8 Amazing and Unusual Libraries

From the United States to Germany, here are some of the most beautiful and unusual libraries found in the world. Perfect for book-lovers out there!

Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading, Rio de Janeiro

The doors of this massive library were opened in 1887, bringing a nearly endless collection of Portuguese texts to readers in Rio de Janeiro, then the capital of the Empire of Brazil. The cabinet was founded in 1822 by a trio of Portuguese immigrants who wanted to bring their country’s literary tradition to the newly independent nation of Brazil, which had previously been a Portuguese colony since 1500. The collection’s current home was built specifically to house their growing collection, and was designed to evoke a Gothic-Renaissance influence that was popular at the time. At 350,000 titles, the collection soon became the largest collection of Portuguese works outside of Portugal. Today, the collection receives around 6,000 new titles a year and the collection is rising towards 400,000 volumes. (Photo credit: https://riotimesonline.com)

Library of Congress 

The Library of Congress (LOC) is the research library that officially serves the United States Congress and is the de facto national library of the United States. It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. The Library is housed in three buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. The Library of Congress claims to be the largest library in the world. Its “collections are universal, not limited by subject, format, or national boundary, and include research materials from all parts of the world and in more than 450 languages.”

Binhai Library in Tianjin, China

Located in the Binhai Cultural District in Tianjin, the five-story library, which was designed by Dutch design firm MVRDV in collaboration with the Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute (TUPDI) and has since been dubbed “The Eye of Binhai”, covers 34,000 square metres and can hold up to 1.2 million books. Taking just three years to complete, the library features a reading area on the ground floor, lounge areas in the middle sections and offices, meeting spaces, and computer/audio rooms at the top. (Photo credit: https://www.boredpanda.com)

Stadtbibliothek Stuttgart

The new city library in Stuttgart is one of the largest public libraries in the world and with the new construction is a milestone in the cultural landscape and in the accessibility of knowledge and education as a social element in Stuttgart. It is organized as a department of the city’s cultural office and comprises the central library, 17 city district libraries, and two bookmobiles. In 2013, it received the national award as Library of the Year. (Photo credit: geheimtippstuttgart.de)

Starfield Library in Seoul

The Starfield Library is quickly becoming one of Korea’s best attractions. It’s a part of COEX Mall making it the perfect reprieve for those who’ve been shopping all day. It’s a two-story library that’s open to the public, free of charge. Starfield Library has over 50,000 books and magazines. If you prefer reading electronically, however, they also have iPads.

Library of Parliament

The Library of Parliament (French: Bibliothèque du Parlement) is the main information repository and research resource for the Parliament of Canada. The main branch of the library sits at the rear of the Center Block on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, and is the last untouched part of that larger building’s original incarnation after it burned down in 1916. The library has been augmented and renovated a number of times since its construction in 1876, the last between 2002 and 2006, though the form and decor remain essentially authentic. The building today serves as a Canadian icon, and appears on the obverse of the Canadian ten-dollar bill. (Photo credit: parl.ca)

National Library of Belarus

The National Library of Belarus is the biggest library in the Republic of Belarus, a landlocked country in Eastern Europe bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west and and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. The library is located in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. The library’s main architectural component has the shape of a rhombicuboctahedron. The height of the building is 241.5 feet and weight is 115 000 tones (not including books). The building has 23 floors. The National Library can seat about 2,000 readers and features a 500-seat conference hall. It houses the largest collection of Belarusian printed materials and the third largest collection of books in Russian. (Photo credit: wikiwand.com)

Librarymotorcar

Meet Antonio La Cava, a retired Italian teacher who travels around the country in his “bibliomotocarro” or “librarymotorcar” to get children excited about books.


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