The Oldest And Most Magical Libraries In The World
A library is a place for the soul. It can lead you to so many different places and cultures, show you so many destinies. Those are the places that inspire you. The collection of so many different sources of information hidden between the wooden tables and the amazingly charming ceiling-high bookshelves. Put here and the mystical smell of the old books. No words can describe this feeling, this paradise of freedom and magic at the same time. We are going to show you some incredibly beautiful libraries all around the world. The main aspect here will be the history hidden in those places. Prepare to travel around the oldest, full of history, inspiration and magic libraries.
1. Librije Library in Zutphen, Netherlands
This one historical creature is one of the surviving “chained” libraries in the world and one of the oldest ones. It is “chained” because in the Middle Ages libraries were open for all people, but books were so valuable, so they were locked for the tables or the walls for protection from being stolen. The church itself dates from 11th century, but it opened in 1561. It is unique and mystical 16th-century library, located in the St. Walburg’s Church in Zutphen. The library keeps it original style till today. The reading desks are from the 1560s. in the Librije Library, 300 books take place in the reading desks. The catalog has the amazing amount about 750 titles. In the past few decades, the books were restored with the help of the Royal Library in the Hague and the history was kept alive thanks to th9is act of kindness. This is an inspiring place full of history.
2. Al Qarawiyyin Library, Morocco
This is a real treasure among the libraries – it is the oldest library in the world. It has ancient look with an iron door, breathtaking stores, and four historical locks. This work of art in Fez is said to bring peace and healing wounds, according to the people who visited. The most ancient works are located in a special room with security plus temperature and humidity control. The Qarawiyyin Library was founded by a woman in the 9th century – Fatima al-Fihri. This is the oldest higher-educational library in the world. On its rooftop, you can gladly see a beautiful landscape – the whole magical city of Fez. This place a real source of fascination. After being restored and reopened it combines the history of the 9th century and the modern taste of 21st century. Now it is open for public. People can actually see the many secret rooms in the library. You can definitely inspire yourself here.
3. Francis Trigge Chained Library in Lincolnshire, England
This impressive library in Grantham, Lincolnshire, England was founded in 1598 by Francis Trigge, Rector of Welbourn. Many of the books there were chained to the shelves. Some of the collections include medical works of Celsus, Galen from 1528 and the four books of the Sentences of Petar Lombard from 1160. This library is one of the oldest in England and one of the last chained collections. Today there are 80 volumes, which still remain chained. Many of the books are devoted to religious work, but there are also original classical texts and history books. You can find almost anything in this library from law books to navigation books. You can also find collections in Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic as well.
4. Wells Cathedral’s Library in Somerset, England
The Wells Cathedral’s Library is located in beautiful Somerset. It was built in the mid-fifteenth century. The book collection is located in the different areas – the Chained Library and the Reading Room. The magical and mystical Chained Library is a home of 1800 books. All of them are mostly from the 15th century and the centuries after that. This library contains also a collection of 2800 books on topics such as medicine, history, science, and languages. You can see it from the Reading Room and there is a great chance for making one of a kind pictures. The inspirational Reading Room is created in 2002. There are 1800 books and journals in it. It is a sequel of the Chained Library and it contains spiritual works as well as historical, archeological and other types of books linked to the cathedral life. Visitors are always welcome in the opening hours. And as we already said you can see the Chained Library from there and take breathtaking pictures.
5. Laurentian Library in Florence, Italy
This historic library is located in the breathtaking Florence in Italy. It is designed and built from the famous Michelangelo. This place is an inspiring home of one of the well known and antique books in Italy. It contains the manuscripts belonging to the private library of the Medici family. The architecture of the building is very impressive and interesting. The ceiling and the windows are from 15th century. To go inside the majestic reading room you have to come from the dramatic entrance vestibule (called the ‘’ricceto” in Italian). Everything inside is one of a kind. It is filled with inspiration, energy, and style. The Laurentian Library makes you feel like you are in a magnificent and extraordinary fairy tale.
