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10 Incredible European Libraries Every Booklover Should Visit

“The world is a book, and those who don’t travel only read one page.” – Augustine of Hippo

1. Stuttgart City Library

Location: Stuttgart, Germany.

Characterized by its cube shape and clinical white interior, this great crystalline building stands a whopping 9-storeys high over the German city of Stuttgart.

Flickr: schubi74 / Creative Commons

2. Mafra Palace Library

Location: Mafra, Portugal.

Situated inside the Mafra National Palace, the library is open to scholars, researchers, historians and members of the public by appointment. Unsurprisingly, many rare works furnish its shelves.

Flickr: anijdam / Creative Commons

3. TU Delft Library

Location: Delft, Netherlands.

At the heart of Delft University lies its library, whose unique cone shaped structure forms the focal point of the campus. The roof of the library is covered with grass, allowing visitors to graze above the library’s book filled central space.

Flickr: tudelftlibrary

4. Sainte-Geneviève Library

Location: Paris, France.

This magisterial library contains around 2 million documents and was a reading place of Marcel Duchamp and James Joyce. The building’s iconic architecture served as the inspiration for the deign of the Boston Public Library.

Flickr: jastrow / Creative Commons

5. Malmö City Library

Location: Malmö, Sweden.

Located in the heart of the multicultural Malmö, this library is filled with books in some 60 different languages and attracts almost 1 million visitors each year.

Flickr: infomastern / Creative Commons

6. The Codrington Library

Location: Oxford, UK.

With its modern collection comprising of some 185,000 items, about a third of which being produced before 1800, the prestigious Codrington Library attracts scholars from around the world.

Flickr: biker_jun / Creative Commons

7. Wiblingen Abbey Library

Location: Wiblingen, Germany.

The majestic hall of Wiblingen Abbey’s library still holds some original manuscripts, despite most of the books having been transferred to other libraries. Besides, the main reason this library to visit is to marvel at the main hall, which remains in its original form.

Flickr: volzotan / Creative Commons

8. Halmstad City Library

Location: Halmstad, Sweden.

Standing near the beach of the river Nissan, the unique shape of the building was inspired from the trees that stand on the site.

Flickr: jacobwod / Creative Commons

9. Strahov Monastery Library

Location: Strahov, Czech Republic.

Completed in 1679, Strahov Monastery is one of the oldest monasteries still in existence in the world. During its long history many important personalities have visited, amongst which are admiral lord Horatio Nelson and Napoleon´s wife Marie Louise.

Flickr: paulcoyne / Creative Commons

10. Handelingenkamer

Location: The Hague, Netherlands.

Handelingenkamer is the name given to the Dutch Parliament’s library. It’s unique design with its open cast-iron staircases and balustrades are designed to allow daylight to filter down the four storeys and illuminate the more than 100,000 volumes that line the shelves.

Flickr: suasso / Creative Commons


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