Libraries are magical places whose functions go way beyond study. These enormous spaces full of shelves with books are often hidden treasures to be discovered. This time, we want to tell you about the best libraries in Paris—some historical ones, and others that are simply charming.
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Sometimes one feels like escaping from the noise of the city. That's when libraries become the ideal places to be. Especially if they are as incredible as any of the following.
1. The Mazarino Library
This library's collection is one of the largest in France
We start the list with one of the most spectacular libraries in the French capital. The Mazarino Library is much more than a simple study room. It is, in fact, almost a museum. Located in the Palais de l'Institut, it is the oldest library in France, open for more than three centuries. Its chandelier ceiling lamps and its enormous ornamental columns make it appear as if time stopped passing inside of it. The Gutenberg Bible is one of its relics.
2. The Sainte Geneviève Library
Right in front of the Pantheon, you can find the Sainte Geneviève Library, which is very frequented by university students. The reading room was designed by the architect Henri Labrouste and is mind-blowing. Dozens of wooden tables with small lamps stand between shelves containing books on all sorts of topics.
3. The Sorbonne Library
The Jacqueline de Romilly room at the Sorbonne Library is well worth visiting when you're in Paris. Even though it is obviously a place designed for studying, we can tell you beforehand that its impressive ceiling makes it really hard to concentrate. You won't be able to take your eyes off it.
4. The National Library of France
A paradise for book lovers
The Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BnF) is a huge library, which is why it has several venues. The Richelieu venue, which is currently being refurbished, is something that you can't miss. There, you can find the magnificent Labrouste room, which is pure visual pleasure. Even though there is an entrance fee, it's worth it—you will really feel like you're in a museum. The Richelieu venue is located next to the Bourse metro station and near the gardens of the Palais Royal.
5. The Library of the Hôtel de Ville
Finally, we encourage you to visit the Library of the Hôtel de Ville, another Parisian library that you can't miss. Although it is one of the smallest public libraries in the city, visiting it is a must. Its collection is fundamentally focused on Parisian history and, what's more, admission is free of charge.