For every traveller, trip goals vary from person to person. While some look to soak up the sun, do outdoor activities like hiking or experience the nightlife; others want to immerse themselves in the local culture, learning languages, customs & getting a deeper understanding of the sights and sounds around them. Along with museums and galleries, libraries are just another look into the heart of a region. Typically, they are buildings that have stood there for anywhere from a few decades to a few centuries; being the only unchanging thing in a city or town that continues to grow around it. Between often breathtaking architecture to reading collections that would make any bookworm jealous, there's so much to appreciate about many of the world's libraries. Here, we take a look at some of the most beautiful libraries in the world.
Clementinum, PragueFounded in 1622, the library features surreal architecture and large murals on the ceiling, called frescas, depicting various scenes of science, nature and art.
New York Public Library
With giant bay windows and an even bigger collection of books, this massive library takes up approximately two New York city blocks; giving any avid reader tons to explore within its walls.
Austrian National LibraryWith an ode to Minerva, the Greek goddess of wisdom and schooling overlooking the main room, this palatial library is home to thousands of books, manuscripts and texts. The regal frescas and details make perfect sense, as this served as the official royal palace library until 1920 when control as given over to the state. Within the library, you can also find the Glob Museum; a showcase of a wide array of globes all made before 1850.
Handelingenkamer, NetherlandsWith a name that means "Old Library" in Dutch, it's no surprise that this one was built at the end of the 19th century. It houses the official collection of parliamentary proceedings and contains every recorded hearing and discussion
Palafoxiana Library, Mexico
Completed in 1773, Palafoxiana is said to be Mexico's first public library; but may also be the first in the Americas. Home to 41,000 books & other texts, the collection contains works from as far back at the 15th century. No matter which of these libraries you visit, be sure not to stop there! You may stumble across rare local works that lead you to other interesting places in the region and give you an ever better understanding of the country and literature. Especially for those hoping to learn the language of their destination, the library is a good place to start for suggested reading that will enrich your learning even further. For any of your expeditions, always be well-prepared and packed well using one of our Rise Gear bags!