in 1475 but considered to be much older.
The proposed National Library of the Czech Republic in Prague designed by Jan Kaplicky. The building was slated for completion in 2011 but appears to have been put on permanent hold.


Lastly, thegreatgeekmanual offers up two picture tours, one of libraries in the USA, and the other of libraries worldwide

The Library of the Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial Public Library in Guangzhou
The Library of the Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain
Conceptual design of the new public library in Guangzhou, China, apparently the winning design from 13 proposals


What's your favorite library building?

I think the Parliament in Ottawa would entice me to just get lost in a good book!
# Posted By Joyce | 3/26/11 11:45 AM
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