Some of them are hundreds of years old, while others impress with their modern architecture
In the age of the Internet and e-readers, a book printed on paper becomes a value. A good library can be compared to a treasure trove. “Around the World” tells about the most unusual libraries in the world.
USA, Kansas City (Missouri)
City Public Library
Plato's Republic, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, Heller's Catch 22… are favorite works of Kansas City residents. A wall of 22 thermoplastic spines up to 8 meters high and 3 meters wide with book titles adorns the southern façade of the library car park. The library itself has more than a million books, and is visited by about 2.5 million readers a year.
Central Public Library
A glass polyhedron of complex shape, covered with a metal mesh, is the main building of the city library. Inside, there are 9,906 bookshelves designed to hold almost one and a half million books (currently there are about a million), 400 computers with Internet access, not a single staircase – only ramps and escalators. In 2007, the building was included in the list of the 150 most famous buildings in the United States.
Switzerland, St. Gallen
St. Gallen Abbey Library
The oldest library in Switzerland —one of the most significant collections of old books and manuscripts in Europe —was established in the 8th century. She survived the fire in 937, when the entire monastery burned down. The main hall was rebuilt in the 18th century in the Rococo style. The library is open to the public.
Technical University Library
The building was built in the form of a high-tech and environmentally friendly dugout. On the roof, topped with a cone, grass is planted, you can walk. Inside there are four training levels, 1000 workstations with excellent soundproofing. Books are served through a glass elevator.
USA, San Diego
< p>The library is named after the writer known as Dr. Seuss (“How the Grinch Stole Christmas”). The diamond-shaped structure on the props-arms has repeatedly appeared in the cinema (“Mission Impossible”, “Killer Tomatoes Strike Back”).
Louis Nyuser Library
The administrative building of the library, opened in 2002 and named after a local writer, is a rare symbiosis of sculpture and building. Brilliant ideas are obviously born in the cube of the head, while the book collection and reading rooms are concentrated in a more traditional building. celebrities
The library was built on the site of ancient Alexandria. The round glass roof with a diameter of about 160 meters is tilted towards the sea and looks like a large sundial. The walls are covered with signs from 120 writing systems of the world. The book depository is underground.
Trinity College Library
It was founded in 1592. One of the main treasures of the six million fund is the Book of Kells with four Gospels, created around 800 by Irish monks. The “Jedi Archive” in Star Wars Episode II had an obvious resemblance to a long hall of the library, which almost became a reason for a lawsuit.
The library of the University of Coimbra, named after King João V, on whose orders it was built (1717-1728), is considered one of the most impressive Baroque libraries. The luxury here is royal: frescoes on the ceilings, carved arches, gilded wooden shelves on two floors. The interior space resembles a temple in structure, where instead of an altar there is a portrait of João V.
The world's largest library by number of items (over 170 million). Among the valuables are the manuscripts of Leonardo da Vinci, two copies of the Gutenberg Bible. The Library is entitled to a free copy of every new book published in the United Kingdom.
Library of Congress
Second largest library in the world —more than 160 million. It was founded in 1800, and in 1851 most of the books burned down. In the 20th century, the fund was replenished with the collections of the Romanov royal family and the Siberian merchant and bibliophile Gennady Yudin.
Spanish Library Park
Library parks are centers of social development, inscribed in the natural environment, and not in the most prosperous areas. On the outskirts of Medellin, where favelas used to nest, such a park was opened during the visit of the Spanish king Juan Carlos in 2007. The complex consists of three buildings in the form of huge fragments of a fallen meteorite. They can be seen from afar, especially at night, in illumination. Truly a learning light.
Photo: Alamy/Legion-media (2), Getty Images (2), iStock, Legion-Media (2), Getty Images, Getty Images, Getty Images, Legion -Media (2)
Material published in the magazine “Around the World” No. 2, February 2016, partially updated in August 2023