Magnificent 19th-Century Library Shelves 350,000 Books

Feast your eyes on the elegant grandeur of the Real Gabinete Portugus de Leitura (known in English as the Royal Portuguese Reading Room or the Royal Cabinet), a 19th-century library in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Constructed from 1880 to 1887 under the direction of architect Rafael da Silva e Castro, the magnificent library has the distinction of holding the largest and most valuable collection of Portuguese works outside of Portugal, with over 350,000 volumes filling its countless bookshelves.

In addition to its large collection of rare works, the Real Gabinete Portugus de Leitura is known for its gorgeous architectural Neo-Manueline design, which evokes the Gothic-Renaissance style that flourished during the time of the Portuguese Discoveries. The white facade, which was carved out of limestone in Lisbon and then transported to Rio de Janeiro, is tall and imposing, bringing to mind the image of Gothic cathedrals and monasteries. On the interior, shelves of books fill every wall up to the ceiling, making for a truly impressive sight. Beautiful gold and wood accents lend the space a warm, luxurious ambiance. Suspended high above the desks scattered on the floor, a wrought-iron chandelier and breathtaking skylight further enrich the space, as do the many statues and medallions sculpted into the walls.

From the numerous bookshelves and ornamental doors to the spiraling pillars and decorative arches, every inch of the library is a visual delight to gaze at. With its awe-inspiring interior space packed full of rare books, the Real Gabinete Portugus de Leitura is the perfect place for those who wish to find a quiet spot to study, expand their knowledge, or be momentarily transported back to the 19th century through the spectacular architecture.

Above image: Ruy Barbosa Pinto



Casa Vogue

Sandro Henrique


Ruy Barbosa Pinto

Real Gabinete Portugus de Leitura Website

January 17, 2017

Former Industrialized Area in Belgium Transformed Into Futuristic Eco-Village

Belgian ecological designer Vincent Callebaut is a master of green sustainable architecture. With his new conceptual project, he creates yet another environmentally sensitive fantasy land, this time transforming Brussels’ historic Tour & Taxis. The resulting concept is a sleek, futuristic eco-village that any young professional would love to call home. As a former industrial site, Tour & Taxis was once a symbol of the golden age of Industrialization, and its approximately 100 acres (40 hectares)

Read Article

January 17, 2017

Liberating Portraits of Ballerinas Elegantly Dancing in the Streets of Cairo

Like many dance photographers, Mohamed Taher has a knack for beautifully capturing the body in motion. His interest in movement is evident in his Ballerinas of Cairo series, and the captivating collection of photos also serves a more poignant purpose: it helps women fight sexual harassment and reclaim the city’s streets. After learning about the Ballerina Project, an ongoing series that documents dancers in urban settings across the globe, Taher was inspired to carry out a similar undertaking in the Egyptian capital.

Read Article

Get Our Weekly Newsletter