If you love books, libraries are some of the most spectacular buildings in the world. To celebrate these monumentally important buildings, we’ve complied a list of the most magnificent libraries on the planet. From a library hidden in the forests of Beijing to one in Egypt that was designed like a sundial, these are the libraries that all book lovers should visit in their lifetime.
The Admont Library in Admont, Austria
Located in the foothills of the Alps, this beautiful library is the second largest monastery library in the world. The library hall was designed in the late Baroque style by the architect Joseph Hueber in 1776 with a nearly 230-foot-long hall that contains 200,000 volumes.
George Peabody Library in Baltimore, Maryland, USA
The Peabody Library was funded by the the philanthropist George Peabody. Peabody built the library as a gift to the citizens of Baltimore for their kindness and hospitality.
Designed by 19th-century architect Edmund Lind, Peabody is known for its interior that has a soaring atrium. The five stories of cast-iron balconies are filled to the brim with books, and the skylight roof showers the library in natural light.
You can walk the 896 steps to the observation level, but we’ll take the elevator. Once at the top enjoy an unrivaled view of the Capitol and beyond. The Washington Monument was formally dedicated on February 22, 1885, and at the time of its construction, it was the tallest building in the world; it remains the tallest stone structure in the world.
The little gift shop and cafe has pretty decent sandwiches, hot dogs and drinks and you can sit outside, relax and enjoy the view.
Liyuan Library in Beijing, China
Located in a small village outside of Beijing, the singlestory library blends into its forest surroundings. The library is made from timber beams and its exterior is covered in sticks, according to dezeen. The light of the library comes from the cracks in the twig frame. The building may be covered in firewood but it has a very advanced integrated cooling system that draws in cold air from the lake it sits on. The library is also completely eco-friendly and made from all recyclable material. Plus, it looks like an incredibly cozy place to sit and read a book.