Though they are losing ground to the e-book and the audio book, libraries were once central hubs of human intellectual progress. There's something about them that still attracts people, however – whether it's their magnificent architecture or the unmistakable smell of books and dust, scholars and dreamers alike still enjoy perusing their hoards of literary treasures.

Because of their critical importance, libraries were often built to be beautiful and built to last. Combined with the sometimes priceless treasures that they hold, their simultaneously enormous and intimate spaces possess a charm that no other type of building can command.

If you know of any other amazing libraries that should be celebrated on this list, then please add them. You can vote for your favorite houses of knowledge as well!

#1 The National Library Of Prague, Prague, Czech Republic

The National Library Of Prague, Prague, Czech Republic

bookwilde.org Report

#2 Trinity College Library, Dublin, Ireland

Trinity College Library, Dublin, Ireland

rostad.com Report

#3 Biblioteca Real Gabinete Portugues De Leitura, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Biblioteca Real Gabinete Portugues De Leitura, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Biblioteca Real Gabinete Portugues De Leitura, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Boris G Report

LualhatiCapon 1 year ago

BREATHTAKING...!!

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#4 The Admont Library, Admont, Austria

The Admont Library, Admont, Austria

Benediktinerstift Admont Report

sundaes66 1 year ago

This reminds me of beauty and the beast

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#5 George Peabody Library, Baltimore, Maryland, Usa

George Peabody Library, Baltimore, Maryland, Usa

wikipedia.org Report

Wondersense 1 year ago

Incredible!

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#6 St. Florian Monastery, Austria

St. Florian Monastery, Austria

St. Florian Monastery, Austria

Renate Dodell Report

1 year ago

I'd bring my own chair - just give me a corner!

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#7 Bibliothèque Nationale De France, Paris, France

Bibliothèque Nationale De France, Paris, France

Franck Bohbot Report

GiselleEstrada 8 months ago

Love the stained glass windows and the blueish floor. Beautiful.

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#8 Handelingenkamer Tweede Kamer Der Staten-generaal Den Haag Iii, Netherlands

Handelingenkamer Tweede Kamer Der Staten-generaal Den Haag Iii, Netherlands

phillips.com Report

LisaM.Duncan 1 year ago

I love the staircase!

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#9 Austrian National Library, Vienna, Austria

Austrian National Library, Vienna, Austria

onb.ac.at Report

LillianGardner 1 year ago

Omg heights and statues, 2 of biggest fears. Run!! Pretty though.

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#10 Biblioteca Joanina, Coimbra, Portugal

Biblioteca Joanina, Coimbra, Portugal

Will Pryce Report

AustinNguyen 1 year ago

If that's solid gold...

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#11 The City Libary, Stuttgart, Germany

The City Libary, Stuttgart, Germany

Philipp Hilpert Report

Marwel590 1 year ago

Reminds me of a sanitarium.

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#12 The Iowa State Law Library, Iowa, Usa

The Iowa State Law Library, Iowa, Usa

legis.iowa.gov Report

VongphachanhMymala 1 year ago

Love staircase and the color and marble/wood constrast

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#13 The Oberlausitzische Library Of Science, Gorlitz, Germany

The Oberlausitzische Library Of Science, Gorlitz, Germany

goerlitzer-anzeiger.de Report

JohnNeal 1 year ago

Beautiful!

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#14 Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University, Connecticut, Usa

Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University, Connecticut, Usa

Michael Marsland Report

IuliaDraghiev 1 year ago

Oh my God, that is amaazing!!! O-O

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#15 The Old Public Library Of Cincinnati, Ohio, Usa

The Old  Public Library Of Cincinnati, Ohio, Usa

The Old  Public Library Of Cincinnati, Ohio, Usa

Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County Report

PaulAraujo 1 year ago

Sadly, this library was torn down in 1955 at the time no one complained. Now everyone realizes we lost a national treasure. Check youtube.

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#16 Bibliothèque Sainte Geneviève, Paris, France

Bibliothèque Sainte Geneviève, Paris, France

Franck Bohbot Report

Marwel590 1 year ago

Love the scroll work. This is a functional library.

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#17 New York Public Library

New York Public Library

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ClaudiaStarbuck 1 year ago

Was this was one of the scenes in the first Ghostbusters film?

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#18 Walker Library, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Usa

Walker Library, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Usa

Andrew Moore Report

kniv 1 year ago

This is not the Walker library in Minneapolis but the Library of the History of Human Imagination in Connecticut, owned by Jay Walker!

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#19 Vennesla Library, Vennesla, Norway

Vennesla Library, Vennesla, Norway

Helen & Hard Report

PeytonMcIntosh 1 year ago

Some of these libraries look like futuristic space stations!!!

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#20 Bibliothèque Mazarine, Paris, France

Bibliothèque Mazarine, Paris, France

Franck Bohbot Report

DarylPungitore 9 months ago

Awaiting the guests for dinner.

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#21 St John's College Library, Cambridge, Uk

St John's College Library, Cambridge, Uk

The Pale Side Of Insomnia Report

LarsHettinga 1 year ago

someone else who thinks this is the library of hogwarts

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#22 The Library Of Congress, Washington, D.c., Usa

The Library Of Congress, Washington, D.c., Usa

osubmarinoamarelo.com Report

sundaes66 1 year ago

This is the library from National Treasure. I don't know if its the first or second

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#23 Technical University "gheorghe Asachi" Library, Iasi, Romania

Technical University "gheorghe Asachi" Library, Iasi, Romania

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DanCăpitandePlai 1 year ago

Actually more like School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Library of the aforementioned university :)

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#24 The Great Library Of The Reformed Church College Of Sarospatak - Sarospatak, Hungary

The Great Library Of The Reformed Church College Of Sarospatak - Sarospatak, Hungary

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Beata 1 year ago

I have been there several times ...

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#25 The National Library Of China, Beijing, China

The National Library Of China, Beijing, China

fcpe.lyceeplcourier.over-blog.com Report

SylwiaCzech 1 year ago

almost all of the places are taken :O

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