These Stunning European Libraries Will Make You Want To Study Right Now

Bookish bliss.

French photographer Thibaud Poirier has snapped some of the most beautiful and inspiring libraries that Europe has to offer.

Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Salle Labrouste, Paris, 1868.


El Ateneo, Buenos Aires, 1919.

Poirier has photographed libraries that date from the 17th Century right up to 2011, featuring all sorts of architectural design styles, from classical to modern, in Paris, Dublin, Rome, Berlin and other locations.

Bibliothèque de la Sorbonne, Salle Jacqueline de Romilly, Paris, 1897.

He explains his love affair with libraries in his art statement: “These temples of cultural worship gather communities, and yet the literary experience, and therefore the experience of a library, remains solitary.

“Like fingerprints, each architect crafted his vision for a new space for this sacred self-exploration. These seemingly minute details are everywhere, from the balance of natural and artificial light to optimise reading yet preserve ancient texts to the selective use of studying tables to either foster community or encourage lonely reflection.”

Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, Paris, 1850.


Trinity College Library, Dublin, 1732.


Stadtbibliothek, Stuttgart, 2011.


Biblioteca Casanatense, Rome, 1701.


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


Palàcio Nacional de Mafra, Mafra, 1755.


Grimm Zentrum Library, Berlin, 2009.


Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Salle Ovale, Paris, 1868.


Biblioteca Angelica, Rome.


Bibliothèque de Musée Guimet, Paris.


Bibliothèque de Médecine, Paris.


Galerie Diane, Fontainebleau.


Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, 1868.

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Biblioteca Joanina, Coimbra, 1728.

Akita was granted permission to use images by Thibaud Poirier.

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