Monday, March 16, 2009

The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries

“Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.” -Walter Cronkite

I don’t know of an author who doesn’t love libraries. Researching online, while convenient, doesn’t have the same appeal or ambience as a stroll between towering bookshelves. Okay, I admit it, my local library does not have towering bookshelves, but overall it’s a nice place to visit.

In the past, money must have poured in for the building of libraries. I say this after viewing the photos on Curious Expeditions. This site has what looks to be close to 100 fascinating photos of the world’s most beautiful libraries.

Originally built in the 1100s, the library at the Strahov Monestary in Prague now houses over 200,000 books and is divided into the Theological Hall and Philosophical Hall. Both are equally breathtaking.

I wouldn’t call the photo of the Hereford Cathedral Chained Library, Hereford, England, beautiful, but the chains hanging from the shelves make it interesting looking. Rare books were once kept chained to the bookshelf to prevent stealing, which I find rather ironic as the library is in a church.

The building, furniture, and much of the original collection at the Library of St. Walburga, Zutphen, Netherland, has been preserved from the 16th century.

I intended to select what I thought was the most beautiful library, but I couldn’t do it. Perhaps I need to see them in person to decide. If flying had not been turned into such an unpleasant experience, I might consider planning a library tour vacation. But, for now the photos will have to do.

Have you visited a library in this collection or visited one you think should be included?

Thanks for stopping by.

Tags: Cronkite, Curious Expeditions, libraries, Strahov Monestary, Hereford Cathedral, Library of St. Walburga,

9 comments:

L. Diane Wolfe said...

We went through several colleges in Oxford, England, but not sure if I saw the one featured or not...

L. Diane Wolfe
www.circleoffriendsbooks.blogspot.com
www.spunkonastick.net
www.thecircleoffriends.net

Helen Ginger said...

The Library of Congress is beautiful, I think.
Helen
http://straightfromhel.blogspot.com

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Jane-

I think a library tour vacation is a great idea...hmmm. Off to plan...

Marvin D. Wilson said...

Haven't visited those remarkable libraries. The one at the U of M is great, though. Loved the post and especially the title. Reminds me of the saying (bumper sticker?) "You think education is expensive? Try ignorance."

Lynnette Labelle said...

Ahhh! Libraries and bookstores. I could live in 'em.

Lynnette Labelle
http://lynnettelabelle.blogspot.com

A. K. said...

WOw! NEver knew that Libraries could be that fascinating!

Bob Sanchez said...

Jane, thank you for this great post! The Internet Review of Books (http://internetreviewofbooks.com) includes a photo of a library with each of its monthly issues, and we have had nothing like any of these.

I was recently in tiny Columbus, New Mexico and photographed their library, perhaps the most modest and least pretentious I have ever seen. But when a town is so small and has no money...

Bob Sanchez
http://bobsanchez1.blogspot.com

Christina E. Rodriguez said...

For me personally, the beauty of a library really lies within its quantity of books. My own local library, which I love since I can easily walk to it, has a fabulous state-wide Inter-library Lending system. As such, most of the money that was spent on this library went toward the renovations rather than acquiring new books. It's a beautiful library, but it rarely has what I need, so I have to wait for the books to be shipped from other libraries.

conarnold said...

Thank you for sharing about the libraries, Jane. I've never been to any of those, and I like your idea of a library tour vacation!

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