6. Hereford Cathedral Library in England
Established in 1611 this one holds books and manuscripts, which are of great importance to the history of Herefordshire. It is exceptional and majestic because it is the last library of the ‘’chain” family to survive with all of the chains still in there. A great number of the books are from 1100. All of the books are chained to their places. There are pieces of ancient handwriting with beautiful illustrations in gold color. This library contains 1500 older books from the 15th to 19th century. There are mainly law, theology, biblical and church studies. This library is a unique and outstanding treasure of the library history. There is a New Library building and the reading room is available to anyone in the opening hours. You can even find their catalog online. The Hereford Library with its irreplaceable assets is very valuable.
7. The Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland
This mystical place is the largest library in Ireland. The Trinity Library is the permanent home of the well-known Book of hells – a must see! Some of the volumes are open to being seen by the public. There are six million volumes placed in the building. The place is also famous with its Long Room, which is 213 ft long and it is a main spot in the Trinity Library. The Long Room was built somewhere between 1712 and 1732. It gives a home to 200 000 of the oldest books in the library. The room has a real treasure in it – one of the last copies of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic. You can definitely get lost in the ocean of books and in the exceptional architecture of the building. This place is one of the most impressive libraries in the whole world.
8. University of Oxford Bodleian Library
This amazing and extraordinary spot is the main research library of the University of Oxford. It is one of the historic treasures of Europe. It contains more than 12 million items in it. Among these items there you can find books, journals, manuscripts, maps, newspapers, drawings and other unique items. The Bodleian Library has a rich history. It was founded in 1602. This place is a home to many impressive manuscripts collections, individually printed books, and others. This library is the largest library system in the UK.
9. Catherine’s Monastery Library in Sinai, Egypt
This is the “Sacred Monastery of God-Trodden Mount Sinai”. It is placed in the Mount Sinai in the city of Saint Catherine, Egypt. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. This special and extraordinary monastery is built somewhere between 548 and 565. It is one of the oldest monasteries and it contains the world’s oldest continually operating library with collections, which are very real. With its rich history, this place is a home of manuscripts, icons and numerous works of art. Each one of these books and works of art is important in its own way, but when put together they can tell us much more about the history and culture of Sinai.
10. The Sorbonne Library in Paris, France
This one is an outstanding and exceptional place. It is situated in the Sorbonne building in Paris, France. It is an inter-university library, part of the University of Paris. The Library of the College de Sorbonne was built in 1289. Many centuries after these books were given from the Jesuits to the University of Paris, but that happened in the 1700s. Before the French Revolution, there were 25 000 volumes, but they were given away to other libraries. The Bibliotheque de la Sorbonne started functioning at the end of the 1800s. The Library of the University of Paris was built five centuries after the other one – in the 1700s. it was located on the campus of the Lycee Louis le Grand, but in 1793 was closed and all of the library books and materials were moved to “Luis la Culture” at the Saint-Paul Louis Church. And with some other movement, which was made after that in 1808 it became the Library of the University of France. In 1972 The Sorbonne Library merged with the Library of Art. In 2010 after restoration funded by the city of France and moving back the collections of books in 2013 The Bibliotheque de la Sorbonne was reopened. With an inspiring and outstanding reading room situated on the first floor of the building, it overlooks the courtyard. There is another library on the second floor – The Victor Cousin Library. There are mainly five sections in the library – the Letters section, the Medicine section, the Science section and the Law section. It contains more than 2 million printed books. There is a variety of services there – open access to more than 4000 items, loans, free wifi, online catalog, a computer station, cafeteria and etc. This place is one of a kind!
From time to time we should forget about the internet and try finding the comfort of the libraries. Many people and especially students still rely on these beautiful spots to do their researches. No matter the fact you are doing a research, trying to find inspiration, to learn a new story or get absolutely lost in the magic of the unknown travels these are the places to look for. Although nowadays we are not very much library oriented there still so many people to be found in these spots. Old books, wooden tables, fascinating high bookshelves, chains, locks, ancient history – nothing can beat that. You must see them, feel the magic in the air. Of course, there are still much more libraries, which deserve to be seen, but these on the list … these are treasures.
Till next time,