Libraries have long stood as the greatest symbol of our intellectual development…


Many have been built on a grand scale, their creators sparing no expense. Despite the passage of time, some of these great public buildings still have the power to astound. In fact, there are very few modern libraries which have the ability to match these older ’temples of knowledge’.

Here are 25 of the most surprising, astounding, incredible and beautiful libraries around the world.

The National Library of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic

Admont Abbey Library, Admont, Austria

Trinity College Library, Dublin, Ireland

The Royal Portuguese Library, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

George Peabody Library, Baltimore, USA

The St. Florian Monastery Library, Linz-Land District, Austria

The National Library of France, Paris, France

The National Library of the Netherlands, The Hague, Netherlands

Austrian National Library, Vienna, Austria

The Joanina Library, Coimbra, Portugal

Stuttgart Municipal Library, Stuttgart, Germany

University of Iowa Law Library, Des Moines, USA

Science Library, Görlitz, Germany

The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, New Haven, USA

French Senate Library, Paris, France

The New York Public Library, New York, USA

Walker Library, Minneapolis, USA

Vennesla Library, Vennesla, Norway

Mazarine Library, Paris, France

Library of St. John’s College, Cambridge, Britain

The Library of Congress, Washington, USA

Library of the Technical University, Iassi, Romania

Library of Sárospatak Reformed College, Sárospatak, Hungary

The National Library of China, Beijing