After months of meticulous research, expert reviews, and community votes, we are pleased to share the grand reveal of the results you've all been waiting for. With the collective voice of nearly 150,000 book lovers all around the world, your votes have sculpted this monumental list. Now without further ado, we are honoured to announce the winners of the 2023 World Ranking of the Most Beautiful Libraries & Bookstores in the World - conducted by 1000 Libraries.
🏆 1st Place: Trinity College Library, Ireland - 21.3% of votes
A venerable jewel in the heart of Dublin, the Trinity College Library is not only Ireland’s largest library but also one of its most awe-inspiring landmarks. Established in 1592, the library’s Long Room is a testament to the history of literature, housing 200,000 of its oldest books. A piece of history that truly makes it shine is the "Book of Kells" – a 9th-century Gospel manuscript famous worldwide. A long time literary-fan favourite, it is not surprising to see The Trinity College's Long Room winning 2023 most beautiful library in the world.
🏆 2nd Place: French National Assembly Library, France - 12.4% of votes
The French National Assembly Library, set within Paris's historic Palais Bourbon, was conceived during the fervor of the French Revolution. Originally a palace built in 1722, it was seized and transformed into a beacon of the republic's dedication to enlightenment and democracy. Undergoing major renovations in the 19th century, this library, with its gold leaf and frescoes, stands as a testament to France's rich political and cultural legacy.
🏆 3rd Place: The Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading, Brazil - 10.7% of votes
Located in Rio de Janeiro, the Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading boasts a stunning neo-Gothic facade and an interior that transports visitors to a literary wonderland reminiscent of grand European libraries. Housing the largest collection of Portuguese literature outside of Portugal, its towering bookshelves and ornate details make it a must-visit for bibliophiles and architecture enthusiasts alike.
🏆 1st Place: Livraria Lello, Portugal - 20.5% of votes
Livraria Lello, located in Porto, Portugal, is a neo-Gothic gem renowned for its stunning stained glass ceiling, ornate wooden carvings, and the sinuous red staircase that captures the imagination of every visitor. Often rumoured to have inspired J.K. Rowling during her time in Porto, this bookstore's magical ambiance evokes the enchanting world of Harry Potter, making it a pilgrimage site for fans and literature enthusiasts alike and an absolute must-visit in a lifetime. We're very happy to announce that Livraria Lello wins 2023 most beautiful bookstore in the world.
🏆 2nd Place: Shakespeare & Co, France - 14.7% of votes
A Parisian icon, Shakespeare & Co is more than just a bookstore. It's a testament to the enduring love of literature and a witness to the city's ever-evolving literary history. It is nestled along the banks of the Seine, just a stone's throw from Notre-Dame. Steeped in literary history and frequented by famous writers like Hemingway and Fitzgerald, its warren of rooms filled with books, nooks, and crannies offers a sanctuary for bibliophiles, making it a timeless beacon of bohemian culture in the City of Lights.
🏆 3rd Place: Dujiangyuan Zhongshuge, China - 8.3% of votes
Opened in 2017, its terraced bookshelves and cascading atrium earn it the nickname "The Eye," acting as a cultural nucleus in the Binhai district. This futuristic library could have been lifted from the pages of a sci-fi novel, offering a visually stunning backdrop for bibliophiles and photographers alike.
We encourage everyone to delve deeper into our comprehensive list and explore these sanctuaries of knowledge, whether in person or through the pages of our feature. A massive shoutout to each and every participant, voter, and book enthusiast who made this ranking possible.
For a full visual breakdown, don't forget to check out our detailed infographic below!
We encourage book lovers, travel enthusiasts and architecture aficionados to consider visiting these magical places. While we endeavour to feature jaw-dropping photography of these book places, visiting them in real life is nothing short of wonder and awe.
We would also like to extend this invitation by directing you to our upcoming book "The Most Beautiful Book Places in the World" that has been crafted especially to enchant book lovers right in the comfort of their living rooms/home libraries. We're going live on Kickstarter on Tuesday 5th of September 2023. Be the first to join on us on this journey here.
The 1000 Libraries Team