Whether you’re a booklover or not, you can probably think of at least one title that’s really special to you. Well, imagine getting to pore over your favorite page turner, in one the most beautiful libraries on Earth!
When I was a kiddo, I LOVED visiting the library. There was one walking distance from my house, and I have the best memories of spending time there!
There was a children’s play area that looked just like a castle (complete with ivy), which no doubt fueled my current love for cultural spaces.
In honor of International Book Day, and National Library Week, I’m sharing 10 of the most beautiful libraries all across the world.
These magical spaces are major eye candy for any bibliophile, so go ahead and take a little virtual tour of them all, without leaving your home!
1. Admont Abbey Library, Austria
The world’s largest monastery library is also one of the most beautiful! Inside the Admont abbey library, you’ll find angelic baroque frescos keeping these ancient volumes company.
No wonder it served as inspiration for the Beast’s Library in the beloved Disney film Beauty & The Beast!
2. The Library of El Escorial, Spain
With more than 40,000 volumes, the great hall of the Library of El Escorial is nearly 180 feet of beauty!
The marble floors and intricately carved wooden shelves instantly made it one of the most beautiful libraries on Earth, and groundbreaking for the era in Spain.
3. Abbey Library of Saint Gall, Switzerland
The Abbey Library of Switzerland is one of the most important cultural centres in Europe, and one look at this architecture will tell you exactly why!
The delicate Rococo frescos and curved details make this breathtaking library somewhere we could all enjoy escaping for a few hours with a good read.
4. Royal Portuguese Reading Room, Brazil
In the center of the city of Rio de Janeiro, you’ll find one of Brazil’s most beloved spaces, and one of the most beautiful libraries on the planet.
The reading room leads your eyes up into the heavens with a magnificent chandelier and skylight – the first of its kind for the country.
5. The Morgan Library & Museum, New York
The Morgan Library is a major Manhattan landmark. It was once the private library of financier J. P. Morgan.
The library room was Morgan’s own personal study, and you really can see why it’s been called “one of the greatest achievements of American interior decoration”.
6. Trinity College Library, Ireland
The main chamber of the the Old Library at Trinity College in Dublin, is such an expansive space, it looks like it runs on forever!
Today the main chamber holds 200,000 of the library’s most precious books, and I don’t know about you, but there is something about this magical space that really makes me want to go watch Harry Potter!
7. Wiblingen Monastery Library
By now, it may seem like monasteries have the monopoly on the most beautiful libraries on Earth, right? Well, that’s because historically they have always been guardians of important works of literature.
Such is the case with the Wiblingen Monastery Library, known as one of the most beautiful examples of Rococo architecture. It’s hard not to be totally blown away by the colorful palette of this enchanting space!
7. Biblioteca Joanina, Portugal
This baroque beauty in Portugal is one of the world’s most impressive places to read, with three stories of incredible architecture.
All the rooms are brimming with gilded exotic hardwoods, which I’m sure has made those 200,000 volumes feel very cozy over the years!
8. Strahov Monastery Library, Czech Republic
The Theological Hall of The Strahov Monastery welcomes all of its guests, with a heavy dose of stucco glamour!
These intricate paintings and carvings survived major wars that caused serious damage to the building. It makes us feel all the more thankful to have the opportunity to behold these works of art today!
9. Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Paris
Oh la la! When I wrote my design lover’s guide to Paris, this showstopper should have definitely made the cut!
The National Library of France is one of the most beautiful on Earth, with thousands of priceless volumes that survived the French Revolution.
10. Hearst Castle Library, California
Bringing it home to (my current home state!), with the gorgeous Long Library inside the Hearst Castle.
The castle was once the opulent home of publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst. He often used this room to entertain guests beside his impressive collection of books, and beautiful ancient antiques.
Thanks so much for reading this roundup of the most beautiful libraries all across the world!
Which one of these place would you love to visit, with a copy of your favorite book? Let me know, and I’ll leave mine in the comments below!
Want to explore more even beautiful libraries? Take a peek inside one of my favorites in the U.S : The Huntington Library & Gardens. It’s also home to the most beautiful and elaborate botanical gardens in the world!