20 of the Most Beautiful Libraries in the World

I’ve always loved libraries. Even as a young boy I was a regular visitor to our local library where the world opened up to me through books and reading. Many years later I look back on those early reading experiences and I reflect on how they influenced some of my adventures around the world.

I hope you love libraries too. Here are twenty of the most beautiful libraries in the world.

Important Note: these are not my photos and credits are provided with a mouseover of each image.

1. Royal Monastery Library of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain

The Royal Library

2. Trinity College Library, Dublin

Trinity College Library

3. Admont Abbey Library, Austria

Admont Abbey Library

Photo Credit: “Austria – Admont Abbey Library – 1307” by © Jorge Royan / http://www.royan.com.ar. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

4. The Gothic Study in Hearst Castle on the Central Coast of California, USA

The Gothic Study - The Private Library of William Randolph Hearst

Photo Credit: Stuck in Customs

5. George Peabody Library at John Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA

Towering Heights

6. Library of Congress, USA

Library of Congress

7. The Codrington Library, All Souls College, England

The Codrington Library, All Souls College

8. Morgan Library, New York, USA

Morgan Library

9. The State Library of New South Wales, Australia

Mitchell Library, Sydney (#24)

10. Royal Danish Library


11. Palafoxiana Library, Mexico

Biblioteca Palafoxiana

12. New York City Public Library, USA

NYC Public Library

13. Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, France

Bibliothèque Nationale de France - Site Richelieu

14. The Theological Hall of the Strahov Monastery in Prague, Czech Republic

Vieille bibliothèque dans le Clementinum

15. Austrian National Library, Austria


16. Tripitaka Koreana, Korea

A collection of the Tripitaka (Buddhist scriptures) carved onto 81,258 wooden printing blocks in the 13th century.

Buddhist Scripture

17. Mortlock Wing of the State Library of South Australia

Mortlock Wing of the State Library of South Australia

18. Bibliotheque Sainte-Genevieve, Paris, France


19. Stockholm Public Library, Sweden

Stockholm Public Library


20. Library of Parliament, Ottawa, Canada

Library of Parliament, Ottawa

I am sure there are many more beautiful libraries that I have missed in this list. Please let me know in the comments section below. Also. in this age of the Internet and ebooks, do you still visit libraries?

Gary McLaren

Gary is an author and digital entrepreneur with 17 years of online business experience. He is passionate about writing and blogging, and enjoys sharing tips and strategies here for building an online business. He also the creator of The Article Writer’s Toolkit.

6 Responses

  1. Alma H Bond says:

    Beautiful photos of beautiful libraries! My favorite library belonged to Vita Sackville-West at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, England.

  2. Sonya Carmichael Jones says:

    When in a new city, libraries are the first places I visit.

    Some of my favorite libraries are the individual, small neighborhood libraries in larger cities. Like in Seattle, where each library reflects the culture of the community. The Ballard and Fremont libraries are among my favorites.

    Many thanks Gary.

  3. Gary McLaren says:

    Thanks for your feedback, Alma.

  4. Gary McLaren says:

    What a great way to start out getting to know a city. Thanks for sharing, Sonya.

  5. 4scooter says:

    Beautiful libraries and photographs

  6. Joseph Kaval says:

    thank u for the opportunity to view the magnificent libraries of the world. I wish to forward the file to the readers of Katha Kshetre journal. I do not hope to see anyone of them in my life. libraries of Pontifical seminary at Aluva helped me to become a creative writer. Jk

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