Baltimore is a major city in Maryland with a long history as an important seaport. Fort McHenry, birthplace of the U.S. national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” sits at the mouth of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Today, this harbor area offers shops, upscale crab shacks and attractions like the Civil War–era warship the USS Constellation and the National Aquarium, showcasing thousands of marine creatures.
The Most Beautiful Libraries in the World
While We All Know That You Shouldn’t Judge a Book by Its Cover, This is One Case in Which Evaluating Something on Its Appearance is Not Only Accepted, but Encouraged, These Libraries Are Known for Noteworthy Exteriors—think Soaring Architecture With Inspiring Interiors, and That’s Nothing Compared to the Millions of Books Housed Within Their Walls. So Whether You’re a Bookworm or an Architecture Lover, Start Adding These Beautiful Libraries to Your Must-visit List.
The Library of El Escorial, San Lorenzo De El Escorial, Spain Not Only is This Spanish Library a Work of Art, It’s Also Part of a Unesco World Heritage Site. Originally Commissioned by King Philip II, the Library’s Most Dazzling Feature is a Series of Seven Frescoes That Depict the Liberal Arts (Music, Rhetoric, Astronomy, and So on). The Town of San Lorenzo De El Escorial, Which is About 45 Minutes Outside of Madrid, Has Long Been a Favorite of Spanish Royals, and There’s Plenty More to See Here Beyond the Library, Including a Monastery, Gardens, and the Pantheons of Former Princes and Kings.
Austrian National Library, Vienna, Austria The Austrian National Library is the Largest Library in Austria, With More Than 12 Million Items in Its Various Collections. The Library is Located in the Neue Burg Wing of the Hofburg in Center of Vienna, One of the Austrian National Library’s Most Jaw-dropping Features is the Huge Fresco on the Ceiling, Which Was Created by Painter Daniel Gran. The Dome is Also Decorated With Statues by Sculptor Paul Strudel That Pay Tribute to the Habsburg Rulers, Among the Exhibits Are Two Exquisite Venetian Baroque Globes: One for the Earth and One for the Sky, Each With a Diameter of More Than One Meter.
George Peabody Library, Baltimore, Maryland The George Peabody Library (Part of Johns Hopkins University) Contains Over 300,000 Volumes Stacked in Five Decorative Tiers. The Books Are Impressive, Sure, but the Cathedral Like-atrium, Marble Floors, and Wrought-iron Details Are the Main Draw Here. Is It Any Wonder the Library Has Become One of the Most Popular Wedding Venues in Baltimore?
Strahov Monastery Library, Prague, Czech Republic The Strahov Monastery in Prague Was Originally Founded in 1143. Despite Wars, Fires, and Other Disasters, the Order Endured and Built Its Library in 1679. The Library’s Best-known Features Are Its Remarkable Ceiling, Which is Covered in Biblical Frescoes, and the “Compilation Wheel” That Can Turn and Rotate Shelves in Order to Make Books Easier to Find Without Knocking Any of Them Over.
Library of Alexandria (Bibliotheca Alexandrina), Egypt Alexandria Was Once Home to the Most Famous Library in the World. Now, Egypt Pays Homage to Its Biblio-heritage With This Sleek Granite Building. The Circular Structure, Designed by Norwegian Firm Snøhetta, is Covered in Carvings Done by Local Artists and Sits Next to a Large Reflecting Pool. Although There Are Plenty of Books in Three Languages (Arabic, French, and English), There Are Also Museums, a Planetarium, and a Lab Dedicated to Restoring and Preserving Ancient Manuscripts.