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Most Beautiful Libraries in the World Gathered in One Incredible Book

Stiftsbibliothek Sankt Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland

Stiftsbibliothek Sankt Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland
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Photographer Massimo Listri is known for his incredible images of palaces, villas, and luxurious interiors. Over his long career, he’s published over 70 books that tell the stories of well-known interiors. And now, his newest photography book gathers images of libraries around the world, paying homage to these temples of learning.

Massimo Listri. The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries, published by Taschen, gathers the incredible work of Listri, who traveled far and wide to celebrate their art and architecture. Moving from Baroque and Rococo interiors to the sumptuous wood shelving of 19th-century libraries, these images demonstrate the care and thought placed into creating a sanctuary of learning.

“At once a bibliophile beauty pageant, an ode to knowledge, and an evocation of the particular magic of print, Massimo Listri. The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries is above all a cultural-historical pilgrimage to the heart of our halls of learning, to the stories they tell, as much as those they gather in printed matter along polished shelves.”

Monasteries, universities, public, and private libraries dated as far back as 766 are included in Listri’s masterful collection. The photos highlight the best of the interiors, showing off the ornate decor, the walls lined with books, and the beautiful symmetry of these learning centers. Each photograph is accompanied by details about the individual library, allowing readers to go inside the history of the location.

Listri’s work brings readers inside each library, tempting them to take a book off the shelf and discover what mysteries lay inside. One can almost hear the silence or imagine the slow creak of the floor as one tiptoes to their desk. Over 560 pages, Listri reminds us of the magic and wonder of libraries, and just how powerful their atmospheres can be.

Massimo Listri. The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries is a collection of photographs highlighting the most stunning libraries around the world.

Klosterbibliothek Metten, Metten, Germany

Klosterbibliothek Metten, Metten, Germany

Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Rome, Italy

Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Rome, Italy

Stiftsbibliothek Kremsmünster, Kremsmünster, Austria

Stiftsbibliothek Kremsmünster, Kremsmünster, Austria

Strahovská Knihovna, Prague, Czech Republic

Strahovská Knihovna, Prague, Czech Republic

Trinity College Library, Dublin, Ireland

Trinity College Library, Dublin, Ireland

Biblioteca do Convento de Mafra, Mafra, Portugal

Biblioteca do Convento de Mafra, Mafra, Portugal

Real Gabinete Português de Leitura, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Real Gabinete Português de Leitura, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rijksmuseum, Research Library, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Rijksmuseum, Research Library, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Biblioteca Joanina, Coimbria, Portugal

Biblioteca Joanina, Coimbria, Portugal

Biblioteca Statale Oratoriana dei Girolamini, Naples, Italy

Biblioteca Statale Oratoriana dei Girolamini, Naples, Italy

Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, Paris, France

Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, Paris, France

Stiftsbibliothek Admont, Admont, Austria

Stiftsbibliothek Admont, Admont, Austria

Massimo Listri - Most Beautiful Libraries in the World

Massimo Listri: Website | Instagram

All images Massimo Listri / TASCHEN. My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Taschen.

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The Most Beautiful Libraries in the World

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