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Palaces of Self-Discovery: Amazing Libraries Across Europe


Seems like no one visits libraries anymore. It’s such a shame, because it’s a place where you can literally surround yourself with knowledge, and what could be so bad about that? Sure, libraries have a bit of a “been there, done that” image, but they just need some new marketing and public relations people to get them back on the map (ironically, they actually are on most maps).



Bibliothèque Nationale de France – Salle Labrouste, Paris, 1868



Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, Paris, 1850

Grimm Zentrum Library, Berlin, 2009

Libraries are considered to be very solitary places and the best way to escape from pretty much everything. It’s with this idea that French photographer Thibaut Poirier made the series “Palaces of Self-Discovery”. He traveled across Europe and took pictures of some of the finest libraries he could find, both classical and modern.



Trinity College Library, Dublin, 1732



Biblioteca Casanatense, Rome, 1701

Stadtbibliothek, Stuttgart, 2011

He does this without reducing the uniqueness of each library. The vision and idea of the architect gets captured in the photographs perfectly. And next time you think that libraries are Fortresses of Solitude, remember Superman also has one of those, so you should get one for yourself as well. You never know you turn out to be a Kryptonian child sent away from his dying planet to live on Earth.



Biblioteca Joanina, Coimbra, 1728



Biliothèque de la Sorbonne – Salle Jacqueline de Romilly, Paris, 1897

Bibliothèque de l’Hotel de Ville de Paris, Paris, 1890