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Saturday, February 17, 2024

Ten Magnificent Historic Libraries (That You Can Nonetheless Go to Right this moment)

After we first trav­el some­the place, we see noth­ing fairly so clear­ly because the usu­al cat­e­gories of vacationer des­ti­na­tion: the mon­u­ments, the muse­ums, the restau­rants. Take one step deep­er, and we discover our­selves in locations like cafés and guide­shops, the lat­ter espe­cial­ly hav­ing explod­ed in touris­tic enchantment over the previous few years. Take Por­to’s grand Livraria Lel­lo, which payments itself as “probably the most beau­ti­ful guide­retailer on the earth” — and has arguably carried out so too suc­cess­ful­ly, hav­ing drawn crowds massive sufficient to neces­si­tate a cov­er cost. Per­haps we’d have a wealthy­er expe­ri­ence if we spent much less time within the livrarias and extra within the bib­liote­cas.

That, in any case, is the impres­sion giv­en by the Kings and Issues video above, which presents “Ten Magazine­nif­i­cent His­tor­i­cal Libraries,” two of them locat­ed in Por­tu­gal. Stand­ing on a hill­high over­look­ing Coim­bra, the Bib­liote­ca Joan­i­na “is sump­tu­ous­ly dec­o­rat­ed in Baroque fash­ion,” and “con­tains intri­cate­ly carved fur­ni­ture and guide­cabinets made from exot­ic woods in addition to ivory, and is embell­ished with chilly and chi­nois­erie motif.” As for the cen­turies-old vol­umes on these cabinets, they continue to be in excel­lent con­di­tion due to the Bib­liote­ca Joan­i­na’s being certainly one of solely two libraries outfitted with “a colony of bats to professional­tect the books from bugs.”

The oth­er is in Lis­bon’s, Mafra Palace, which “con­tains what’s arguably one of many world’s most beau­ti­ful libraries.” Com­plet­ed in 1755, it’s decked out with guide­cabinets “dec­o­rat­ed within the Roco­co model.” The stretch of the aes­thet­ic spec­trum between Baroque and Roco­co dom­i­nates this video, all of its libraries hav­ing been constructed within the eigh­teenth and 9­teenth cen­turies. Unsur­pris­ing­ly, most of them are within the Outdated World, from the Saint Gall Abbey in Switzer­land to the Library of Trin­i­ty Col­lege Dublin to the Nation­al Library of France (the Riche­lieu web site within the thir­teenth arrondisse­ment, not the mod­ern François-Mit­ter­rand Website decried in W. G. Sebald’s Auster­litz).

Instra­gram­ma­ble although they could have grow to be this present day, these ven­er­a­ble libraries all — in contrast to many tourist-spot guide­shops, the place you may’t hear your­self suppose for all of the Eng­lish con­ver­sa­tions happening round you — encour­age the spend­ing of not mon­ey however time. They wel­come the trav­el­er look­ing not sim­ply to hit twen­ty cap­i­tals in a dozen days, however to construct a long-term rela­tion­ship with a spot. And never simply the trav­el­er in Europe: the video additionally features a des­ti­na­tion within the Unit­ed States, the “cathe­dral of books” that’s Bal­ti­extra’s George Peabody Library. The true con­nois­seur will, after all, fol­low a vis­it to that august insti­tu­tion by tak­ing the Sil­ver Line north to hit up Nor­mals Books & Information.

Relat­ed con­tent:

The Rise and Fall of the Nice Library of Alexan­dria: An Ani­mat­ed Intro­duc­tion

Behold 3,000 Dig­i­tized Man­u­scripts from the Bib­lio­the­ca Palati­na: The Moth­er of All Medieval Libraries Is Get­ting Recon­struct­ed On-line

How you can Learn Many Extra Books in a 12 months: Watch a Quick Doc­u­males­tary Fea­tur­ing A number of the World’s Most Beau­ti­ful Ebook­shops

What Was Actu­al­ly Misplaced When the Library of Alexan­dria Burned?

The Final Ebook­retailer: A Quick Doc­u­males­tary on Per­se­ver­ance & the Love of Books

Based mostly in Seoul, Col­in Marshall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His initiatives embrace the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the guide The State­much less Metropolis: a Stroll by Twenty first-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video sequence The Metropolis in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­guide.

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