When I travel, I always love exploring unique places like churches and libraries.  Not only are they completely captivating in their beauty, but they tell a story rich in history, art, and culture.  One that teaches us to appreciate things we sometimes take for granted.  Like books for example!  When was the last time you just strolled through a library enjoying the sight of wall-to-wall books?

I put together this list of pretty amazing libraries around the world. I hope it inspires you to visit the libraries often, wherever you may be! Yep, I’m such a nerd!

S Brown ~ The Travel Channel Blog

Trinity College Old Library, Ireland

This spectacular library at Trinity College is definitely a must-see if you are vacationing in Ireland.  Located in the heart of Dublin, you’ll find the Old Library an easy and enjoyable journey back in time.  Built in the 18th century, it is most famous as the home of the Book of Kells, an illuminated gospel manuscript created in the 9th century.  If you love Dan Brown, you’ll definitely enjoy the rich symbolism and imagery. Be sure to visit the Long Room located on the second level.  The impressive and stunning display of oak bookcases holds 200,000 of the Library’s book collection.


Bodleian Library, Oxford, England

Who knew libraries could be so cool?  Well the Bodleian, or “The Bod” as it is sometimes called, has definitely achieved cool status.   Its official duty is to serve as the main research library at the world-famous Oxford University.  It is one of the oldest libraries in Europe and home to nearly 11 million items in its collection.  Even though it’s old and scholarly, the Bodleian is cool enough for Hollywood producers to use it in filmmaking.  Three Harry Potter movies and X-Men 4 were partially filmed at the Bodleian.  Yes, it was the Hogwarts library!


Abbey Library of St. Gallen, Switzerland

When you think of dying and going to library heaven, this is what it looks like, right?  There are so many reasons to visit Switzerland anyway, and now this luscious library just tipped you over the edge.  The Abbey of St. Gallen is such a wonder that it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  While the books and manuscripts are part of one of the oldest collections in Switzerland, it’s really the calming, beauty of the place that makes it a wonderful experience.  You’ll want to grab a book, sit down and relax…and stay all afternoon.


George Peabody Library, Baltimore

If I had a giant mansion and 300 thousand books, I might build something that looks like this.  I think you’ll agree this is a pretty magnificent way to display your book collection.  Located at the Peabody Campus at Mount Vernon Place, you’ll find the research library of John Hopkins University.  The library’s collections can be enjoyed by anyone who visits, and its breath-taking architecture and design resembling a “cathedral of books” is definitely one of the most beautiful in the world.


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